How did we think?

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This paper presents a diachronic corpus investigation into the Dutch mentalstate predicate denken ‘think’. It investigates both the semantic development(specifically, the evolution in the non-attitudinal vs. the attitudinal meanings ofthe verb) and the grammatical development (the evolution in terms of the typesof grammatical patterns with which the verb appears), and the correlationsbetween the two, from Old Dutch onwards. The discussion focuses specificallyon the implications for our understanding of the processes of grammaticalisationand subjectification, and their correlations: the verb shows clear signs of aprocess of semantic subjectification, but not of structural grammaticalisation,hence it offers evidence for the assumption that these two processes are lessintimately intertwined than is often assumed in the literature.


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