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Burridge, Kathryn (1984) Some aspects of syntactic change in Germanic, with particular reference to Dutch. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028609

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Abstract

This study examines certain features of Dutch syntax between approximately 1300 and 1650. Of central importance are the overall developments in the word order patterning and the various changes they entail elsewhere in the grammar, such as in the negative construction. Possible explanations are discussed both in the light of available theories of change and of related research into Dutch and other Germanic languages. Chapter 1 provides the goals and background information to the study. Chapter 2 gives a brief review of the relevant literature on the subject of syntactic change, with emphasis on approaches to word order change and models of word order. An outline of the methodology is given in Chapter 3, Chapter 4 is concerned with the quantitative analysis of the data. Considerable attention is also paid to contextual considerations and the pragmatic aspect of word order. Part of this chapter is also devoted to the difficulty of assigning clause types at this time. Chapter 5 deals specifically with the question of exbraciation. Here a number of linguistic and non-linguistic factors are correlated against the various rates of exbraciation. Chapter 6 returns to the functional aspect of word order. A number of different features of Middle Dutch syntax are examined which all point to the importance of the notion Topic in the language at this time. Decreasing Topic-prominence is then linked with the stabilizing of fixed verb-second order. Chapter 7 provides a detailed analysis of the development of negation. Comparative data is examined from related Germanic languages and the whole is viewed within the wider context of an overall typological change which has occurred in these languages. Once again this is linked with the development of verb-second order. Chapter 8 presents a summary of the findings here. The aim is to see which, if any, of the various theories of change discussed in Chapter 2 are confirmed by the facts discovered here, since most of these theories rely initially on only a very limited data base for their support. The Appendix has two sections. The first provides a sketch grammar of Middle Dutch. This is by no means a complete treatment, but contains only what is essential for the understanding of the sentence examples cited here. The second section gives a list of all the texts (together with brief description) which make up the corpus of material used here.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028609
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28609

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