Syntaks-Utvidet verbal-Preposisjonsobjekt-hard time understanding of it


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Hallo! I am studying Norwegian as a foreign language and I learned the syntax of Norwegian last year. Please excuse me that I don't write in Norwegian all the time, however, I don't want to make some mistakes.

I am writing you because:
1)I am not sure I understood what a preposisjonsobjekt is.
2)I have a hard time of understanding how I can make a difference between direkte objekt and preposisjonsobjekt.

Setningen er: Bibliotekaren leste ut romanen.

How can I tell the difference between that it is a direct object or a prepositional object? I mean if it responds to the same question :Hva?, then how I can tell the difference?

Tussinn takk!
  • Hi blue2000
    The difference lies in what happens when you pronominalise the object. In that case, a direkte objekt will generally occur before the preposition while a preposisjonsobjekt must follow the preposition. Thus, in your case, we are dealing with a direkte objekt.

    Full form: Bibliotekaren leste ut romanen.
    Pronominalised form: Bibliotekaren leste den ut.

    Did you find this in a syntax book or something? This is not material for a beginner's text took. It is way too advanced!
    Unless you have a particular interest in it, I would not recommend you to think too much about the distinction.
    Preposisjonsobjekt is defined here by NAOB: Det Norske Akademis ordbok
    The NAOB definition is at best a descriptive approximation, that is, it deals with an object and a preposition and with some vague notion that the preposition is semantically affiliated with the verb. This semantic affiliation notwithstanding, they group the preposition together with the complement in their syntactic analyis (not with the verb) and call the entire thing a prepositional phrase. The definition also jumps over the fact that it is only the complement of the preposition that behaves like an object, and not the entire prepositional phrase.

    As an illustration, the NAOB definition does not distinguish between these two:
    a) De stolte på flyselskapet.
    b) Hun leste av temperaturen.

    They both have the same template (pronoun + verb + prep. + noun) and in both cases, the NAOB condition that the preposition is semantically affiliated with the verb (whatever that means) is fulfilled. Yet, they are quite different. The a) example is a preposisjonsobjekt while b) is not. And that is the issue blue2000 has. How do you distinguish them when they appear to be the same? NAOB certainly does not provide an answer.

    I provided one test in post #2 that at least gives an answer for the specific case that blue2000 provided.* It also seems to correlate with participle formation (avlest is fine but påstolt is not) and my intuition is that the traditional dialectological split between Eastern and Western Norwegian also gives a clue: Western Norwegian has different stress patterns for a) and b) while Eastern Norwegian does not. How much of this holds across the board is an open question. However, I won't try to define what preposisjonsobjekt is on a general basis. I know too little about this myself.

    *And I should perhaps add a correction to my post in #2: ut is an adverb, not a preposition. As such, it can't be a case of preposisjonsobjekt.
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    I must admit I didn't understand your post #2 - but could just see it was different from the NAOB definition. Now I think I see what you are saying.

    It also seems to correlate with participle formation (avlest is fine but påstolt is not)
    This is perhaps the practical thing to understand. Sometimes the bit that looks like a preposition can be attached to the verb, and sometimes not. And sometimes it MUST be attached, e.g. forstått.
    @winenous, in case you are interested, there is also a section on this topic in the big large book called Norsk referansegrammatikk by Jan Terje Faarlund et al. from 1997.
    Perhaps not this particular issue, and not right now, but it's always good to know about such resources, so thank you