A contrastive study of evidential verbs of appearance in English and Dutch: Probing the syntax-semantics interface by means of a corpus-based investigation of SEEM/APPEAR/TURN OUT and LIJKEN/SCHIJNEN/BLIJKEN constructions

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2010 - 2013 (afgewerkt)



This project consists in a contrastive study of the English and Dutch verbs of appearance seem/appear/turn out and lijken/schijnen/blijken, which may serve an evidential function in that they indicate the type of evidence on which a proposition is based. Adopting a Construction Grammar approach, the project wants to explore the syntax-semantics interface, probing how much of a given construction’s meaning is due to structural features and how much can be ascribed to the semantics of the verbs concerned. The constructions’ functions will be characterized in terms of epistemic modality, evidentiality and (inter)subjectivity. The project will also approach the constructions from the point of view of grammaticalization theory; the verbs’ position on the cline from lexical verb to modal auxiliary will be investigated so as to determine which verbs and which constructions are most grammaticalized and to which functional layer in the clause they belong. These issues will be addressed by means of a corpus study of original English and Dutch texts as well as translations. The findings resulting from the corpus study will be fine-tuned through informant testing.


Postdoctorale medewerker(s)