Research Project

NWO-project: Numerosity in Dutch and related languages
CLS: Grammar and Cogntion
Supervisors: Prof. Anneke Neijt and Prof. Rob Schreuder
Start: June 15, 2008

My project concerns the linking element -e(n) in Dutch compounds like boekenkast and mierenhoop. There is much variation in the presence of -e(n). Earlier research shows that the presence or absence of this linking element influences the meaning of a compound. For example, many interpret celstructuur to refer to the internal organization of a cell, and cellenstructuur as pertaining to structures built out of cells. Thus, the presence of –e(n) can affect someone's interpretation of numerosity.
The core question of my research concerns the relation between plural forms and numerosity in Dutch and its dialects. I will investigate how speakers of standard Dutch and speakers of some Dutch dialects pronounce -e(n) and what meaning they attribute to -e(n). Therefore I will carry out a production experiment and several perception studies.
Because of my interest in linguistics and dialects, this area really appeals to me. Besides I think it is a real challenge to explore the variation of –e(n) in compounds of Dutch dialects, which has never been investigated before.
In this project I work together with Arina Banga, who will explore the form variation of -e(n) in related languages of Dutch (cross-linguistic study).