1887
Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Abstract

Abstract

Presentational constructions are linguistic structures that can convey all-focus utterances with no topic constituent that serve to introduce a referentially new entity or event into the discourse. Like many other languages, Dutch has several presentational constructions, including a Prosodic Inversion Construction (PIC), a Syntactic Inversion with Filler Insertion Construction (SIFIC) and a Non-Prototypical Cleft Construction (NPC). This article investigates these structures as alternating presentational constructions and focuses on referential givenness as a possible factor influencing the alternation. Based on a data elicitation task, referential givenness is shown to play a role in the choice of alternant. The PIC is predominantly used with unused/inactive and accessible Mental Representations of Referents (MRRs), but it can also contain brand-new MRRs. The NPC is exclusively used with brand-new MRRs. The SIFIC is used mostly with brand-new MRRs, but it can also contain accessible MRRs, in particular in positions other than the syntactic subject. The data elicitation task yielded a number of additional Dutch linguistic structures that could also be considered presentational constructions, including a construction with a perception verb used in a weak verb-like fashion and a construction with an existential sentence combined with a coordinated canonical topic-comment clause.

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2019-01-21
2019-12-08
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