Title
Zelfstandig gebruikte modalen : een functioneel perspectief Zelfstandig gebruikte modalen : een functioneel perspectief
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Publication type
article
Publication
Groningen ,
Subject
Linguistics
Source (journal)
Nederlandse taalkunde. - Groningen, 1996, currens
Volume/pages
19(2014) , p. 351-373
ISSN
1384-5845
2352-1171
vabb
c:vabb:381229
Carrier
E
Target language
Dutch (dut)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Autonomously used modals: A functional perspective This paper offers a cognitive-functional account of the autonomous use i.e., the use without a main verb elsewhere in the clause of the Dutch modals kunnen (can), mogen (may) and moeten (must), as a deviance from their default auxiliary use. The study is corpus-based and takes a predominantly diachronic perspective on the subject matter. It reveals that the autonomous use is strongly increasing in frequency since Early New Dutch, and that it has distinct grammatical properties (a strong tendency towards intransitive uses with a deictic pronoun referring to a state of affairs as the subject) and semantic properties (featuring the full range of (inter)subjective meanings of the auxiliary uses, but with a strong tendency towards deontic modal and directive uses). These properties are clearly different from those of the original main verbal uses from which these modals have emerged in Old and Early Middle Dutch. The paper offers an explanation for the emergence and increasing importance of this new autonomous use in terms of the principle of iconicity.
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