The Functions of Danish Causal Conjunctions

  • Rita Therkelsen Roskilde University
Keywords: Danish Language, Causal Conjunctions, Functional Grammar, Speech Act, Grammar

Abstract

In the article I propose an analysis of the Danish causal conjunctions fordi, siden and for based on the framework of Danish Functional Grammar. As conjunctions they relate two clauses, and their semantics have in common that it indicates a causal relationship between the clauses. The causal conjunctions are different as far as their distribution is concerned; siden conjoins a subordinate clause and a main clause, for conjoins two main clauses, and fordi is able to do both. Methodologically I have based my analysis on these distributional properties comparing siden and fordi conjoining a subordinate and a main clause, and comparing for and fordi conjoining two main clauses, following the thesis that they would establish a causal relationship between different kinds of content. My main findings are that fordi establishes a causal relationship between the events referred to by the two clauses, and the whole utterance functions as a statement of this causal relationship. Siden presupposes such a general causal relationship between the two events and puts forward the causing event as a reason for assuming or wishing or ordering the caused event, siden thus establishes a causal relationship between an event and a speech act. For equally presupposes a general causal relationship between two events and it establishes a causal relationship between speech acts, and fordi conjoining two main clauses is able to do this too, but in this position it also maintains its event-relating ability, the interpretation depending on contextual factors.
Published
2004-01-29