Layout for Dutch literary magazines

Verb constructions in the recent history of Dutch. A constructional network perspective

Research project
Active research
Project size
4,5 MSEK
Project period
2024 - 2026
Project owner
Department of Languages and Literatures

Research partners
Gerlof Bouma

Short description

In order to more fully understand how new grammar emerges, we need to go beyond studying the creation of individual grammatical constructions, and address how new constructions get connected to each other and together build larger grammatical networks. In this project, we more specifically aim to uncover how verb constructions build a network in the recent history of Dutch.

Our hypothesis is that verb constructions are converging in their grammatical behavior, which makes them more similar to each other, and connects them in an emerging grammatical network. In order to test our hypothesis, we aim to:

Aim 1: Trace back the grammatical behavior of verb constructions in the recent history of Dutch

Aim 2: Build a network model showing how verb constructions get connected to each other through similarity

We tackle these specific aims by building on recent research of ours. To achieve the first aim, we conduct a large-scale corpus study, in which we automatically extract and annotate all verb constructions and their grammatical properties from a large corpus of historical magazines published in the last two hundred years. To reach the second aim, we go beyond the traditional framework of grammaticalization theory, and elaborate on the concept of constructional network in diachronic construction grammar.

We publish our overall findings as a book, showing how a central part of grammar is organized and reorganized in the recent history of Dutch.