Danish in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Author: Stefan Müller and Bjarne Ørsnes

Subject Areas: Danish, Syntax, HPSG

This book describes a fragment of the Danish language that is formalized in the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Each chapter consist of a large empirical part that uses corpus data for the discussion of phenomena whenever this is appropriate. The description is theory-driven but the formulations of the insights are as theory-neutral as possible.

After a brief introduction into the basic assumptions that are made in HPSG, we provide a topological model of the Danish clause. This topological model is used to explain the basic clause structure of Danish (SVO) and to set up the HPSG analysis of these rather basic facts. After this rather basic part detailed descriptions and analyses of the following phenomena are provided: object and negation shift, copula constructions, including specificational structures and the relation to left dilocation and question tag formation, extraposition, passive, raising passives, in which objects of embedded verbs are raised to subject, preposed negation, extraction (V2), the insertion of positional expletives in extraction contexts, and Do-Support.

The grammar that is described in this book is computerprocessable and hence internally consistent. It was developed in the CoreGram project, which develops grammars of various languages and tries to find crosslinguistic generalizations. This is also reflected in the book, which contains sections that compare the analyses for Danish with those for German and English.


  1. A Brief Introduction to HPSG
  2. A Topological Model of the Danish Clause
  3. Clause Structure and Constituent Order
  4. Object Shift and Negation Shift
  5. Copula Constructions
  6. Nonlocal Dependencies: Extraposition
  7. Passive
  8. Raising Passives
  9. Preposed Negation
  10. Nonlocal Dependencies: Extraction
  11. Positional Expletives
  12. Do-Support

Draft of October 10, 2013 08:55: