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Jack Hoeksema University of Groningen Groningen, Tabudag 2010 An ongoing change in Dutch measure noun constructions: van  aan.

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Presentation on theme: "Jack Hoeksema University of Groningen Groningen, Tabudag 2010 An ongoing change in Dutch measure noun constructions: van  aan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jack Hoeksema University of Groningen Groningen, Tabudag 2010 An ongoing change in Dutch measure noun constructions: van  aan

2 Groningen, Tabudag 2010 Dutch measure noun constructions 1. N N: kop thee ‘cup of tea’ 2. N van N: golf van aanslagen ‘wave of attacks’ 3. N aan N: gebrek aan geld ‘lack of money’

3 Groningen, Tabudag 2010 Not to be discussed here • definite partitive constructions: N van de N een deel van de mannen ‘a part of the men’ • constructions with met : klauwen met geld ‘claws with money = oodles of money’ • constructions with vol: een auto vol studenten ‘a car full students = a carload of students’ • compounds: een bananentros ‘a banana bunch = a bunch of bananas’

4 The corpus Groningen, Tabudag 2010  sentences, from  Classified for measure noun, secondary noun, linking element (aan, van, met, vol)  Majority of data (10.000) from the period  Examples taken from books, newspapers, and the Internet (especially dbnl.org)

5 Measure nouns with aan Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Oldest occurrences (18th, 19th century): Amounts of money: 500 gulden aan boeken ‘500 guilders (worth) of books’ Een kapitaal aan boeken ‘a capital of books’ Een fors bedrag aan boetes ‘a large amount of fines’

6 Second environment Groningen, Tabudag 2010 Negative amounts (as of 1700) Gebrek aan ‘lack of’ Gemis aan‘shortage of’ Verlies aan‘loss of’ Originally: gebrek van ‘lack of’

7 Gebrek van / gebrek aan Groningen, Tabudag 2010

8 Too much Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Overdaad  Overmaat  Overschot  Overvloed After 1900: AP  N conversion  Teveel  Tekort

9 Overdaad, overmaat, overschot, overvloed Groningen, Tabudag 2010

10 Noun types for AAN Groningen, Tabudag 2010

11 Making waves Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Een golf van aanslagen ‘a wave of attacks’ Golf Stortvloed Tsunami Vloed Vloedgolf Zondvloed

12 Waves: golf, stortvloed, vloedgolf etc. Groningen, Tabudag 2010

13 Waslijst ‘laundry list’ Groningen, Tabudag 2010

14 Stroom ‘stream’ Groningen, Tabudag 2010

15 Scala ‘variety’ Groningen, Tabudag 2010

16 No change as yet Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Emmer ‘bucket’een emmer water  Stapel ‘pile’  Groep ‘group’  Stel ‘couple’ These are measure nouns that only appear in the N N construction, never in the N van N construction. Aan is therefore replacing the construction with van, not the other ones

17 Other cases without change Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Tal van (special case)  Some idioms: tot overmaat van ramp ‘to excess of disaster = making matters worse’

18 Status of VAN/AAN Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Both prepositions are grammatical markers without inherent content  VAN is used in nominalisations to mark objects, and subjects of intransitives, in measure noun constructions, to indicate possession, to mark objects of relational nouns, and the ‘made of’ relation: een hart van steen ‘a heart of stone’, een vliegtuig van papier ‘a paper plane’, and in a special pseudo- partitive construction  AAN is used to mark indirect objects, in measure noun constructions, as a marker of atelicity, and in a special pseudopartitive construction

19 Pseudo-partitive (Hoeksema 2003) Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Ik begrijp er niets van ‘I understand there nothing of = I don’t understand it one bit’  Daar deugt niets van ‘there is nothing of in order = the whole thing stinks’  Daar deugt niets aan ‘there is nothing to in order = the whole thing stinks’ Construction is polarity-sensitive, and verb specific: only some gradable verbs (transitive or intransitive) appear in this construction

20 Advantage of AAN Groningen, Tabudag 2010  A large class of measure nouns is that of SHAPES:  A mountain of debts  A pile of rubbish  A sea of blood  A wave of fear VAN marks the made-of relation: Een berg van schedels = a mountain of skulls (a mountain made of skulls)

21 Advantage of AAN continued Groningen, Tabudag 2010  Een berg van schulden: a mountain of debts  Metaphorical, not literally a mountain  Important is here the ‘amount’ aspect, not so much the shape  AAN, lacking the ‘made-of’ use, univocally marks the construction as amount  Berg van schedels: literal mountain, or heap  Berg aan schulden: large amount of debt


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