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Posture, location, and activity in Mainland Scandinavian pseudocoordinations

Journal article
Authors Torodd Kinn
Kristian Blensenius
Peter Andersson
Published in CogniTextes
Volume 18
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Swedish
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.4000/cognitextes...
Keywords Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, posture verbs, grammaticalization
Subject categories Linguistics, Scandinavian languages, Swedish language

Abstract

This article is a corpus-based study of the semantics of pseudocoordination with posture verbs meaning ‘lie’, ‘sit’, and ‘stand’ in the Mainland Scandinavian languages (i.e. Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish). An example is Danish Jeg sidder og læser ‘I am reading’, literally ‘I sit and read’. While many previous studies of posture verb pseudocoordination have focused on the semantic bleaching and grammaticalization of posture verbs, recent research has shown that such developments have so far been very limited and have argued that a proper understanding of posture verb pseudocoordination needs to be sought in the context of pseudocoordination in general, taking into account the role of location. Drawing on frame semantics, the present study shows how the notion of ‘facilitation’ can be applied to shed light on the role of posture: stability of posture at a location for a certain duration facilitates the activity referred to with the last part of the coordination. Based on large data sets, distinctive collexemes are found for posture verbs, i.e. verb collocations showing how each posture facilitates a distinct set of activities. Further, a few collexemes revealing posture verb bleaching are discovered, showing how aspectual grammaticalization may develop.

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