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Object shift in Scandinavian languages: The impact of contrasted elements

Journal article
Authors Maia Andréasson
Published in Nordic Journal of Linguistics
Volume 36
Issue 2
Pages 187-217
ISSN 0332-5865
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 187-217
Language en
Keywords contrast, Danish, Icelandic, information structure, object shift, Optimality Theory, Scandinavian, ACCESSIBILITY, MOVEMENT, RMANY, V18, P673
Subject categories Scandinavian languages


This paper argues for a unified analysis of mainland Scandinavian pronominal object shift and Icelandic full NP shift. Building on data showing the impact of accessibility on object placement in Swedish, Danish and Icelandic, I propose an Optimality Theoretic analysis where semantic/pragmatic constraints involving accessibility, information structure and contrast interact, but are ranked lower than syntactic constraints on, for example, verb placement. Finally, the impact of prosody on pronominal object shift is discussed.

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