Prosodic and syntactic-pragmatic mechanisms of grammatical variation
The impact of a postverbal constituent on the word order in Dutch clause final verb clusters
This paper reports on a quantitative corpus-based study of the impact of a postverbal constituent (PVC) on the choice of word order in Dutch written clause final verb clusters consisting of a participle and an auxiliary verb. The study verifies the results of previous research by analyzing the effect of the presence vs. the absence of a PVC, while at the same time extending previous research by scrutinizing this effect more in depth. More specifically, it is investigated whether there is an effect of the grammatical relationship between the PVC and its head, the syntactic weight of the PVC and the accent distribution within the PVC. Based on several statistical measures for bivariate and stratified analysis, we are able to show that these factors simultaneously affect the choice of word order in written clause final verb clusters. These results lead us to explore the relationship between the prosodic and syntactic-pragmatic determinants of word order variation.
Keywords: grammatical variation, verb cluster, postverbal constituent, rhythmic alternation, dependency, syntactic weight
Published online: 26 May 2008
Cited by 6 other publications
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