Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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Through the history of Nordic and Norwegian, the infinitive marker has undergone several syntactic and phonological changes. This article discusses the syntactic changes in terms of functionalist and generativist grammaticalization theory. The article starts with a brief review of the origin and use of the infinitive marker in Germanic, followed by a presentation of the syntactic characteristics of infinitive constructions in Old Norse, where the author offers arguments in support of analyzing the infinitive marker as a complementizer word. In Middle and Early Modern Norwegian, the infinitive marker is reanalyzed as a clitic adjoined to the verb. A later reanalysis in Modern Norwegian has resulted in the infinitive marker once again occupying the complementizer position. The history of the Norwegian infinitive marker thus exhibits different types of grammaticalization (lexical word > grammatical word, and word > clitic), degrammaticalization (clitic > word), and different kinds of realization of a functional category.


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