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Journal Article

A semantic principle of auxiliary selection in Dutch


Baayen,  R. Harald
MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Lieber, R., & Baayen, R. H. (1997). A semantic principle of auxiliary selection in Dutch. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 15(4), 789-845.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-E6C7-B
We propose that the choice between the auxiliaries hebben 'have' and zijn 'be' in Dutch is determined by a particular semantic feature of verbs. In particular we propose a feature of meaning [IEPS] for 'inferable eventual position or state' that characterizes whether the action denoted by the verb allows us to determine the eventual position or state of the verb's highest argument. It is argued that only verbs which exhibit the feature [+IEPS] or which obtain the feature compositionally in the syntax select zijn as their auxiliary. Our analysis is then compared to a number of other analyses of auxiliary selection in Dutch.