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Open Access Waar is je velo? Buiten staan

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Waar is je velo? Buiten staan. On fragment answers with infinitives in Maldegem dialect

This paper describes the properties of a construction in a specific Flemish dialect, in which infinitives are used in fragment answers in contexts where this would be unacceptable in Standard Dutch or other varieties. Questions such as Waar is mijn bril? ‘Where are my glasses?’ and Waar is je velo? ‘Where is your bicycle?’ can be answered in this dialect with infinitival constructions such as Op tafel liggen ‘layINF on the table’ and buiten staan ‘standINF outside’. We apply an analysis of fragment answers in terms of ellipsis (based on Merchant 2004) to these infinitival constructions. However, we find fragment answers with infinitives in contexts where the assumption of ellipsis is highly problematic, since there is no plausible underlying structure available in the dialect. We show that the construction has extended its use to contexts in which the infinitive independently expresses the tense features of the sentence. The description of the properties and restrictions of the construction is based on a survey in which more than thirty speakers were tested for their judgements of fragment answers depending on the features in the grammatical context of the infinitive.
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Keywords: ellipsis; fragment answers; infinitival tense; microvariation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Albert Oosterhof, KU Leuven, Email: [email protected] 2: Kathy Rys, Universiteit Antwerpen, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 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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