Adjectival intensification in West German : A corpus-based comparison of Afrikaans, Dutch, English and German

Van Olmen, Daniel (2024) Adjectival intensification in West German : A corpus-based comparison of Afrikaans, Dutch, English and German. Studies in Language, 48 (2). pp. 436-471. ISSN 0378-4177

[thumbnail of Adjectival intensification in West Germanic_revised]
Text (Adjectival intensification in West Germanic_revised)
Adjectival_intensification_in_West_Germanic_revised.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (514kB)

Abstract

This article investigates the forms and functions of adjectival intensification in West Germanic. With corpus data from different discourse types, we challenge claims that German tends to use synthetic means and Dutch is between German and English but more like English in its preference for analytic ones. Our results show that all three languages, and Afrikaans too, favor analytic intensifiers but also that only English employs synthetic ones to a lesser extent. The other languages are found to use synthetic forms more especially in literature. The study also offers corpus-based support for an earlier hypothesis that both English and German prefer amplifying to downtoning adjectives. We show that this tendency exists more pronouncedly in Afrikaans and Dutch too and that English speech stands out with more functionally ambiguous intensifiers. The article also explores possible explanations for its findings in (dis)similarities in word formation, discourse types’ linguistic potential and politeness

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Studies in Language
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
Subjects:
?? no - not fundedcommunicationlinguistics and languagelanguage and linguistics ??
ID Code:
204273
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Sep 2023 08:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 00:11