Form and Function of Causation: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Causal Constructions in Dutch (Studies Op Het Gebied Van de Nederlandse Taalkunde #5) (Paperback)
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The aim of this study is to provide a unified functional description of a number of causal constructions in Dutch: the connectives omdat, want, doordat, the prepositions door, vanwege, wegens, and the auxiliaries doen and laten. Given the observation that the various causal alternatives are not in free variation in discourse, the author hypothesises that this distribution must be constrained and that it should be possible to identify some of the constraints that play a role in the selection of these causal forms. To reach this goal, Degand proposes to make use of a multifunctional theory of language - Systemic Functional Linguistics - in combination with numerous corpus analyses. This approach to language appeared to be particularly relevant, because it enables to give an explicit account of aspects of language that fall out of the traditional scope of linguistic description, namely accounts of genre, register, discourse semantics, etc. while the corpus analyses provide a solid empirical basis for the theoretical descriptions.