Synchronic variation and loss of case
Formal and informal language in a Dutch corpus of 17th-century Amsterdam texts
A bias towards formal texts obscures our view of language change and gives a misleading impression of actual developments if ‘changes from below’ are in conflict with ‘changes from above,’ resulting from norms that are visible in particular in formal language. A corpus of 17th-century Amsterdam texts with varying levels of formality is assembled to study the loss of genitive and dative case-marking in Dutch. These results are compared with the use of present participle constructions, which serve as an extra variable to gauge how formal a text is. We argue that nominal case-marking no longer existed in informal language in 17th-century Amsterdam and that the genitive became a feature of formal norms and was hence subject to pressures from above.
Keywords: genitive, dative, formality scale, 17th-century Dutch, change from above, loss of case, present participle constructions, corpus
Published online: 11 November 2013
Cited by 4 other publications
Aalberse, Suzanne & Wessel Stoop
De Smet, Isabeau & Freek Van de Velde
Krogull, Andreas & Gijsbert Rutten
Walkden, George & Anne Breitbarth
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.