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Subjectivity in causal connectives: similarities and differences between Dutch and German. Ninke Stukker and Ted Sanders Universiteit Utrecht. Meaning and use of causal connectives: Cross-linguistic unity …?. Outline: Cross-linguistic perspective on CC

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subjectivity in causal connectives similarities and differences between dutch and german

Subjectivity in causal connectives: similarities and differences between Dutch and German

Ninke Stukker and Ted Sanders

Universiteit Utrecht

meaning and use of causal connectives cross linguistic unity
Meaning and use of causal connectives:Cross-linguistic unity …?

Outline:

  • Cross-linguistic perspective on CC
  • Cognitive categorization hypothesis on CC
  • Pilot corpus analysis of:

Dus/ ?Also – Daarom/ ?Deshalb – Daardoor/ ?Dadurch

meaning and use of causal connectives cross linguistic unity1
Meaning and use of causal connectives:Cross-linguistic unity …?

(Cf. Pit, 2003; Pander Maat & Degand, 2001; Degand & Pander Maat, 2003; Pander Maat & Sanders, 1995; 2000; Frohning, 2007, Stukker, Sanders & Verhagen, 2008; Sanders, 2005)

what unity diversity must we expect
What unity & diversity must we expect?

Findings from linguistic typology:

  • Grammatical patterns are essentially language-specific;
  • BUT variation is constrained by:

-function

-processing

-synchronic intra-linguistic variation

-diachronic development

-cognitive structure

causal connectives cognition
Causal connectives & cognition
  • Research Project Causality and subjectivity as cognitive principles of discourse representation: Converging evidence from language use (Sanders, 2005: NWO vici project)
  • The linguistic project: evidence from language use

“Connectives provide a window on human cognition”, BUT usage patterns vary across:

…modalities

…genres

…languages

causal connectives cognition1
Causal connectives & cognition
  • Categorization function

Lexical category ≈ conceptual category (cf. Lakoff, 1987; Taylor, 1995; Geeraerts, 1997)

  • Categorization hypothesis:

When selecting one of the causal connectives available in a language, the language user assigns the causal coherence relation expressed to a specific conceptual type of causality

  • Categorization in Dutch CC: subjectivity
categorization in dutch subjectivity
Categorization in Dutch: subjectivity
  • Subjectivity: the degree of speaker responsibility expressed in the causal relation (Pander Maat & Sanders, 2000; cf. Langacker, 1990; Traugott, 1989)
  • Various dimensions of subjectivity. By way of illustration:
  • Domains of use (Sweetser, 1990; relation to subjectivity by Pander Maat & Sanders, 2000; Pander Maat & Degand, 2001; Pit,2003)
why a cross linguistic perspective
Why a cross-linguistic perspective?
  • Aims:

-Generalization over languages

-Filter out language specific factors

  • Current state of affairs:

-Similarities

-Differences

…but what do they look like exactly?

Where do they come from?

  • In this talk exploration of:

-Cognitive perspective on cross-ling ‘unity’

-Empirical data

…Work in progress…!

subjectivity cline conceptual space
Subjectivity cline = Conceptual space?

‘Cognitive typology’ (e.g. Heine, 1997; Croft, 2001; Kemmer, 2003)

  • Aim: identify cognitive structure as basis for universals
  • Method: relate conceptual map with semantic map

Hypothesis

Categories of subjectivity = conceptual space that cross-linguistically constrains meaning and use of causal connectives

  • Cognitively plausible
  • Scalar concept (Pander Maat & Degand, 2001; Pit, 2003)
contrastive corpus analysis dutch german1
Contrastive corpus analysis Dutch-German
  • Dus, daarom, daardoor vs. Also, deshalb, dadurch
  • Subjectivity: domains of use
  • Method of analysis: paraphrase test (Sanders, 1997)
contrastive corpus analysis dutch german2
Contrastive corpus analysis Dutch-German
  • Analytical perspectives:

-Onomasiological: naming

-Semasiological: meaning (cf. Geeraerts, 1997)

  • Corpora:

-pilot D-Coi, commentaries and opinion pieces

(74.415 wds; Oostdijk, 2006)

-Potsdam Commentary Corpus (33.209 wds; Stede, 2004)

  • Statistical analysis: typical and less typical patterns established with contrast analysis (Van den Bergh, 1989)
unity and diversity in dutch and german semasiological perspective
Unity and diversity in Dutch and German: semasiological perspective
  • Unity

