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Understanding PP placement in written Dutch: a corpus-based multifactorial investigation of the principal syntactic, semantic and discursive determinants

Annelore Willems (UGent) and Gert De Sutter (UGent)
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EQTIS
Abstract
The present paper aims at refining current knowledge about the driving forces in Dutch constituent ordering of non-predicate prepositional phrases (PPs) as well as re-evaluating the common assumption in traditional Dutch reference grammars that the middle field position is the standard slot. Building on journalistic data in the Dutch Parallel Corpus, it is first shown that non-predicate PPs are significantly more often placed in postfield position (the structural position after the final verb cluster) than in middle field position (the position before the final verb cluster), which indicates that the postfield position rather than the middle field position should be considered the standard slot for PPs in written Dutch. Second, a binary logistic regression model was fitted with PP placement as a function of several syntactic, semantic and discursive predictor variables. This model is able to describe, explain and predict more than 80% of the variation in the data set, leading to a much better understanding of the mechanisms underlying PP placement in written journalistic Dutch. On the basis of our findings, we furthermore propose a refined and more fine-grained version of the theoretical framework in which PP placement in Dutch is traditionally described and understood.

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Chicago
Willems, Annelore, and Gert De Sutter. 2016. “Understanding PP Placement in Written Dutch: a Corpus-based Multifactorial Investigation of the Principal Syntactic, Semantic and Discursive Determinants.” In Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Proceedings, ed. Johannes Wahle, Marisa Köllner, Harald Baayen, Gerhard Jäger, and Tineke Baayen-Oudshoorn. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen.
APA
Willems, Annelore, & De Sutter, G. (2016). Understanding PP placement in written Dutch: a corpus-based multifactorial investigation of the principal syntactic, semantic and discursive determinants. In J. Wahle, M. Köllner, H. Baayen, G. Jäger, & T. Baayen-Oudshoorn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Proceedings. Presented at the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Tübingen: Universität Tübingen.
Vancouver
1.
Willems A, De Sutter G. Understanding PP placement in written Dutch: a corpus-based multifactorial investigation of the principal syntactic, semantic and discursive determinants. In: Wahle J, Köllner M, Baayen H, Jäger G, Baayen-Oudshoorn T, editors. Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Proceedings. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen; 2016.
MLA
Willems, Annelore, and Gert De Sutter. “Understanding PP Placement in Written Dutch: a Corpus-based Multifactorial Investigation of the Principal Syntactic, Semantic and Discursive Determinants.” Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Proceedings. Ed. Johannes Wahle et al. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen, 2016. Print.
@inproceedings{7039502,
  abstract     = {The present paper aims at refining current knowledge about the driving forces in Dutch constituent ordering of non-predicate prepositional phrases (PPs) as well as re-evaluating the common assumption in traditional Dutch reference grammars that the middle field position is the standard slot. Building on journalistic data in the Dutch Parallel Corpus, it is first shown that non-predicate PPs are significantly more often placed in postfield position (the structural position after the final verb cluster) than in middle field position (the position before the final verb cluster), which indicates that the postfield position rather than the middle field position should be considered the standard slot for PPs in written Dutch. Second, a binary logistic regression model was fitted with PP placement as a function of several syntactic, semantic and discursive predictor variables. This model is able to describe, explain and predict more than 80\% of the variation in the data set, leading to a much better understanding of the mechanisms underlying PP placement in written journalistic Dutch. On the basis of our findings, we furthermore propose a refined and more fine-grained version of the theoretical framework in which PP placement in Dutch is traditionally described and understood.},
  author       = {Willems, Annelore and De Sutter, Gert},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics, Proceedings},
  editor       = {Wahle, Johannes  and K{\"o}llner, Marisa  and Baayen, Harald  and J{\"a}ger, Gerhard  and Baayen-Oudshoorn, Tineke },
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {T{\"u}bingen},
  pages        = {5},
  publisher    = {Universit{\"a}t T{\"u}bingen},
  title        = {Understanding PP placement in written Dutch: a corpus-based multifactorial investigation of the principal syntactic, semantic and discursive determinants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-8637},
  year         = {2016},
}

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