Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Inflectional Economy and Politeness
Subtitle: Morphology-internal and morphology-external factors in the loss of second person marking in Dutch
Written By: Pierpaolo Di Carlo
Series Title: LOT dissertation series

The second person singular pronoun in Middle Dutch was du. The pronoun du
combined with finite verbs ending in the suffix –s. Both the pronoun du and
the suffix –s are lost in Modern Dutch. The loss of the pronoun and the
suffix is related: there is no variant of Dutch that has a suffix –s that
does not also have the pronoun du or vice versa. The question is how we
should understand this combined loss of the pronoun and the suffix.

The central claim in this book is that the decrease in the use of the
pronoun du (combining with the suffix –s) is driven by politeness. The
plural and polite pronoun gi (combining with the suffix –t) came to be used
in an increasing number of contexts. Although we can understand the
decrease of the pronoun du and the suffix –s as the result of politeness,
the loss of both the pronoun and the suffix is driven by inflectional
economy. The suffix that the pronoun gi combined with was more economical
than the suffix that du combined with. This claim is supported by data on
synchronic and diachronic variation in Dutch.

This study is of interest to scholars working in the field of historical
linguistics, corpus linguistics, pragmatics and inflectional morphology.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Dutch
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328858