A quantitative-theoretical analysis of syntactic microvariation: Word order in Dutch verb clusters

Jeroen van Craenenbroeck, Marjo van Koppen, Antal van den Bosch

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This paper is a case study in how quantitative-statistical and formal-theoretical
(generative) approaches to language variation can be combined. We provide a
quantitative analysis of word order variation in verb clusters in 185 dialects of Dutch and map the results of that analysis against linguistic parameters extracted from the theoretical literature on verb clusters. Based on this novel methodology, we argue that verb cluster ordering in Dutch dialects can be reduced to three grammatical parameters (largely similar to the ones described in Barbiers et al. 2018), and we identify the dialect groups that correspond to the various settings of those parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-370
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • verb clusters
  • Dutch dialects
  • linguistic variation
  • generative grammar
  • correspondence analysis
  • k-nearest neighbors classification

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