Dear colleagues,

we are very happy to announce a second talk for the next session of our syntax colloquium this term. Annika Draudt (Frankfurt) will talk about „Possessives and Demonstratives in Swedish Noun Phrases“. The talk will take place online, please see the information below on how to participate.

Title: Possessives and Demonstratives in Swedish Noun Phrases
Time : 18.01.2021
Place: Zoom (If you are not a regular member of the syntax colloquium and if you would like to listen to this talk, please contact Katharina Hartmann. You will be sent a link / ID to Zoom.)

Note that in this session of the colloquium, we will have two talks. The talk by Annika Draudt will be preceded by a talk from Viktor Köhlich.

Please find the abstract below.

You are all cordially invited!


In this talk, I present the topic of my master thesis. My thesis deals with possessives and demonstratives in Swedish noun phrases from a nanosyntactic perspective. There are two main problems that I am concerned with. The first problem concerns possessives. Possessives pattern with indefinite articles, in that they inflect for gender and number based on the features of the associated noun, and in that they precede and specify an indefinite noun.
(1) En                       bil
      a.C.INDEF.SG car.C.INDEF.SG
      “a car”
(2) M-in                     bil
      POSS.1SG-C.SG car.C.INDEF.SG
      “my car”
However, noun phrases containing a possessive are not interpreted as indefinite but rather as definite. This leads to an apparent conflict: How can a noun phrase with a possessive be interpreted as definite, when it looks and behaves like an indefinite noun phrase? The second problem concerns demonstratives. In Swedish, there are three possible options to express a demonstrative noun phrase: a) using a complex demonstrative pronoun, b) using the focused definite article or c) using a simple demonstrative pronoun. There is no interpretative difference between these three. However, two of these options requires the noun to be definite, while the simple demonstrative pronoun combines with indefinite nouns.
(3) D-en    här   bil-en
       The-C here car.C-DEF
       “this car”
(4) DEN             bil-en
       The-C.FOC car.C-DEF
       “this car”
(5) Denna  bil
      DEM.C car.C.INDEF
      “this car”
I will argue that all of these options are equally definite, but they differ in where their definiteness feature(s) are spelled out.