Gender shift in a Norwegian diminutive construction
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonNordic Journal of Linguistics. 2019, 42 57-85. 10.1017/S0332586519000040
In this article, we discuss the ei litta construction in Norwegian, a construction that involves the use of feminine morphology combined with non-feminine nouns, and expresses evaluation. Through corpus analyses and an online survey, we investigate the form and function of the construction, synchronically and diachronically. We discuss the emergence of the ei litta construction in the light of a larger restructuring of the Norwegian gender system, possibly allowing for greater flexibility in the assignment of gender. We also describe the ei litta construction as an example of gender shift, a previously unattested morphological strategy in Norwegian to express evaluative meaning.