What usage can tell us about grammar : Embedded verb second in Scandinavian

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2019
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Caplan, Spencer
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Glossa : A Journal of General Linguistics. Ubiquity Press. 2019, 4(1), 101. eISSN 2397-1835. Available under: doi: 10.5334/gjgl.867
Zusammenfassung

This paper uses large-scale data extracted from a series of Swedish corpora to investigate the factors responsible for conditioning the choice of (optional) embedded V2 in Swedish. Embedded V2 has been argued to represent a more general kind of syntactic optionality found across languages: syntactic structures typically found in matrix clauses, but which are also available in certain types of embedded environments (so called Main Clause Phenomena). While the received view, going back to Hooper & Thompson (1973), is that the availability of main clause syntax has a semantic-pragmatic correlate in the presence of Illocutionary Force, pinpointing exactly what this amounts to has remained an open problem. Through statistical analysis of the Swedish corpus data, combined with results from a semantic-inference task, we are able to falsify certain previous (theoretical and empirical) claims about the distribution and interpretation of embedded V2. We additionally evaluate, and find no evidence to support, a processing or usage-based view of optionality in embedded V2. We argue instead that the interpretive notion driving the distribution of embedded V2 is discourse novelty; whether the embedded proposition is treated as discourse-old or new information. We argue that embedded V2 is licensed in contexts where p is discourse novel. While this is fundamentally a pragmatic notion, it is nevertheless tightly constrained by both lexical-semantic properties of the matrix predicate and other aspects of the grammatical context. An important methodological consequence of this work is that by looking at particular interactions of lexical and grammatical contexts, statistical analysis of usage data can be used to test specific predictions made by syntactic and semantic theory.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
Schlagwörter
Embedded Verb Second, Corpus-linguistics, Syntactic optionality, Main Clause Phenomena, Syntax-Pragmatics interface, Discourse novelty
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Zitieren
ISO 690CAPLAN, Spencer, Kajsa DJÄRV, 2019. What usage can tell us about grammar : Embedded verb second in Scandinavian. In: Glossa : A Journal of General Linguistics. Ubiquity Press. 2019, 4(1), 101. eISSN 2397-1835. Available under: doi: 10.5334/gjgl.867
BibTex
@article{Caplan2019usage-59448,
  year={2019},
  doi={10.5334/gjgl.867},
  title={What usage can tell us about grammar : Embedded verb second in Scandinavian},
  number={1},
  volume={4},
  journal={Glossa : A Journal of General Linguistics},
  author={Caplan, Spencer and Djärv, Kajsa},
  note={Article Number: 101}
}
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