Textual Origins of the Indefinite Article in Swedish

Open access

ABSTRACT

The present paper studies the earliest stages of the grammaticalization of indefinite article in Old Swedish. The study is based on a corpus of Old Swedish texts and uses the model of grammaticalization as proposed by Heine 1997. The article en, etymologically related to the numeral ‘one’, is first used to mark new and salient discourse-referents and its primary function is cataphoric. However, en only fulfills this function when ocurring in a sentenceinitial subject NP. In the course of the grammaticalization, neither the sentence-initial position nor the subject function of the NP are required to present new and salient discourse referents.

Keywords:

References

  • Barwise Jon & Robin Cooper. 1981. Generalized quantifiers and natural language. Linguisticsand Philosophy 4, pp. 159-219.

  • Brandtler, Johan and Lars-Olof Delsing. 2010. Framväxten av obestämd artikel i svenska. Definithet, specificitet och polaritet. In: Byrman, Gunilla and Anna Gustaffson and Henrik Rahm. Svensson och svenskan. Med sinnen känsliga för språk. Festskrift till Jan Svenssonden 24 januari 2010. Lund.

  • Givón, Talmy. 1981. On the development of the numeral ‘one’ as an indefinite marker. FoliaLinguistica Historica II, pp. 35-53.

  • Gunnarsson, Britt-Louise. 1982. Lagtexters begriplighet: en språkfunktionell studie avmedbestämmandelagen. Stockholm: LiberFörlag.

  • Haskå, Inger. 1972. Studier över bestämdhet i attributförsedda nominalfraser: uttrycksptypernadet vida hav, vida havet osv. i svensk poesi 1500-1940. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

  • Heim, Irene. 1988. The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases. NY & London: Garland Publishing, Inc.

  • Heine, Bernd. 1997. Cognitive Foundations of Grammar. Oxford: OUP.

  • Heine, Bernd and Tania Kuteva. 2002. World Lexicon of Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Hellquist, Elof. 1957. Svensk etymologisk ordbok. Lund: Gleerup.

  • Hirvonen, Ilkka. 1997. Konstruktionstyperna gamle man, den gamle man och den gamle mannen. Studier i nordisk filologi. Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland: Helsinki.

  • Hopper, Paul J. and Janice Martin. 1987. Structuralism and diachrony: The development of the indefinite article in English. In: Ramat, Anna Giacalone, Onofrio Carruba & Giuliano Bernini. Papers from the Seventh International Conference on Historical Linguistics, pp. 295-304.

  • Håkansson, David. 2008. Syntaktisk variation och förändring. En studie av subjektslösa satser ifornsvenska. Lund: Lunds universitet (Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap A:64).

  • Nivre, Joakim. 2002. Three Perspectives on Swedish Indefinite Determiners. Nordic Journal ofLinguistics 25, pp. 3-47.

  • Pozas Loyo, Julia. 2010. The development of the indefinite article in Medieval and Golden-AgeSpanish. University of London.

  • SAG = Teleman, Ulf, Staffan Hellberg and Erik Andersson (eds.) 1999. Svenska Akademiensgrammatik vol. 1-4. Stockholm: Norstedts ordbok.

  • Skrzypek, Dominika. 2012. Grammaticalization of (in)definiteness in Swedish. Pooznan: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.

  • Stark, Elisabeth. 2002. Indefiniteness and specificity in Old Italian texts. Journal of Semantics 19, pp. 315-332.

  • Syrett, Martin. 2002. Morphological developments from Ancient Nordic to Old Nordic. In: Bandle, O. et. al (eds.), The Nordic Languages. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 719-727.

  • WALS = The World Atlas of Language Structures, wals.info

Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia

The Journal of Adam Mickiewicz University, Department of Scandinavian Studies

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 16 16 8
PDF Downloads 2 2 1