1887
Volume 74, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0108-8416
  • E-ISSN: 2212-9715
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Abstract

Abstract

Typologically, the Old and Middle Scandinavian languages preserve features lost in Modern Scandinavian (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish), especially zero arguments and inactive constructions. Both phenomena present difficulties for the analysis of the Old and Middle Scandinavian languages as configurational, and generative linguists often choose a reductionist strategy, claiming that at the level of deep structure, configurational structure persists. Based on Middle Danish, my claim will be that zero arguments are semantically different from – and therefore cannot be reduced to – pronouns, and secondly, that inactive constructions do not have oblique subjects, but oblique first arguments (A1s). The meanings of the case forms nominative and oblique differ, depending on their constructional context. Any functional theory must respect the relevant grammatical sign contrasts of the language analysed, not try to explain them away.

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2021-11-18
2022-05-27
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