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Lice in the fur of our language? German irrelevance particles between Dutch and English

Tom Bossuyt (UGent)
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Abstract
The present paper compares the distribution of English ‑ever, German immer and/or auch, and Dutch (dan) ook in universal concessive-conditional and nonspecific free relative subordinate clauses (e.g. G. Was auch immer du willst ‘Whatever you want’) and in their elliptically reduced versions (e.g. D. … of wat dan ook ‘… or whatever’). By combining large language-specific corpora such as the DeReKo, SoNaR, and BYU corpora with the smaller multilingual Conver‑ GENTiecorpus, 38,748 instances were obtained while maintaining comparability. Whereas present-day English has only one option in both clausal and elliptical constructions, viz. WH-ever, Dutch and German show more variation: in Dutch, discontinuous W … ook is by far the most frequent option in subordinate clauses, while the complex particle dan ook is largely confined to elliptical constructions. In German subordinate clauses, immer in adjacency to the W-word is the most frequent option, thus corresponding to English WH-ever, but in elliptical constructions auch immer is predominates, thus corresponding to Dutch dan ook.
Keywords
concessive conditionals, irrelevance particles, corpus linguistics, German, Dutch, English, contrastive linguistics

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MLA
Bossuyt, Tom. “Lice in the Fur of Our Language? German Irrelevance Particles between Dutch and English.” German and Dutch in Contrast : Synchronic, Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives, edited by Gunther De Vogelaer et al., vol. 11, De Gruyter, 2020, pp. 77–108, doi:10.1515/9783110668476-004.
APA
Bossuyt, T. (2020). Lice in the fur of our language? German irrelevance particles between Dutch and English. In G. De Vogelaer, D. Koster, & T. Leuschner (Eds.), German and Dutch in contrast : synchronic, diachronic and psycholinguistic perspectives (Vol. 11, pp. 77–108). Berlin: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110668476-004
Chicago author-date
Bossuyt, Tom. 2020. “Lice in the Fur of Our Language? German Irrelevance Particles between Dutch and English.” In German and Dutch in Contrast : Synchronic, Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives, edited by Gunther De Vogelaer, Dietha Koster, and Torsten Leuschner, 11:77–108. Berlin: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110668476-004.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bossuyt, Tom. 2020. “Lice in the Fur of Our Language? German Irrelevance Particles between Dutch and English.” In German and Dutch in Contrast : Synchronic, Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives, ed by. Gunther De Vogelaer, Dietha Koster, and Torsten Leuschner, 11:77–108. Berlin: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110668476-004.
Vancouver
1.
Bossuyt T. Lice in the fur of our language? German irrelevance particles between Dutch and English. In: De Vogelaer G, Koster D, Leuschner T, editors. German and Dutch in contrast : synchronic, diachronic and psycholinguistic perspectives. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2020. p. 77–108.
IEEE
[1]
T. Bossuyt, “Lice in the fur of our language? German irrelevance particles between Dutch and English,” in German and Dutch in contrast : synchronic, diachronic and psycholinguistic perspectives, vol. 11, G. De Vogelaer, D. Koster, and T. Leuschner, Eds. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020, pp. 77–108.
@incollection{8654364,
  abstract     = {The present paper compares the distribution of English ‑ever, German immer and/or auch, and Dutch (dan) ook in universal concessive-conditional and nonspecific free relative subordinate clauses (e.g. G. Was auch immer du willst ‘Whatever you want’) and in their elliptically reduced versions (e.g. D. … of wat dan ook ‘… or whatever’). By combining large language-specific corpora such as the DeReKo, SoNaR, and BYU corpora with the smaller multilingual Conver‑ GENTiecorpus, 38,748 instances were obtained while maintaining comparability. Whereas present-day English has only one option in both clausal and elliptical constructions, viz. WH-ever, Dutch and German show more variation: in Dutch, discontinuous W … ook is by far the most frequent option in subordinate clauses, while the complex particle dan ook is largely confined to elliptical constructions. In German subordinate clauses, immer in adjacency to the W-word is the most frequent option, thus corresponding to English WH-ever, but in elliptical constructions auch immer is predominates, thus corresponding to Dutch dan ook.},
  author       = {Bossuyt, Tom},
  booktitle    = {German and Dutch in contrast : synchronic, diachronic and psycholinguistic perspectives},
  editor       = {De Vogelaer, Gunther and Koster, Dietha and Leuschner, Torsten},
  isbn         = {9783110668476},
  keywords     = {concessive conditionals,irrelevance particles,corpus linguistics,German,Dutch,English,contrastive linguistics},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {77--108},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  series       = {Konvergenz und Divergenz},
  title        = {Lice in the fur of our language? German irrelevance particles between Dutch and English},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/9783110668476-004},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2020},
}

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