Friday, 18 December 2009

A Scandinavian/English grammar, continued

The Scandinavian grammar is working quite well, but it's certainly not complete yet. Here are some important things that still need to be added, all of which occur in Scandinavian but not in English:
  • Negation. This is just an adverb in Scandinavian. The slightly non-trivial thing is that the position of this adverb (also some others) is different, depending on whether it's a main or a subordinate clause.
  • Lexically reflexive pronouns. As in Romance, some Scandinavian verbs subcategorize for lexically reflexive pronouns, which have no semantic value.
  • Lexical passive. Scandinavian verbs have a lexical passive form. I propose to do this in the morphotax.
  • Definiteness. I don't yet have all the definiteness constraints. In particular, a definite singular NP has an implicit definite article, but a premodifying adjective requires an explicit definite article.
I don't think any of these things are particularly difficult to implement, or should require major changes to the grammar.

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