A quantitative approach to the development of complex predicates

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This paper traces the historical development of the Swedish Pseudo-Coordination construction with the posture verb <i>sitta</i> &#8220;sit&#8221;. In Swedish a small number of verbs, including posture verbs such as <i>sitta</i>, are used in coordination with another verb to convey that the described event has an extended duration or is in progress. Quantitative evidence from Swedish historical corpora suggests that the construction has, even after it established itself as a grammatical construction, undergone a number of gradual changes in the course of the past five centuries. As part of the Pseudo-Coordination construction, the verb <i>sitta</i> has changed its argument structure, and the entire construction has increased in syntactic cohesion.


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