Bruker vi oss språk eller språket?
Last språktprat, after Eli Anne and Laila’s presentations on constructions, we ended up talking about benefactive constructions of the kind “jeg tar meg en tur” or “jeg spiser meg en brødskive”.
Spanish is quite productive in the use of this structure, but some dialects have proven to have expanded the distribution of this construction: El Pais of Spain today has a fantastic example of this. Obama is quoted saying: “Tenemos que gastarnos dinero para sortear la recesion”, lit.: “We have to spend us money to overcome recession”. This is the suggested translation for “…we’re gonna have to spend money now to stimulate the economy.” The meaning of the benefactive construction is never clearer than here and not predictable from the syntactic composition VERB+REFL.
For me, as a native speaker of Spanish with a rather different dialect, it was hard to get the meaning of the construction at once. I think that what bothered me was the undetermined object “dinero” (money). If the construction would have been “Tenemos que gastarnos EL dinero… (def)” it would have sounded more acceptable. But I understand that this would have been a wrong translation since we are talking about spending money in general and not any particular amount. So, is determination essential to the benefactive generally and Spain is innovative in this use?
How does this work in the Norwegian examples? Is it possible to use this construction in Norwegian in other cases than the named above?
Looking forward to the Julefest!!