Left-dislocation constructions in contemporary Swedish

A Sign-based Construction Grammar Account

  • Viktoria Strandberg


Left dislocation constructions (LD cxns) exist in many languages, including Swedish. In Swedish, LD cxns traditionally occur when a phrase precedes a clause with a pronominal or adverbial copy referring to that phrase. Inspecting previous studies of LD cxn, most sources describe it as rather uniform: a declarative clause where the dislocated phrase has the information structural status of topic, the copy is a subject or an object, and the copy is placed immediately after the dislocation. This paper shows that there is more variation to LD cxns by presenting a Sign-Based Construction Grammar account of the Swedish LD cxn. Based on an empirical study of 295 LD cxns, the paper proposes that most LD cxns belong to one out of three different construction patterns, whereas almost as many LD cxns belong to more peripherical patterns. This means that a construction may have a few more prototypical instantiations, but that we need to investigate many examples to understand the construction better. LD cxns without copies are also investigated in this paper, and the conclusion reached is that this construction can be incorporated as a part of the LD cxn family.