Contact-related constructional change in Dutch argument structure constructions

Contactgerelateerde constructionele veranderingen in Nederlandse argumentstructuurconstructies
Begin - Einde 
2015 - 2019 (lopend)
Vakgroep Taalkunde



The project focuses on contact-related grammatical pattern changes in Belgian and NetherlandicDutch during two different stages in their recent history: (i) 19th century Belgian Dutch, which washeavily exposed to French, and (ii) Belgian and Netherlandic Dutch post World War II (1945 - now),a period in which English increasingly influences everyday life in the Low Countries (andelsewhere). The amount of resp. French and English loanwords in Dutch lexicon undoubtedlyconstitutes the most visible trace of these periods of language contact, but it appears thatgrammatical patterns may be affected, too. To give an example, the Dutch counterpart of the wellstudied-English way-construction (e.g. Pat pushed her way out of the room) formally differs from it in that it involves an additional reflexive pronoun and features an indefinite instead of possessiveway-determiner, e.g. Ze baande zich een weg door de mensenzee ‘She made her way through thecrowd’. A preliminary web query reveals, however, that instances of the “English-style” patternalso occur to a certain extent in present-day Dutch, e.g. Modderstroompjes banen hun weg overde lege staanplaatsen van de camping ‘Small floods of mud make their way across the unoccupiedcamping pitches’. The aim of the project is to shed more light on the means by which argumentstructure constructions may undergo this type of contact-related change with respect to theirform, function and frequency.