The Development of Dutch Connectives
Change and acquisition as windows
on form-function relations
The Dutch language displays a variety of connectives, words that instruct readers and listeners about the nature of the coherence relation between two clauses. These words (e.g. want, maar, omdat, toen, and daarom) not only differ in the exact relation they explicate, but also in their syntactic characteristics. The first aim of this thesis is to unravel the very subtle ways in which Dutch speakers and writers exploit the syntactic possibilities of their connectives to support the exact meaning they want to convey. To this end, the author adopts a developmental approach to the investigation of form-function relations. This approach is related to the second aim of this thesis, which is to present and explain empirical data on both the historical developments of several Dutch connectives, and the first language acquisition of these words.
The Development of Dutch Connectives is of interest to scholars who work in the field of language change, and language acquisition, as well as to linguists studying syntax or text-linguistics.