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Open Access Opposite forces in language

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Generative syntactic theory of the past 35 years has developed from Government and Binding theory with its large set of articulated building principles, parameters and constraints into Minimalism with its small set of general principles and its reduction of syntactic variation to the Lexicon and Phonological Form. Hans Bennis's syntactic work clearly mirrors this development. Also, since the nineties of the past century microcomparative syntactic research has become more prominent in generative syntax, e.g. in the work of researchers such as Richard Kayne and Cecilia Poletto, and Hans Bennis's work is riding this wave as well. Both in the GB and in the Minimalist stage the textbooks that he (co-)authored have strongly influenced theoretical syntax in the Netherlands. The unique contribution of Hans Bennis and his research group at the Meertens Institute in the past 15 years involves the SAND project and the large amount of work building on it. By collecting massive amounts of dialect syntactic data in a theoretically and geographically systematic, and methodologically sophisticated way and by making them available, searchable and visualizable online, the empirical basis of theoretical syntactic research was greatly enhanced. This new research infrastructure makes it possible to address old questions in new ways and to ask new questions, e.g. about the relation between geographic distribution of grammatical properties and the Mental Grammar. The result is an integration of theoretical syntax and traditional dialectology, for the first time in the history of linguistics.
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Keywords: dialectology; microcomparative syntax; research infrastructure; syntactic atlas

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: LUCL, University of Leiden., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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  • Het tijdschrift Nederlandse Taalkunde publiceert bijdragen aan de wetenschappelijke studie van de Nederlandse taal in de ruimste zin van het woord. Nederlandse Taalkunde streeft ernaar bijdragen te publiceren vanuit zoveel mogelijk verschillende vakgebieden van de Nederlandse taalkunde en vanuit zoveel mogelijk verschillende benaderingen binnen die vakgebieden. Alle soorten bijdragen (artikelen, squibs en boekbesprekingen) kunnen in het Engels of het Nederlands geschreven zijn. Artikelen van Nederlandse Taalkunde verschijnen in Open Access, na een periode van drie jaar.

    Nederlandse Taalkunde publishes scholarly articles in both Dutch and English about linguistics, concerning the Dutch language, and in the broadest sense. The journal aims to include contributions from all subdisciplines within linguistics. In addition to research articles Nederlandse Taalkunde also publishes overviews and discussions on contemporary subjects within the field. Articles in Nederlandse Taalkunde are published in Open Access, after a period of three years.
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