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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: differences between Dutch and GermanCross-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: differences between Dutch and GermanCross-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? differences between Dutch and German

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 differences between Dutch and German

  • 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 differences between Dutch and German

  • 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 differences between Dutch and German

  • 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? differences between Dutch and German

  • 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? differences between Dutch and German

‘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)


Semantic map of daardoor daarom and dus news reports
Semantic map of differences between Dutch and Germandaardoor, daarom and dus (news reports)


Contrastive corpus analysis dutch german
Contrastive Corpus analysis Dutch-German differences between Dutch and German


Contrastive corpus analysis dutch german1
Contrastive corpus analysis Dutch-German differences between Dutch and 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 differences between Dutch and 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)


Semantic map of dus daarom and daardoor opinion pieces
Semantic map of differences between Dutch and Germandus, daarom and daardoor (opinion pieces)


Semantic map of also deshalb and dadurch commentaries
Semantic map of differences between Dutch and Germanalso, deshalb and dadurch (Commentaries)


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 perspective

(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 perspective

  • 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


THANK YOU! perspective

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 perspective

  • 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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