Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper presents an analysis of complement insubordination in Dutch, i.e. structures that are formally marked as subordinate complement clauses but conventionally used as main clauses. We develop a typology of seven distinct construction types (in three semantic domains), none of which have been analyzed in detail before. From a more general perspective, we show that insubordinate constructions provide a fresh perspective on the analysis of modality and evaluation, with semantic parameters that are not found in more typical exponents like modal verbs. In addition, we show that it is difficult to develop a schematic generalization across the different construction types, in spite of their apparent formal similarity as complement structures. We argue that this points to separate developmental trajectories for the different types, with a point of origin in different main-subordinate constructions, and different degrees of conventionalization for the resulting insubordinate constructions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): constructions; Dutch; evaluation; insubordination; modality
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