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When Two Paths Converge: Debonding and Clipping of Dutch Reuze

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2014

Kristel Van Goethem*
Affiliation:
Research Associate F.R.S.-FNRS and Université catholique de Louvain
Philippe Hiligsmann*
Affiliation:
Université Catholique de Louvain
*
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique–FNRS, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut Langage et Communication, Pôle Linguistique, Place Blaise Pascal 1, box L3.03.33, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, [kristel.vangoethem@uclouvain.be]
Université catholique de Louvain, Institut Langage et Communication, Pôle Linguistique, Place Blaise Pascal 1, box L3.03.33, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, [philippe.hiligsmann@uclouvain.be]

Abstract

Dutch reuze(n)(-) has a wide range of synchronic uses that form part of a broad categorical and semantic continuum. Derived from the noun reus ‘giant’, it is often used to express a comparison in nominal and adjectival compounds (for example, reuzegroot ‘as big as a giant’, lit. ‘giant-big’), but it can also have a merely intensifying function (for example, reuzeleuk ‘very nice’, lit. ‘giant-nice’). Moreover, it currently occurs as a free adjective and adverb while keeping its morphological linking morpheme -e- and intensifying value (for example, Het feestje was reuze ‘The party was great’). Drawing on synchronic and diachronic corpus data, this paper argues that the emergence of reuze as a free morpheme should be accounted for by debonding (an instance of degrammaticalization) and clipping.*

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Germanic Linguistics 2014 

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