Linguistics in the Netherlands 2005

Linguistics in the Netherlands 2005. Ed. by Jenny Doetjes and Jeroen van de Weijer. (AVT publications 56.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. viii, 242. ISBN 9027231656. $143.

Reviewed by Taras Shmiher, Ivan Franko National University

This volume contains a selection of papers presented at the thirty-sixth annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of the Netherlands, which took place in Utrecht on January 29, 2005. Its aim is to present an overview of research in different fields of linguistics in the Netherlands.

The Dutch language is researched from the perspectives of grammar, second language acquisition, and dialectology. Renée van Bezooijen and Charlotte Gooskens (13–24) study Dutch speakers’ abilities to understand Frisian and Afrikaans, and determine that they have fewer problems understanding Afrikaans than Frisian. Yuki Niioka, Johanneke Caspers, and Vincent J. van Heuven (139–50) prove how inverted sentences with or without question intonation influence the perception of interrogativity in Japanese speakers of Dutch as a second language. In their paper on Dutch and Sign Language of the Netherlands, Liesbeth de Clerck and Els van der Kooij (61–72) discuss the properties of the adverbial exclusive zelf and deduce that it is a twofold category composed of modifiable and real intensifier subclasses.

In the study of subject-object ambiguities in spoken and written Dutch (99–109), Frank Jansen states that the avoidance of ambiguous structures frustrates the operation of the left-right principle in writing. In the same vein, E. G. Ruys (151–63) explores analytical tools for determining prepositional complements in the Dutch middlefield.

Developing methods of dialectal analysis, Marco René Spruit (179–90) applies a quantitative measure of syntactic distance for classifying Dutch dialects. Norbert Corver and Marc van Oostendorp (73–86) examine the interplay between syntax and phonology in the formation of substantively used possessive pronouns in the Groningen and Low Saxon dialects.

In the English-language domain, Hans Broekhuis (49–60) suggests a novel view on English locative inversion and investigates some consequences for English and Dutch grammars. Jutta M. Hartmann (87–98) argues for taking wh-movement in the there-BE construction as syntactically unconstrained. From the theoretical perspective, Mark de Vries (219–30) briefly explores the properties and boundary conditions of the syntactic operation Merge.

Historical linguistics is represented by Mircea Branza and Vincent J. van Heuven (25–36), who temporally locate in the sixteenth century the critical stage in the differentiation between American Spanish subjuntivo imperfecto forms in -se and -ra. Anne Breitbarth’s paper (37–47) deals with the auxiliary ellipses that developed as a formal marker of subordination in Early Modern German (1350–1650).

Irene Krämer (111–23) explains how children at the relevant ages distinguish between two classes—‘strong’ and ‘weak’—of determiner quantifiers. Though conducted in the realm of pragmatics, this research may extend to involve cognitive development, that is, theory of mind or perspective shifting.

Louise Baird (1–12) investigates the eastern Indonesian Klon-language ‘agentive’ system of pronominal marking and identifies two types of ‘splits’. Peter de Swart (191–202) focuses on the ungrammaticality of some active constructions (‘paradigm gaps’) and the resulting obligatory voice alternation in the Coast Salish languages (the Northwest coast of North America). Craig Thiersch (203–18) summarizes Malagasy syntax and the remnant-movement approach and gives three sample problems that this analysis can explain. Jan-Wouter Zwart (231–42) surveys the phenomenon of noun phrase coordination in head-final languages that overwhelmingly employ initial conjunctions.

Jie Liang and Vincent J. van Heuven’s article (125–37) about the phonetic and phonological processing of pitch levels disproves the claim that it is only time pressure that affects the identification pattern of Chinese aphasic speakers. Raquel S. Santos and Ester M. Scarpa (165–78) discuss the acquisition of articles and the phonological bootstrapping of the same into Brazilian Portuguese.