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An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan

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Degrees of clause integration: from endotactic to exotactic subordination in Dutch

Hans Smessaert1 / Bert Cornillie2 / Dagmar Divjak3 / Karel van den Eynde4





Correspondence address: K. U. Leuven, Department of Linguistics, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: .

Citation Information: Linguistics. Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages 471–529, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/ling.2005.43.3.471, July 2005

Publication History

23 July 2002
11 September 2003
Published Online:


This article presents a fine-grained syntactic categorization of Dutch subordinating conjunctions, both simple and phrasal. By means of a hierarchical set of formal criteria, this article provides a detailed description of the syntactic behavior of 87 conjunctions with a total of 154 different readings. These formal criteria test the degree of dependence on the main clause predicator. The presence or absence of proportionality with paradigms of proforms is introduced as a fundamental criterion for syntactic analysis (Section 2). This concept is further refined by distinguishing between external and internal proportionality (Section 3). The possibility of clefting the subordinate clause is applied as a syntagmatic criterion (Section 4) and correlated with the proportionality criteria (Section 5). The next step examines the possibility of fronting the subordinate clause (Section 6) and its relation to the various clefting types (Section 7). Finally, the different correlation results are integrated into a hierarchically structured general overview (Section 8). In the epilogue, a first attempt is made at mapping the syntactic categorization elaborated in the body of the article onto the more general (semantic and functional) typologies of clause integration presented in the literature by different authors. This comparison wants to stress the general methodological applicability of the approach presented (Section 9).

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