Van boekenbonnen en feëverhale - De tussenklank e(n) in Nederlandse en Afrikaanse samenstellingen: vorm of betekenis? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171


Compounds in Dutch and Afrikaans may contain a linking sound resembling the plural suffix [ə] or [ən]. This linking sound can be spelled in Dutch as e or en, a difference which previous research has shown to affect the interpretation of left hand members of compounds regarding their plurality. Here, we look at the existence of the reverse effect: do semantic clues about number influence preferences for a linking sound in novel compounds? Indeed, contexts in which the left hand member of a compound-to-be is present in its plural form increase the tendency to prefer a linking element (using a seven-point rating scale). In contexts which merely suggest a plural interpretation for the left hand member, this propensity is markedly less for speakers of Dutch, and absent for speakers of Afrikaans. Of interest is the asymmetry with previous research that shows how subtle form differences influence number interpretation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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