Absolut superlativ i samtida språkbruk
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Citation (published version)Elizabeth Coppock, Elisabet Engdahl. 2017. "Absolut superlativ i samtida språkbruk." Sprak och Stil, Volume 27, pp. 5 - 20 (16).
In this article we report on a corpus study of elative superlatives in contemporary Swedish. Elative superlatives differ from ordinary superlatives in that no direct comparison with other referents is involved. Instead a referent is said to have the property expressed by the adjective to a very high degree. In Swedish, elative superlatives are formally distinct from ordinary superlatives (they lack the post-nominal clitic article) which means that they can be found in corpus searches. We show that elative superlatives have expressive function and are typically used in emphatic assertions which are intended to make the strongest possible claim in a given situation. Elative superlatives are used in all grammatical functions but with slightly different implicational properties. Contrary to what has been assumed, elative superlatives are not limited to fixed expressions and formal written language. Creative uses abound in blog texts and sports commentaries.