Högre seminarium: Eric Lander

  • Datum: –16.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 16-2041, Stora seminarierummet; zoom: https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/69160492922
  • Föreläsare: Eric Lander
  • Kontaktperson: Lasse Mårtensson
  • Seminarium

What does it mean to be an archaism? The case of ne + VERB in Old Norse

In this talk I investigate the distribution of Stage I in the negative cycle (Jespersen 1917, Dahl 1979) in Old Norse. While this configuration (i.e. ne + VERB) is frequently referred to in the literature as an archaism – which it surely is – there is little discussion of what this actually means, functionally speaking. As known from earlier work (e.g. Neckel 1912, Sievers 1912; see also Haugen 1986, Grønvik 1997, Eyþórsson 2002), the original distribution of ne has over time been pared down by various phonological, prosodic, and syntactic restrictions. Of the attestations which survive in the texts, a majority appear in contexts which can be loosely described as irrealis. My discussion therefore contributes to the debate in the typological literature about the uncertain status of irrealis as a bona fide grammatical category. More broadly, I attempt to show that certain patterns in my data are typical of complex systems (see Zipf 1949, Kretzschmar 2015).