The Dutch language displays a variety of connectives, words that instruct
readers and listeners about the nature of the coherence relation between
two clauses. These words (e.g. want, maar, omdat, toen, and daarom) not
only differ in the exact relation they explicate, but also in their
syntactic charactistics. The first aim of this thesis is to unravel the
very subtle ways in which Dutch speakers and writers exploit the syntactic
possibilities of their connectives to support the exact meaning they want
to convey. To this end, the author adopts a developmental approach to the
investigation of form-function relations. This approach is related to the
second aim of this thesis, which is to present and explain empirical data
on both the historical developments of several Dutch connectives, and the
first language acquisition of these words.
The Development of Dutch Connectives is of interest to scholars who work in
the field of language change, and language acquisition, as well as to
linguists studying syntax or text-linguistics.