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Variation in expletive constructions in Dutch
This thesis is concerned with syntactic properties of the Dutch expletive pronoun
er, presenting an in-depth study into expletive clauses in Dutch.
For these constructions, it has not been established what the expletive pronoun
contributes to the clause. This dissertation argues that the expletive pronoun er
(and its variants) is not devoid of meaning, but that it contains a locative feature.
Written within the Chomskyan framework of generative syntax, it analyzes expletive
pronouns in Dutch as structures with an articulated internal syntax, which project
a locative feature. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the verbal head in Dutch can
be valued by a locative feature, in addition to a Tense feature and Phi-features.
This analysis is based on two case studies consisting of newly collected data from
hundreds of speakers of Dutch. The first investigates the structure of impersonal
passive constructions, and the second focuses on variation in wh-extraction
This book is of interest to linguists working on the Dutch pronoun er, expletive
clauses, the internal structure of pronouns, impersonal passive constructions, and