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Negative Concord in Four Varieties of Swedish

Journal article
Authors Henrik Rosenkvist
Published in Arkiv för nordisk filologi
Volume 130
Pages 139-165
ISSN 0066-7668
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 139-165
Language en
Keywords negation, dialekt, syntax
Subject categories Languages and Literature, Swedish language


Negative concord (NC) does not occur in any of the Scandinavian standard languages. In this paper, NC in four varieties of Swedish is presented and discussed. The varieties are: Övdalian, Nylandic, southern Ostrobothnian and Estonian Swedish. While the common analysis of NC is that the negation is a syntactic head (Neg) that does not interact with other negated constituents in the clause, the Estonian Swedish verb mike (‘may-not’) does not trigger NC, although the negation is cliticized. This is possibly problematic for the head analysis. NC in the four varieties may historically either be archaisms, innovations or a result of language contact with Fenno-Ugric languages. It appears that the latter alternative is most probable.

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