Edited by Eva Zehentner, Melanie Röthlisberger and Timothy Colleman
[Studies in Germanic Linguistics 7] 2023
► pp. 115–149
This paper presents a study of the double object construction (DOC) in 19th‑ and 20th‑century Swedish, focussing on the semantic range of the construction. The results show that throughout this period, the Swedish DOC occurs with verbs of transfer (e.g. ge ‘give’), future transfer (erbjuda ‘offer’), dispossession (beröva ‘deprive’), hindrance (neka ‘deny’), communication (säga ‘say’), causation (förorsaka ‘cause’), creation and obtaining (laga ‘cook’, skaffa ‘obtain’) as well as verbs of attitude (avundas ‘envy’). Verbs of benefaction and malefaction (öppna ‘open’, spärra ‘block’) are found in the 19th‑century data, but do not occur in the DOC in present-day Swedish anymore. Over time, verbs of transfer have come to constitute the majority of the instances of the DOC, while most other semantic categories have undergone a decrease in token frequency, relative to the construction as a whole. These findings suggest that since the beginning of the 19th century, the Swedish DOC has undergone a process of semantic specialization, similar to the development of the corresponding constructions in English (Colleman and De Clerck 2011; Zehentner 2018) and Dutch (Colleman 2011). The study also reveals a decline in text frequency and overall type frequency of the DOC as a whole, indicating that the construction has become less productive over the last two centuries.
For any use beyond this license, please contact the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.