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A synchronic perspective on the grammaticalization of Swedish Future constructions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 December 2006

Martin Hilpert
Affiliation:
Rice University, 6100 Main Street, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA. E-mail: hilpert@rice.edu
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Abstract

This paper is a corpus-based investigation of five Swedish constructions that are used to express futurity. The method of Collexeme Analysis (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2003) is applied to constructions with the auxiliaries ska ‘will’, skall ‘shall’, its past form skulle ‘should’, komma ‘come’, and tänka ‘think’. All of these are future markers that have grammaticalized to varying degrees. The aim of this paper is to investigate semantic differences between constructions with these auxiliaries. By analyzing the main verbs that co-occur with a given auxiliary, it can be statistically assessed what verbs are significantly attracted to the construction. It thus becomes possible to analyze the constructional semantics in terms of co-occurring lexical material. Conversely, it is also insightful to consider what verbs occur significantly less often than expected with a given auxiliary. These procedures allow a fine-grained semantic description in both positive and negative terms.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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A synchronic perspective on the grammaticalization of Swedish Future constructions
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