NOT YET-Constructions in the Swedish Skellefteå Dialect
Sammanfattning: Expressions such as not yet, already, still and no longer belong to a category called Phasal Polarity (Phasal Polarity), and express phase, polarity and speaker expectations. In European languages, these often appear as phasal adverbs. However, in the Skellefteå dialect, spoken in northern Sweden, another type of construction is also used to express not yet. The construction consists of the auxiliary hɶ ‘have’ together with the supine form of the lexical verb prefixed by the negative prefix o-, for example I hɶ oskrive breve ‘I haven’t written the letter yet’. I will refer to this construction as the o-construction. Constructions meaning not yet have lately been referred to as nondum (from Latin nondum 'not yet') (Veselinova & Devos, forthcoming) and appear to be widely used in grammaticalized forms in, for example, Austronesian- and Bantu languages. The o-construction in the Skellefteå dialect is only mentioned but has no detailed documentation in existing descriptions. The aim of this study is to collect data and analyze the use of this construction. Data were collected through interaction with speakers of the Skellefteå dialect, using questionnaires and direct elicitation. The results show that the o-construction occurs in the dialect to express NOT YET, but only in specific contexts, where certain conditions must be met. It tends to occur with telic predicates and an omniscient narrator and high probability of the event to materialize in near future enhances the chance of the o-construction to be used. This stand in contrast with more grammaticalized nondums in Austronesian- and Bantu languages where these expressions have a more general meaning and wider applicability.
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