Typology meets usage:the case of the prohibitive infinitive in Dutch

Van Olmen, Daniel (2010) Typology meets usage:the case of the prohibitive infinitive in Dutch. Folia Linguistica, 44 (2). pp. 471-507. ISSN 1614-7308

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The article examines the striking correlation of the directive infinitive with negation in Dutch. This correlation is interpreted in the light of recent findings on the form of the prohibitive in the languages of the world and is explained in terms of the negative-first principle and politeness. The validity of the two explanations is further investigated from a cross-linguistic perspective. The preference for preverbal negation is shown to be even stronger in prohibitive than in declarative sentences. The difference in politeness between positive imperative and prohibitive speech acts is argued to be reflected in a wide range of languages. On the whole, the article illustrates the fruitful, two-way interaction between the study of language usage and typology.

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Journal Article
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Folia Linguistica
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Deposited On:
17 Sep 2013 08:04
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 00:09