Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919



Conditional clauses in Dutch can be accompanied by focus particles, as in ‘even if’ and ‘only if’. The literature focuses on these additive and restrictive particles, because they may influence the truth-conditional meaning of the sentence, which is uncommon for particles. Most of these studies are not based on empirical language data, or draw largely from formal written texts in English. This study investigates which focus particles occur in Dutch conditionals, and to which extent their uses are associated with spoken and written modes and with formal and informal registers. It is shown that restrictive and additive particles are most frequent in formal written texts, and that a third type of particle exists, which adds iterative meaning to the conditional, as in ‘everytime if [when]’. The results show this type of particles to be associated with informal spoken texts.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conditionals; corpus; Dutch; focus particles; semantics
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