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Academic Paper


Title: The syntax of something: Evaluative affordances of noget in Danish construction grammar
Author: Carsten Levisen
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Syntax
Subject Language: Danish
Abstract: This paper explores ‘the evaluative noget construction’ in Danish. The construction consists of noget ‘something’ juxtaposed by a noun in an evaluative frame such as e.g. Det er noget pjat, ‘It’s nonsense’. With a starting point in cross-linguistic studies on something, the paper moves on to explore core members of this evaluative class in Danish, providing a detailed semantic analysis of the construction’s core configurations. The affordance of noget ‘something’ to mean ‘something bad’ is a key to understanding the construction, and from this general premise the class of evaluatives take off in multiple negative directions, providing a snapshot of the Danish linguaculture of evaluation. The paper argues for a Cultural Construction Grammar that can bring together the lexicogrammatical integrationism of construction grammar approaches with the linguacultural holism of the research in ethnosyntax. The goal is to provide high-definition analysis of complex, language-specific constructions in a simple, globally translatable metalanguage.

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This article appears IN Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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