Measureless quantificational exclamatives
ForfatterVangsnes, Øystein A
There is considerable variation related to the form of exclamatives across North Germanic varieties (see Delsing 2010 and Abels and Vangsnes 2010). However, in the Nordic Syntax Database there is only information about one particular and somewhat special kind of exclamative construction, here termed ‘measureless quantificational exclamative’ and exemplified by the Swedish example in (1). (1) Vad bilar det var här! (Swedish) what cars it was here ‘What a lot of cars there are here!’ Measureless exclamatives convey a surprise over a presupposed large quantity of the kind of object denoted by the noun in the fronted wh-phrase, and they do so despite the fact that there is no overt quantifier in the phrase (compare gloss and translation). The construction is known from English and has for instance been recently discussed in Rett (2008: 148ff). The wh-item used in this construction is the one that is otherwise used in queries for objects, i.e. the item corresponding to the pronominal use of English what.