https://www.duolingo.com/CitharaNova

Curious pronoun usage

I am new to learning Swedish, and in addition to using Duolingo have been visiting Swedish websites as well.

A few times I've noticed what looks like an unmodified plural noun used in a definite sense with no definite ending, prefaced by the pronoun "de" . For example: "de e-böcker som du 'önskat' dig ser du i ditt bibliotek" (from https://bokon.se/sa-gor-du/) And also: "du alltid kunna hitta de barnskor du söker" (from http://www.barnskospecialisten.se/).

From what I have learned so far, pronouns are added before modified definite nouns, which should still exhibit the definite suffix. Can anyone explain the seemingly different usage I have seen?

Thank you! Your help is greatly appreciated!

3 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/helmad
helmad
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interesting. are they always followed by a restrictive relative clause, as in these examples? I am new too, so I have no answers..

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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I agree, restrictive relative clauses seem to be key to this phenomenon.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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This is a really interesting observation, and I don't have an authoritative answer for you, but two observations. First, unless I'm mistaken, the "de" in these sentences is an article rather than a pronoun (if it were a pronoun, it would have to have an antecedent). Second, in both of these cases, the noun that you would expect to have a definite ending (böker, barnskor) is modified by a relative clause (som du önskat, [som] du söker). This paper on Danish indicates that there are two different ways to mark definiteness on a noun that's modified by a relative clause, and that the two ways have different semantics (see examples 9 and 10 and the paragraph that follows on page 144). Maybe Swedish works the same way?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CitharaNova

I've spent some more time reading the paper and it mentions this particular usage in footnote 32, showing how in Swedish a noun modified by a relative clause and which has a prenominal definite article doesn't have to exhibit the definite suffix. While the absence of the suffix is noted as a puzzle, the authors do mention that the semantics of the relative clause is always restrictive in those cases. So there are two ways of forming definite noun phrases modified by relative clauses, with differing semantics. So for example (I hope I got these sentences right):

Det bröd(et) som vi äter, är hårt. (restrictive meaning) "the bread that we are eating is hard"

Brödet, som vi äter, är hårt. (non restrictive) "the bread, which we are eating, is hard"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CitharaNova

Oh yes, thank you for the correction! I was calling it a pronoun all the while but that's not the right term. It does seem that the relative clause has something to do with it, thanks for the link!

3 years ago
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