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The form and position of pronominal objects with non-nominal antecedents in Scandinavian and German

  • Kristine BentzenEmail author
  • Merete Anderssen
Original Paper
  • 35 Downloads

Abstract

The present paper discusses a possible correlation between the placement of pronominal objects with non-nominal antecedents in Norwegian, and the use of the pronouns es ‘it’ and das ‘that’ in German. For Norwegian object shift (OS), it has been shown that while pronominal objects with non-nominal antecedents generally do not shift, this is not the case when these elements take on the discourse function of continuing topics. In this paper, we show that a very similar pattern can be observed in German. However, this is not related to whether object pronouns scramble or not, but rather to which pronominal form is used to refer back to the clausal antecedent. In German, das is generally used to refer back to non-nominal antecedents, however, es is also sometimes an option. In this study, we find parallels between the use of OS and es, on the one hand, and lack of OS and das, on the other, and propose that the former is preferred when the proposition the proform refers back to is part of the common ground in the discourse. This ties in nicely with previous research on Norwegian OS, as in order for a proposition to constitute a continuing topic in the discourse, it has to be established as part of the interlocutors’ common ground.

Keywords

Scrambling Object shift Proforms Clausal antecedents Common ground German Norwegian 

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language and Culture, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and EducationUiT-The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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