-Daarom/ deshalb have general function

-Dus / also strongly specialize in SUBJ Epistemic

-Daardoor / dadurch strongly specialize in OBJ Non-volitional

  • Diversity

-Frequency Also,dadurch < dus, daardoor

-Deshalb is more subjective than daarom

unity and diversity in dutch and german onomasiological perspective
Unity and diversity in Dutch and German: onomasiological perspective
  • Unity

-Content volitional expressed with daarom / deshalb

-No specific ‘name’ for subjective causality

  • Diversity

-Dutch has a specific ‘name’ for non-vol caus; Geman doesn’t

discussion
Discussion

(If our small samples may be generalized)

  • Cognitive perspective:

Conceptual space/ semantic map

  • Usage-based methodology:

Frequency of use, distribution from onomas/semas perspective

specify ‘unity and diversity’ between Dutch-German…

BUT many questions remain…

further research
Further research
  • Impact of communicative context? (Intra-language variation)
  • Subdistinctions of subjectivity (volitionality, but also: accessibility, attention –Frohning, 2007)
  • Meaning differences between typically and non-typically marked causal contexts (Stukker, Sanders & Verhagen, 2008)
  • More languages
  • More dimensions of subjectivity
slide20
THANK YOU!

Acknowledgement

This study was enabled by The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research, NWO, through NWO Vici-grant 277-70 003, awarded to Ted Sanders.

references
References
  • Croft, W. (2001). Radical construction grammar: Syntactic theory in typological perspective. Oxford: OUP.
  • Degand, L., Pander Maat, H. (2003). A contrastive study of Dutch and French causal connectives on the Speaker Involvement Scale. In A. Verhagen & J. van de Weijer, eds., Usage based approaches to Dutch, Utrecht, LOT: 175-199
  • Frohning, D. (2007). Kausalmarker zwischen Pragmatik und Kognition. Korpusbasierte Analysen zur Variation im Deutschen. Tuebingen: Niemeyer.
  • Geeraerts, D. (1997). Diachronic prototype semantics. A contribution to historical lexicology. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
  • Heine, B. (1997). Cognitive foundations of grammar. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, fire and dangerous things. What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Langacker, R.W. (1990). Subjectification. Cognitive Linguistics 1: 5–38.
  • Kemmer, S. (2003). Human cognition and the elaboration of events: Some universal conceptual categories. In: M. Tomasello (ed.) The new psychology of language: Cognitive and functional approaches to language structure 2, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 89-118.
  • Oostdijk, N. (2006). A reference corpus of written Dutch: corpus design. Dutch language corpus initiative: Technical report D-COI-06-01.
  • Pit, M. (2003). How to express yourself with a causal connective? Subjectivity and causal connectives in Dutch, German and French. Dissertation Utrecht University. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • Pander Maat, H., Degand, L. (2001). Scaling causal relations and connectives in terms of speaker involvement. Cognitive Linguistics 12: 211-245.
  • Pander Maat, H., Sanders, T. (1995). Nederlandse causale connectieven en het onderscheid tussen inhoudelijke en epistemische relaties (“Dutch causal connectives and the distinction between content and epistemic relations”). Leuvense Bijdragen 3: 349-374.
  • Pander Maat, H., Sanders, T. (2000). Domains of use or subjectivity: The distribution of three Dutch causal connectives explained. In: E. Couper-Kuhlen & B. Kortmann Cause, condition, concession, and contrast: Cognitive and discourse perspectives. Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter: 57-82.
  • Sanders, T. (2005). Coherence, causality and cognitive complexity in discourse. In: M. Aurnague, M. Bras, A. Le Draoulec, L. Vieu (eds.) Proceedings/actes SEM-05 First international symposium on the exploration and modeling of meaning, 105-114.
  • Stede, M. (2004). The Potsdam Commentary Corpus. Proceedings of the ACL workshop on discourse annotation, Barcelona, July 25-26, 2004.
  • Stukker, N. (2005). Causality marking across levels of language structure. A cognitive semantic analysis of causal verbs and causal connectives in Dutch.Dissertation Utrecht University, Utrecht: LOT.
  • Stukker, N., Sanders, T., Verhagen A. (2008). Causality in verbs and in discourse connectives. Converging evidence of cross-level parallels in Dutch linguistic categorization. Journal of Pragmatics 40: 1296-1322.
  • Sweetser, E.E. (1990) From etymology to pragmatics. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Taylor, J.R. (1995). Linguistic categorization. Prototypes in linguistic theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Traugott, E.C. (1989). On the rise of epistemic meanings in English: an example of subjectification in semantic change. Language 57: 33-65.
  • Van den Bergh, H. (1989). Examens geëxamineerd. Den Haag: SVO.
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