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The semantics and pragmatics of the Norwegian concessive marker likevel: Evidence from the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus

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Chapter Summary

The semantics and pragmatics of the Norwegian concessive marker likevel is investigated in a contrastive perspective, based on material from the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus. Likevel has a wide range of English correspondences. It is claimed that likevel is semantically underspecified, and the range of its uses is accounted for in terms of a context-dependent inferential enrichment of the linguistically encoded sentence structure, taking into account features such as syntactic position and prosody. Special attention is given to after all, anyway, and zero correspondences, i.e. cases where the English text has no concessive marker corresponding to likevel in Norwegian. Initial likevel typically corresponds to concessive adverbs like nevertheless, still and yet, which all point backwards toward a local discourse antecedent. Final likevel typically corresponds to focal after all, which points to a long-distance link between itself and a contextually retrievable antecedent proposition, or anyway, which permits the hearer to derive a simpler interpretation involving universal concessive conditionality of the ‘no matter what’ type. Likevel in medial position has a high proportion of zero correspondences and does not seem to offer the addressee unequivocal information about how to anchor it in discourse.



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