Linguistics in the Netherlands 2014
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


Dutch perfect tenses are constructed with the auxiliaries zijn ‘be’ and hebben ‘have’. Over the years, several semantic generalizations have been proposed to account for this auxiliary choice. This paper evaluates these generalizations on the basis of examples with verbs of directed motion (draaien ‘turn’, keren ‘turn’, and stijgen ‘ascend, rise’), collected from the Internet. The paper concludes that these data are problematic for analyses of auxiliary choice in terms of telicity and ‘Inferable Eventual Position or State’, yet provide support for analyses of auxiliary choice that rely on the notion of ‘construal’ of the motion event. In particular, the paper argues that zijn is used when the event is construed as a ‘change of state’, while hebben is used when it is construed as a ‘type of act’.


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