2004
Volume 61, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214

Abstract

Southern Brabant dialects of Dutch provide constructions such as: (a) ik heb iemand niet gezien <I have anybody not seen> () (b) Ik heb niemand niet gezien <I have nobody not seen> () The traditional view is that (a), with a positive quantifier expression developed from (b) with a negative one (cf. Van der Auwera & Neuckermans 2003). In this article the opposite development is proposed. Arguments are derived from earlier language stages in which the negation particle / played an important role, and from the present distribution of both construction types, which are currently found in the central (Brabant) language varieties . In western (Flemish) and eastern (Limburg) dialects (b) is found, but is apparently borrowed from central dialects; (a) is not found at all. The article ends with the suggestion that the same development path might account for Brabant constructions with universal quantifiers, as well. In fact (c) is common in Brabant, and much less so (if at all) in the other southern Dutch dialects: (c) Ik heb al die mensen niet gezien <I have all those people not seen> (I did not see all those people)

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2009-01-01
2021-10-20
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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