1887

Syntactic Change in Germanic

Aspects of language change in Germanic with particular reference to Middle Dutch

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Abstract

This study examines certain features of Dutch syntax between approximately 1300 and 1650. Of central importance are the overall developments in the word order patterning and the various changes they entail elsewhere in the grammar, such as in the negative construction. After an introductory chapter providing goals and background for the study, the quantitative analysis of the data is presented in Chapter 2. Considerable attention is paid to contextual considerations and the pragmatic aspect of word order. Chapter 3 deals specifically with the question of exbraciation; Chapter 4 returns to the functional aspect of word order and discusses the importance of the notion 'topic'. Chapter 5 provides a detailed analysis of the development of negation supported by comparative data from related Germanic languages and in a wider context of overall typological change. The concluding chapter discusses possible explanations of the findings. Two Appendices are added to the book, one providing a sketch grammar of Dutch, the other an annotated list of the corpus used. This study is purposefully eclectic in its approach, drawing upon many different traditions and areas in linguistics. This multifaceted approach is a major strength of the book, which moreover makes an important contribution to theoretical issues by presenting a vast descriptive data base for Dutch.

Subjects: Syntax; English linguistics; Historical linguistics; Germanic linguistics

References

References

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