Volume 65, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Modern Dutch has two causative verbs: 'doen' and laten'. According to Verhagen & Kemmer (1992; 1997), combinations with laten' can best be characterized as indirect causation, while combinations with 'doen' can be characterized as direct causation. Second-language learners of Dutch never get any explicit instruction about the difference between these verbs. This paper presents the results of an experiment on the knowledge of second-language learners of Dutch about the verbs 'doen' and laten'. Two groups of foreign students at the Leiden University participated in a test on these verbs. The first group had received one year of Dutch language lessons, and the second group had had approximately four years of lessons in Dutch. A group of Dutch students did the test as well. The results of this study show that both groups of foreign students had learnt something about the use of 'doen' en laten', although they had not received explicit instruction in these verbs. Their knowledge improved when they received more lessons in Dutch. They did not reach the same level as the Dutch students.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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