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Title: The use of the particle dan in Dutch conditional sentences
Author(s): RENMANS, Bram , VAN BELLE, William
Journal: Leuvense Bijdragen - Leuven Contributions in Linguistics and Philology
Volume: 92    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2003   
Pages: 141-158
DOI: 10.2143/LB.92.1.542037

Abstract :
Depending on matrix word order, Dutch als-conditionals with sentenceinitial protases (als p, q) can be subdivided into three distinct main clause types. These three types correspond to three different degrees of syntactic integration, which are referred to as integration, resumption, and nonintegration respectively (KÖNIG & VAN DER AUWERA 1988). As to semantico-pragmatic integration, two major categories are distinguished: content conjunction, as opposed to non-content conjunction. In the case of content conjunction the protasis and apodosis make up a single complex proposition, assertable in its entirety. In the case of non-content conjunction, however, the apodosis represents an independently assertable proposition. Within the grammaticalization framework, a hypothesis of diagrammatic iconicity has been formulated which states that the degree of syntactic integration of two clauses tends to be directly proportionate to their semantico-pragmatic integration. With respect to the use of dan, this entails that resumption will probably prevail in less integrated constructions lacking a strictly content relation between protasis and apodosis. This hypothesis is corroborated by our findings: most occurrences of danare indeed found in conditional sentences with less integration. In addition, certain phenomena of protasis word order appear to favour resumptive patterns as well.

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