Fragment answers with infinitives in a Flemish dialect

TitleFragment answers with infinitives in a Flemish dialect
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRys, K., & Oosterhof A.
JournalLIN 2016 (Linguistics in the Netherlands 2016)
Date Publishedexpected Oct '16
Keywordsellipsis, fragment answers, infinitival tense, microvariation

This paper is devoted to a construction in a specific Flemish dialect, in which infinitives are used in fragment answers in contexts where this would be unacceptable in other varieties. Questions such as Waar is mijn boek? ‘Where is my book?’ can be answered with constructions such as Op tafel liggen ‘lay.INF on the table’. We apply an analysis in terms of ellipsis to these infinitival constructions. However, we find fragment answers with infinitives in contexts where the assumption of ellipsis is problematic, since there is no plausible underlying structure available. We show that the use of this construction has extended to contexts in which the infinitive independently expresses the clausal tense features. Our description of the construction is based on a questionnaire study in which around thirty speakers were tested.

Refereed DesignationRefereed