Article published in:Linguistics in the Netherlands 2016
Edited by Jenny Audring and Sander Lestrade
[Linguistics in the Netherlands 33] 2016
► pp. 89–105
Fragment answers with infinitives in a Flemish dialect
This paper is devoted to a construction in a specific Flemish dialect, in which infinitives are used in fragment answers in contexts where this would be unacceptable in other varieties. Questions such as Waar is mijn boek? ‘Where is my book?’ can be answered with constructions such as Op tafel liggen ‘lay.INF on the table’. We apply an analysis in terms of ellipsis to these infinitival constructions. However, we find fragment answers with infinitives in contexts where the assumption of ellipsis is problematic, since there is no plausible underlying structure available. We show that the use of this construction has extended to contexts in which the infinitive independently expresses the clausal tense features. Our description of the construction is based on a questionnaire study in which around thirty speakers were tested.
Keywords: Fragment answers, ellipsis, infinitival tense, microvariation
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Published online: 21 December 2016
de Groot, Casper
Ott, D. & M. de Vries[ p. 105 ]