Chapter published in:Syntactic Variation in Insular Scandinavian
Edited by Höskuldur Thráinsson, Caroline Heycock, Hjalmar P. Petersen and Zakaris Svabo Hansen
[Studies in Germanic Linguistics 1] 2017
► pp. 307–338
Stylistic fronting in corpora
Stylistic Fronting (SF) fronts various types of non-subjects to preverbal position in subjectless clauses. With the exception of Icelandic and Faroese, SF has disappeared from Scandinavian. It is commonly assumed that even in Icelandic it is formal and old fashioned, indicating that it might be on its way out. However, this assumption has not been supported by frequency surveys. This paper studies the distribution and frequency of Stylistic Fronting in two large language corpora, Timarit.is and the Internet. The results support the common assumption that SF is on the retreat. Nevertheless, the survey also highlights that this change is proceeding slowly. The study also shows that Google Search can be used as a research tool in linguistics – no small advantage.
Keywords: expletive insertion, Extended Projection Principle, Google Search, impersonal clauses, Stylistic Fronting, relative clauses, Timarit.is , verb-initial adverbial clauses, word order frequencies
- 2. Timarit.is and Google Search
- 3.Two different Stylistic Fronting contexts
- 4.Clauses with a subject trace (“personal” clauses)
- 5.Clauses with a non-trace subject gap (impersonal clauses)
- 7.And when “nothing” happens?
Published online: 18 July 2017
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