Progressive constructions in Swedish

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to provide new insights into the semantic properties of some progressive constructions in Swedish and to provide better understanding of aspect in Swedish. The five included studies present analyses of previously understudied as well as more familiar progressive constructions, based on authentic language data. Constructions with a verb followed by a verbal present participle, e.g. försvinna skrikande ‘disappear screaming’, are analyzed in the first study, and they are labeled progressive participial. It is shown that the verb and the participle, taken together as a construction in a construction-grammar sense, yield progressive reading. More familiar constructions, standardly considered progressive in the literature, are studied in the remaining papers, primarily from a two-componential theory of aspect. The second study analyzes the constructions hålla på att ‘hold on to’ + infinitive verb and hålla på och ‘hold on and’ + finite verb. While the difference between them is usually taken to be primarily stylistic, it is shown that only hålla på att is a progressive marker in a canonical sense. Posture-verb pseudocoordinations, e.g. sitta ‘sit’/stå ‘stand’/ligga ‘lie’ + och ‘and’ + finite verb, are analyzed in the third study. It is shown that posture-verb pseudocoordinations are not progressive like e.g. hålla på att but instead locative and, in some cases, episodic. The fourth study returns to the hålla på construction, primarily assessing the pseudocoordinative hålla på och variant in detail, noting its restrictions in terms of compatibility with certain types of VP. It is shown that hålla på och does not combine with VPs with homogeneous internal structure, and a pluractional analysis is proposed instead. Finally, as a way to find out the nature of hålla på att constructions, the fifth study investigates constructions of the type from the perspectives of e.g. finiteness and aspect.

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