Volume 19, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This article presents a corpus study of the variable placement of adverbial satellites in spoken Dutch. It is widely contended that the relative order of satellites is motivated by three general principles: information status, length and the proximity principle. The proximity principle maintains that the placement of satellites is motivated by their semantic relationship with the sentence verb. We investigated the effect of the proximity principle on the relative placement of 8 different satellite classes based on a corpus sample of 202 combinations of two satellites retrieved from the Corpus of Spoken Dutch. The exact binomial test was used to evaluate the statistical significance of the observed orders. Our main results corroborate the hypothesis that the proximity principle influences satellite ordering. We also found, however, that the placement of certain satellite classes appeared very restricted, which suggests that the proximity principle does not play an active role in their placement.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): constituent ordering; Dutch; proximity principle
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