Competing ‘transfer’ constructions in Dutch
This paper zooms in on the semantic relations between the constructions of“possessional transfer” (i.e. constructions used to encode events of possessionaltransfer) in Dutch by zooming in on a specific morphological class of dispossessionverbs, viz. verbs with the prefix ont- ‘away’, such as ontnemen ‘take away’,ontfutselen ‘fish out of ’, onttrekken ‘extract, withdraw’, ontheffen ‘relieve’, etc. Adatabase with several thousand attested ont-examples from various corpora ofpresent-day written Dutch will serve as the starting point for an investigation oftheir constructional possibilities and preferences: the ont-verbs will be shownto cluster into a number of subclasses in terms of alternation possibilities. Inaddition, a comparison of these present-day Dutch results with data from adiachronic corpus of 19th century Dutch will reveal a number of lexico-grammaticalshifts: the use of the double object construction and (especially) of theaan-dative with ont-verbs is more heavily constrained now than it was in earlierstages of the language.