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This page pertains to UD version 2.

expl: expletive

This relation captures expletive nominals. These are nominals that appear in an argument position of a predicate but which do not themselves satisfy any of the semantic roles of the predicate. The main predicate of the clause (the verb or predicate adjective or noun) is the governor.

For Norwegian, the expletive element is expressed using the neuter pronoun det “it” and the expl relation is used for both expletive subjects and objects.

#####Presentational construction In Norwegian expletives occur in the presentational construction, which involves an expletive subject, an active verb and an indefinite subject (en debatt “a debate” in the example below).

Det eksisterer allerede en debatt \n There already exists a debate
expl(eksisterer-2,Det-1)
nsubj(eksisterer-2,debatt-5)

#####Impersonal passive Norwegian employs the impersonal passive construction, where there is an expletive subject and the underlying subject is unexpressed.

Senere har det blitt fremsatt flere forslag \n Later has there been proposed several suggestions
expl(fremsatt,det)

#####Clause-anticipating constructions These constructions contain a finite or non-finite clause which semantically may be regarded as the subject, but where the subject position is occupied by an expletive.

Det er ønskelig at utvalget arbeider i dialog \n It is desirable that the committee works in dialogue
expl(ønskelig-3,Det-1)
csubj(ønskelig-3,arbeider-6)
Det er en offentlig oppgave å bidra økonomisk \n It is a public duty to contribute financially
expl(oppgave-5,Det-1)
csubj(oppgave-5,bidra-7)

We also find clause-anticipating constructions with expletive objects.

Retten finner det bevist at han handlet forsettlig \n The court finds it proven that he acted intentionally
expl(finner-2,det-3)
ccomp(finner-2,handlet-7)

#####Clefts Clefts are quite common in Norwegian. They contain an expletive subject, a form of være “to be” and a relative clause. Note that in clefts we do not adopt a copula analysis of the verb være “er”.

Det er forholdsvis få arter som har klart å tilpasse seg \n There are quite few species that have managed to adapt 
expl(er-2,Det-1)
acl:relcl(arter-5,klart-8)

#####References Kari Kinn, Per Erik Solberg and Pål Kristian Eriksen. NDT Guidelines for Morphological Annotation”. National Library Tech Report.

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