John’s car repaired: Variation in the position of Past Participles in the Verbal Cluster in Dutch.

Sjef Barbiers, H.J. Bennis, L.D.H. Dros-Hendriks

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Although sentence final verbal clusters in dialects of Dutch demonstrate a large amount of variation in the order of verbs, we argue that this is only apparently so. We take each dialect to allow just one order of verbs in three-verb clusters with a past participle. In the north of the Dutch language area, the order is descending (V3-V2-V1) and the rest of the dialects show an ascending order (V1-V2-V3). The large amount of apparent counterexamples will be explained by independently motivated, interfering properties. First, participles might be V-type or A-type. Only V-type participles occur in V-positions in the verbal cluster. Secondly, non-verbal elements (such as A-type participles) may interrupt a verbal cluster. We will show that the distribution of the different orders in dialects of Dutch strongly supports such a restrictive approach. We thus take this to be an argument that a structural approach to dialectology is required to gain insight in the properties of the formation of verbal clusters in Dutch.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom semantics to dialectometry
Subtitle of host publication Festschrift in honor of John Nerbonne
EditorsMartijn Weiling, Martin Kroon , Gertjan van Noord , Gosse Bouma
PublisherCollege Publications
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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