Thema's en trends in de sociolinguistiek 5
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Since the 1970s, the use of the Dutch preposition van in the (semi-)quotative function has been noted by several linguists and language users as rapidly increasing in informal speech. In this sense, it can be compared to the English quotative marker like, which is also used to introduce direct speech. Dutch van, however, can also occur before indirect speech. This paper concentrates on the pragmatic function(s) of this marker. The typifying function is considered to be of central relevance. Exploiting this meaning in specific contexts, additional pragmatic effects can occur, such as positive and negative politeness, focusing the quote and facilitating expressivity. Whereas (American) English like seems to have sociolinguistic connotations ('young females'), a similar connotation has not been found for Dutch van, although further sociolinguistic research is necessary. Variation in individual use has been observed: some speakers seem to avoid the use of the marker, whereas others use it frequently.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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