The Norwegian Nominal System: A Neo-Saussurean Perspective by Madeleine Halmøy

By Madeleine Halmøy

This research provides a unified, monetary account of the complicated dating among shape, that means and interpretation within the Norwegian nominal method - irrespective of polysemy. It covers all types of nominal symptoms, i.e. nouns, adjectives, pronouns and determiners, in addition to the conventionalised syntactic combos among them. between its relevant thoughts is the advent of the function normal quantity into Norwegian morphology.

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As Saussure points out, it is precisely because the sign is arbitrary that it knows no other law than the one of tradition, and it is because it is founded in tradition that it can be arbitrary (1916: 108). A fundamental consequence of radical arbitrariness is the fact that both the signifiés and the signifiants can be defined solely by their opposition with other signs. ”10 (Saussure 1916: 162). ”11 (Saussure 1916: 163). Whether it is the sign as a whole, its signifiant or its signifié, they can only be defined, or be said to exist, through interaction with other objects that likewise are co-defined.

5Restrictive vs. 3Definite vs. 4Summary superimposition and adjectival modification 6Concluding remarks Bibliography Subject Index Endnotes Abbreviations CG common gender COMP comparative C-sign combinatorial sign DEF definite Deix deixis Dem demonstrative F feminine GN general number INDEF indefinite M masculine N neuter Nom nominative Obl oblique P person PL plural Poss possessive Prox proximal Refl reflexive SG singular SUP superlative U-sign unitary sign List of tables, figures and grammatical definitions Table 1 Norwegian Nouns, Main Paradigm Table 2 Noun Forms in Mainland Scandinavian Table 3 Norwegian Adjectives, Main Paradigm Table 4 Functional Distribution of Norwegian Superlatives Table 5 Value of Attributive Adjective-Noun Combinations Figure 1 Number and Nouns in English, Italian and French Figure 2 Domain of plural Interpretation Figure 3 Number Interpretations of the Norwegian Bare Noun Figure 4 Norwegian Nouns: Number Value and Interpretational Range Figure 5 Illustration of Relation between Signs Figure 6 Interpretations of Predication as Combinatorial Signifiés Figure 7 Combinatorial Signifiants in Oral Languages Figure 8 Nemi Comic Strip Gram.

The innovation of Saussure’s understanding of language was not the simple statement that the relation between the signifié (concept) and the signifiant (sound) was arbitrary. This is something that all present day linguistic theories to some degree accept and take into account. Saussure’s ideas were in fact far more innovative and controversial. His major contribution to linguistic understanding and explanation was the observation that linguistic arbitrariness is radical, in the sense that it applies to both sides of the sign.

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