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The Swedish connective <i>så att</i> ‘so that’

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Abstract

This study accounts for the synchronic profile and the recent history of the Swedish sentence connective <i>s&#229; att</i> &#8216;so that&#8217;. In Modern Swedish, this connective allows for a variety of syntactic and semantic patterns that entail particular pragmatic functions. One aim of this study is to find evidence for the claim that there is a syntactic shift away from subordinator to coordinator (as has been noticed in conversational data by Lindstr&#246;m &#38; Londen 2008). Even though <i>s&#229; att</i> &#8216;so that&#8217; is traditionally described as hypotactic (SAG II: 733), it can indeed be found in more recent formations reflecting paratactic relations. A second aim relates to the semantics and pragmatics of <i>s&#229; att</i> and is to find support for the fact that the multi-word connective is developing from a connector to a discourse marker. In certain contexts, e.g. when occurring in sentence final positions, <i>s&#229; att</i> is used with a highly salient discourse function. Starting from empirical data combining written (newspaper texts) and so-called &#8216;semi-written/spoken&#8217; (blog texts) corpus data, it is shown that the multi-word conjunction <i>s&#229; att</i> has become more of a non-compositional form and that the more recent developments witnessing of shifts in syntactic behaviour are accompanied by semantic and pragmatic shifts as well, to wit the shift from subjunction &#62; conjunction &#62; pragmatic marker. The study is conducted within the framework of pragmaticalization (e.g. Diewald 2011).

References

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