Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919



In Dutch, posture verbs like ‘lie’ and ‘stand’ are obligatorily used in locative constructions with inanimate subjects, classifying the spatial Figure-Ground relation. Prima facie, in this use, posture verbs seem more like functional elements than like lexical verbs.

This paper investigates processing of Dutch posture verbs in a reference resolution task in the visual world paradigm, to get more clarity on the nature of these verbs. We know that lexical verbs like ‘ring’ cause anticipatory looks towards a matching target referent like ‘telephone’; and that they suppress looks to a phonological competitor like ‘telescope’. The functional property of grammatical gender on determiners ( vs. ) is less robust in directing looks. When it comes to anticipating the target referent, and suppressing looks to a phonological competitor, do posture verbs pattern with lexical verbs, or with functional elements like grammatical gender?

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): eye-tracking; grammatical gender; lexicality; posture verbs; visual world paradigm
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