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Matches and mismatches in Swedish gå och V 'go/walk and V'. An exemplar-based perspective

Journal article
Authors Peter Andersson
Kristian Blensenius
Published in Constructions and Frames
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 147-177
ISSN 1876-1933
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Swedish
Pages 147-177
Language en
Keywords pseudo-coordination, mismatch, exemplar model, item-based analogy
Subject categories Swedish language, Linguistics


This article studies the pseudo-coordination [ga 'go/walk och 'and' V]. The construction has several meanings and it also has subordination counterparts in Modern Swedish, unlike most Swedish pseudo-coordinations. Our diachronic study shows that [ga och V] cannot readily be reduced to the verbs in isolation and that synchronic lexicocentric perspectives based on syntactic (re)configurations cannot capture the constructional meaning such as the assumed inference of 'surprise' or 'unexpectedness. We argue that a detailed analysis of the historical development makes the picture clearer. In the development of [ga och V], item-based analogy continuously facilitates new verbs in the V slot. At a certain stage, there is a mismatch between the agentivity of the construction and the non-agentivity of events denoted by the second verb. This mismatch is resolved by the override principle that forces non-agentive verbs to be interpreted agentively and promote a more abstract and lexicalized version of the construction. The exemplar-based view to constructions proposed by Bybee (2010, 2013) seems favorable, since frequent exemplars of [ga och V] allow for redundant or marginal features to serve as the model for novel expansions of the construction.

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