Zullen en willen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171

Abstract

Abstract

This paper offers a corpus-based investigation of the diachronic evolution of the Dutch modal verbs ‘shall/will’ and ‘want’. Although they show considerable differences in their developments, neither of these verbs participates in the marked tendency to regain grammatical autonomy characterizing the ‘central’ modals ‘can’, ‘may’, ‘must’ and ‘need’. While the latter verbs from New Dutch onwards occur increasingly often without an additional main verb in the clause, this evolution is largely absent in and . The paper attempts to offer an explanation on the basis of the developments in the semantic profile of the modal verbs.

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