Internal constraints on the use of gaan versus zullen as future markers in spoken Dutch | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171



This paper provides a quantitative variationist analysis of the future markers and in modern spoken Dutch in the light of current discussion on grammaticalisation. In order to determine to what extent has been grammaticalised, internal constraints on the distribution of and such as verb type, animacy of subject, grammatical person, clause type, sentence type and proximity of future reference are investigated, using Netherlandic and Belgian data from the Corpus of Spoken Dutch. The purpose of investigating constraints such as animacy of subject and proximity of future reference is to establish to what extent the behaviour of is still determined by its lexical history (i.e. as a verb denoting motion towards an immediate goal), and results demonstrate that these two constraints persist in modern Dutch. Moreover, research on grammaticalisation in other languages has shown that grammaticalised markers can become specialised to certain morphosyntactic environments such as particular grammatical persons or types of clause. Indeed, it will be shown here that the use of is favoured in subordinate clauses and non-first person utterances, which it has in common with English . By contrast, is shown to occur in pragmatically more nuanced contexts, indicated by the presence of modal particles.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Dutch; future; grammaticalisation; modal; variation
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