The Syntax of Something: Evaluative Affordances of Noget in Danish Construction Grammar

Carsten Levisen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper explores 'the evaluative noget construction' in Danish. The construction consists of noget 'something' juxtaposed by a noun in an evaluative frame such as e.g. Det er noget pjat, 'It's nonsense'. With a starting point in cross-linguistic studies on something, the paper moves on toexplore core members of this evaluative class in Danish, providing a detailed semantic analysis of the construction's core configurations. The affordance of noget 'something' to mean 'something bad'is a key to understanding the construction, and from this general premise the class of evaluatives take off in multiple negative directions, providing a snapshot of the Danish linguaculture of evaluation. The paper argues for a Cultural Construction Grammar that can bring together the lexicogrammatical integrationism of construction grammar approaches with the linguacultural holism of the research in ethnosyntax. The goal is to provide high-definition analysis of complex, language-specific constructions in a simple, globally translatable metalanguage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • construction grammar
  • evaluation
  • Danish
  • semantics
  • ethnosyntax
  • cross-linguistic analysis
  • evaluative language
  • Danish language
  • metalinguistics

Cite this