Verb-first constructions as a syntactic and functional resource in (spoken) Swedish

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikel


This paper explores different syntactic variations and functional properties of clausal
units that are initiated by the finite verb in Swedish. We focus on V1 constructions that are
basically declarative in function, thus excluding interrogative, conditional and directive
uses. Because V1 constructions, and particularly certain variants of them, are typical of
spoken Swedish, our examples and analyses focus primarily on the usage in speaking.
The V1 constructions studied include whole-utterance constructions in conversational
sequences, utterance-internal extensions, and utterance-internal reshapings, such as
syntactic blends. We will offer an analysis of (declarative) V1 constructions, which in
some respects differs from analyses proposed by generative syntacticians or traditional
grammarians. Our analysis of the constructional resource is discourse oriented. In this
perspective, V1 constructions are analyzable as sequentially dependent, second, or
‘subsequent’ moves, viz. units that can scarcely initiate a communicative project but which
instead continue, extend or comment on an already initiated project. Thus, rather than
analyzing V1 constructions as one type of ellipsis they could be seen as full-fledged clausal
units whose existence is conditioned by their position in a discourse or utterance context.
From a theoretical perspective, this paper is a contribution to an emerging dialogical or
interactional model of (Swedish) grammar.


  • Jan Lindström
  • Susanna Karlsson
Externa organisationer
  • Göteborgs universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Språk och litteratur


Sidor (från-till)97-131
TidskriftNordic Journal of Linguistics
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2003
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa