2004
Volume 73, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214

Abstract

Abstract

The global dominance of English has resulted in contact-induced change in many of the world’s languages. While lexical influence is perhaps the most widespread and the most visible form of change, there are indications that English may also be influencing languages on a structural level. In this article, we investigate a case of potential contact-induced structural change in the verb tense system of Dutch. Non-standard use of the simple past (instead of the standard present perfect) has been noticed for some time, and often linked to English influence. Based on an acceptability judgment questionnaire, we show that there is little evidence for language change in this feature in apparent time, but that judgments do depend on raters’ exposure to English, with higher exposure correlating with more positive judgments. This suggests that contact-induced change through diffusion may be a factor in the use of this construction.

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2021-09-01
2021-10-26
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