Exclamatives in Scandinavian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article, I define exclamatives pragmatically, as a speech act which contains an assertion, and where there is a mismatch between this assertion and a presupposition. The assertion normally expresses a higher degree than expected, i.e. they are scalar. The speech act is instantiated in various ways in the Scandinavian languages. The aim of this article is to describe and characterise the syntactic variation in Scandinavian exclamative clauses, in the standard languages, as well as in some regional variants. First, I discuss the definition of exclamatives, and I recognise three main types, which I call degree, polar and reinforcing exclamatives. Second, I give a survey of the syntactic variation of the three types in Scandinavian, where I discuss syntactic properties such as word order and extraction possibilities as well as lexical, syntactic and prosodic features that are exclusive to exclamatives. Last, I conclude the paper by a taxonomy of exclamatives in Scandinavian.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • exclamatives, Scandinavian, pragmatics, syntax
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-36
JournalStudia Linguistica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Swedish (015011001)