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Grammaticale stilistiek en stilistische grammatica

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Grammatical stylistics and stylistic grammar

Linguistic analyses of the function(s) of grammatical constructions can both strengthen stylistic analyses by providing these with a firm basis, and derive support from them as well, to the extent that the grammatical analysis helps explain stylistic observations. Another potentially fruitful connection between grammatical and stylistic research lies in their complementary perspectives. Grammatical semantic analyses are usually semasiological: given a grammatical construction, the question is what its function is. Stylistic research provides an onomasiological perspective: given some content to be conveyed, the question is what difference it makes to express it in one way or another. These ideas are elaborated here for the domain of speech and thought representation (STR) in Dutch narrative texts. Stylistic differences between a number of translations of the same biblical story provide the starting point for a renewed investigation of the precise linguistic tools and mechanisms that are put to use in STR in Dutch, with a focus on the position and syntagmatic and paradigmatic properties of reporting clauses. A corpus study shows a number of sometimes subtle distributional and semantic differences, including different constraints on reported clauses. Preposed reporting clauses exhibit a preference for relatively neutral fillers of the predicate slot and occur only with direct speech; this pattern is therefore labelled Citation construction. Parenthetical and postposed reporting clauses, on the other hand, show a higher incidence of subjectively evaluating predicates and combine more easily with various forms of less-than-direct representation of a character’s utterance or thought; this variant is labelled Inquit-construction. The traditional narratological three-way distinction between Direct and Indirect Discourse and the ‘mixed’ form Free Indirect Discourse, is thus replaced by a set of combinations of linguistic features, which are finally shown to be involved in stylistic differences as well as similarities between two famous modern Dutch novels.
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Keywords: direct discourse; free indirect discourse; reporting clauses; speech and thought representation; stylistics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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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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