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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2022

Does Standardization Affect the Type of Motivating Factors that Determine Language Variation?

Dirk Pijpops


The standardization of Belgian Dutch commenced much later than that of Netherlandic Dutch. Grondelaers, Speelman and Geeraerts (2008) proposed that this has affected how language variation functions in both varieties. In Netherlandic Dutch, centuries of standardization would have caused language variation to become straitjacketed in lexical biases or recruited to express semantic differences, while in Belgian Dutch, variation would be governed by factors that are directly related to language processing. The present study investigates whether this effect can also be observed for the transitive-reflexive alternation using corpora. Two hypotheses are formulated: (i) a regression model based on Netherlandic data will reach a higher predictive quality than one fit on Belgian data, and (ii) variables relating to lexical biases and semantic distinctions will yield a greater increase in predictive quality for the Netherlandic model. The second hypothesis is confirmed, the first is not.

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