Pseudopartitives in Norwegian
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The dissertation investigates Norwegian pseudopartitive constructions like 'a cup of tea', 'three kilometres of road', and 'thousands of students'. A quantifying noun or denominal quantifier in -vis denotes a quantity, and a substance noun denotes something which has that quantity. The parts of the nominal may be juxtaposed or linked with either of the prepositions 'with' and 'of'. Chapters 1 to 3 are an introduction and sketches of central theoretical notions and of Norwegian nominals. Chapter 4 is a detailed analysis of the Norwegian numeral system, with a focus on additive and multiplicative constructions. Chapter 5 contains a taxonomy of quantifying nouns and a section arguing for the recognition of a class of denominal quantifiers in -vis. Chapter 6 discusses the first main question: What determines whether juxtaposition, 'with', or 'of' is used? Corpora of newspaper texts and novels provide a foundation for the discussion. It is argued that there is an iconic relation between presence and absence of a preposition. Absence (juxtaposition) corresponds to conceptual unity. Presence of a preposition corresponds to a higher degree of conceptual distance. The choice between 'with' and 'of' is shown to be based on competing metaphors of quantity: of accompaniment, containment, and material constitution, respectively. Chapter 7 discusses the second main question: Which constituent is the head of the phrase -- the quantifying noun / quantifier in -vis or the substance noun? Many pseudopartitives are ambiguous, which is argued to depend on a choice of profile. There has partly been a diachronic development of reanalysis and grammaticalization, which implies a profile shift in the direction of the substance. Chapter 8 concludes the dissertation.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
- Linguistics 41