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The pronominal psychological demonstrative in Scandinavian: Its syntax, semantics and pragmatics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2008


Janne Bondi Johannessen
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics and Nordic Studies, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1102 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norwayjannebj@iln.uio.no
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Abstract

The paper describes and discusses a demonstrative that has received little attention in the literature. The demonstrative can be found in many of the Scandinavian languages and dialects, and seems to be most frequent and widespread in the mainland Scandinavian languages. It has the same phonological form as third-person singular pronouns, and can be used only with nouns and have human (or human-like) specific reference. From a deictic perspective, the demonstrative is interesting because its conditions of use are linked to what I call psychological distance. Syntactically, it is also interesting because it has different characteristics in the different languages; in Norwegian and Icelandic it can be argued to be part of the DP, while the empirical facts of Swedish and Danish suggest that the psychologically distal demonstrative is DP-external in these languages.


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Research Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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