Chapter published in:Thetics and Categoricals
Edited by Werner Abraham, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 262] 2020
► pp. 70–103
Presentational and related constructions in Norwegian with reference to German
This paper investigates constructions in Norwegian and German with an expletive pronoun in subject position, and for Norwegian also in object position. The discussion covers presentational, impersonal and extrapositional constructions in both languages, and in Norwegian also the ‘light reflexive’ seg in its interaction with presentationals. We relate the discussion to a parameter of theticity, whereby sentences with an expletive subject will count as thetic while sentences with a content-full NP subject will count as categorical. Also sentences with expletive object are argued to have a thetic value. Categorical sentences on their side are ranked according to a parameter of transitivity, accounting for constraints on presentational constructions in Norwegian, and seen as constituting an opposite dimension of constructional values to that of theticity.
Keywords: expletive subjects, expletive objects, transitivity, theticity, categoricity, presentationals, light reflexives
Published online: 22 July 2020
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