Relative productivity potentials of Dutch verbal inflection patterns

Remco Knooihuizen 1  and Oscar Strik 1
  • 1 Rijksuniversiteit Groningen Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat 26 9712 EK Groningen The Netherlands


Diachronic change regarding the Germanic verb shows a tendency away from strong and towards weak inflection, although the change is not unidirectional. Three production and acceptability experiments on nonce and existing verbs in Dutch unveil a clear hierarchy in potential productivity of inflection patterns. Weak inflection has the highest potential productivity; within strong inflection, Classes I, II and III outrank the others. Speakers also regularly employ a productoriented schema based on the vowels /o/ and /ɔ/, as well as, although to a lesser extent, on /i/ and /ɪ/. We relate these findings to synchronic factors and to diachronic change.

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The official journal of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Folia Linguistica covers all non-historical areas in the traditional disciplines of general linguistics, and also sociological, discoursal, computational and psychological aspects of language and linguistic theory. Folia Linguistica Historica is exclusively devoted to diachronic linguistics (both historical and comparative) and to the history of linguistics.