Volume 3 (2008)

Eds: Aelbrecht Lobke, Jaspers Dany, Brisard Frank, De Brabanter Philippe, Dendale Patrick, Le Bruyn Bert

From properties to manners: a historical line of thought about manner adverbs

Christopher Piñón
Manner adverbs, although familiar, are puzzling, especially semantically. I trace a historical line of thought about how to treat them formally, beginning with Reichenbach in 1947 and continuing with Davidson, Bartsch, Dik, and McConnell-Ginet. While this is not the only line of thought about manner adverbs, it is arguably the most influential from the vantage point of 2008. Manner adverbs, like adverbs more generally, but perhaps more so than other categories, bring together issues of language and ontology. I conclude with a few remarks about Fodor’s skeptical attitude towards manners.

Intrinsic Vowel Pitch in an Interlanguage Perspective

Jo Verhoeven & Sarah Van Hoof
This paper examines intrinsic vowel pitch (IF0) in Moroccan Standard Arabic and the Antwerp regiolect of Dutch in order to investigate the hypothesis that IF0 may depend on the size of the vowel inventory of these languages. The results of a production task with 11 Moroccan native speakers of Standard Arabic and 10 native speakers of the Antwerp regiolect of Dutch reveal that IF0 in Arabic is significantly smaller (1.28 ST) than in Dutch (2.78 ST). These results are suggestive of a possible influence on IF0 of the size of the vowel inventory in languages. The effect of speaker sex on IF0 was not significant, while the front-back distinction in the articulation of vowels was significant in Dutch.

Les emplois de toujours pas en français du Québec

Hugo Laporte
Le marqueur tu en français du Québec a déjà été analysé par plusieurs linguistes (Noonan (1989), Picard (1991), Roberts (1993), Vecchiato (2000), Vinet (2000, 2004)). La contribution présente propose une analyse unifiée du marqueur tu et de certaines occurrences de toujours pas en français du Québec. Cette approche sera soutenue par une distribution, des restrictions d’usage et des interprétations soit semblables ou identiques des deux expressions à l’étude.

Babel in Vlaanderen? Een experimenteel onderzoek naar onderlinge verstaanbaarheid tussen Vlamingen

Leen Impe & Dirk Geeraerts
In this study, we aim to arrive at a global picture of the mutual intelligibility of various Dutch language varieties. Therefore, five target varieties – the standard language as well as four more peripheral, regiolectal varieties – were evaluated via a computer-controlled lexical decision task. The informants were auditorily presented real as well as pseudo-words in various varieties of Dutch, after which they had to decide as quickly as possible whether the words were existing Dutch words or not. The experiment’s working assumption is that the faster the subjects react, the better the intelligibility. In addition, we focused on the mechanisms underlying these intelligibility relations, which are, on the one hand, non-linguistic determinants such as the informants’ attitude towards or familiarity with certain language varieties, and linguistic factors such as linguistic distance on the other.

Hersemantisering in het Nederlandse Genussysteem

Lien De Vos
The gender system of the northern variety of Dutch has a long and well-known history of development. These developments seemingly have led to a divergence between the northern and the southern gender system, the latter one being a more conservative system, retaining the original three genders. Regarding pronominal gender, recent studies have indicated that the northern varieties make use of some semantic properties of the referent, in order to choose the appropriate pronoun. In the southern varieties there is still syntactic agreement: the choice of the pronoun is based upon the grammatical gender of the noun, rather than on the conceptual properties of its referent. This article investigates the extent to which southern speakers use grammatical gender, in order to clarify the current situation of the pronominal gender system in southern Dutch. As the results will show, the southern pronominal gender system has started developing to a semantic system, so that the distance between the gender systems of both varieties of Dutch will decrease.

Geography and frequency in gender change. Data from East and West Flemish dialects

Gunther De Vogelaer
Like the northern Standard Dutch system, the gender system in present-day southern Dutch dialects is undergoing at least three types of change: (1) influence from Standard Dutch; (2) Brabantic expansion; and (3) a tendency towards resemantisation of pronominal gender (cf. Audring 2006). The first two developments are, in Labov’s (2007) terms, the result of diffusion. As for the latter tendency, geographical evidence and frequency data are presented in support of the hypothesis that it constitutes a spontaneous development in West Flanders, exemplifying imperfect transmission.

Le français de Belgique dans l’écrit spontané. Approche syntaxique et phonétique d’un corpus de SMS

Louise-Amélie Cougnon
Sur base d’un corpus de 30 000 SMS collectés en Belgique francophone, l’auteure expose les traits phonétiques et syntaxiques propres au français de Belgique présents dans un des nouveaux types de communication médiée par ordinateur (CMO) : le SMS, encore appelé texto. Cette CMO offre une grande liberté de création aux usagers, de telle sorte que les nouveaux supports de communication poussent les scripteurs du XXIe siècle à produire un écrit spontané. C’est dans ce type d’écrit en particulier que les régionalismes, les néologismes, l’alternance de registres et de codes, phénomènes linguistiques souvent proscrits dans les contextes scripturaux, trouvent pleinement leur place.