Chapter published in:Crossroads Semantics: Computation, experiment and grammar
Edited by Hilke Reckman, Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng, Maarten Hijzelendoorn and Rint Sybesma
[Not in series 210] 2017
► pp. 305–325
The expressive en maar-construction
This article discusses constructions of the type En maar zeuren! ‘You keep on nagging’, which express a negative attitude of the speaker towards the proposition expressed by the construction. We will argue that en ‘and’ should be seen as a regular conjunction conjoining a phonetically empty clause with an overt infinitival clause: [[Ø] en [maar zeuren]]. The proposition expressed by the empty clause is determined by the common ground and contrasts with the propositional content of the second clause. This contrast is essential for obtaining the expressive meaning, but is potentially problematic in light of the regular interpretation of en. We solve this by claiming that the contrastive reading is expressed by the conjunction in tandem with the discourse particle maar, which can also be used as a contrastive/oppositional conjunction.
Keywords: expressivity, conjunction en ‘and’ , root infinitive, discourse particle
Published online: 12 April 2017
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