Grammaticale stilistiek en stilistische grammatica | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171



Linguistic analyses of the function(s) of grammatical constructions can both strengthen stylistic analyses by providing these with a firm basis, and derive support from them as well, to the extent that the grammatical analysis helps explain stylistic observations. Another potentially fruitful connection between grammatical and stylistic research lies in their complementary perspectives. Grammatical semantic analyses are usually semasiological: given a grammatical construction, the question is what its function is. Stylistic research provides an onomasiological perspective: given some content to be conveyed, the question is what difference it makes to express it in one way or another. These ideas are elaborated here for the domain of speech and thought representation (STR) in Dutch narrative texts. Stylistic differences between a number of translations of the same biblical story provide the starting point for a renewed investigation of the precise linguistic tools and mechanisms that are put to use in STR in Dutch, with a focus on the position and syntagmatic and paradigmatic properties of reporting clauses. A corpus study shows a number of sometimes subtle distributional and semantic differences, including different constraints on reported clauses. Preposed reporting clauses exhibit a preference for relatively neutral fillers of the predicate slot and occur only with direct speech; this pattern is therefore labelled . Parenthetical and postposed reporting clauses, on the other hand, show a higher incidence of subjectively evaluating predicates and combine more easily with various forms of less-than-direct representation of a character’s utterance or thought; this variant is labelled . The traditional narratological three-way distinction between Direct and Indirect Discourse and the ‘mixed’ form Free Indirect Discourse, is thus replaced by a set of combinations of linguistic features, which are finally shown to be involved in stylistic differences as well as similarities between two famous modern Dutch novels.


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