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Dative alternation and planning scope in spoken language: A corpus study on effects of verb bias in VO and OV clauses of Dutch

Van de Velde, M., Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2015). Dative alternation and planning scope in spoken language: A corpus study on effects of verb bias in VO and OV clauses of Dutch. Lingua, 165, 92-108. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2015.07.006.
The syntactic structure of main and subordinate clauses is determined to a considerable extent by verb biases. For example, some English and Dutch ditransitive verbs have a preference for the prepositional object dative, whereas others are typically used with the double object dative. In this study, we compare the effect of these biases on structure selection in (S)VO and (S)OV dative clauses in the Corpus of Spoken Dutch (CGN). This comparison allowed us to make inferences about the size of the advance planning scope during spontaneous speaking: If the verb is an obligatory component of clause-level advance planning scope, as is claimed by the hypothesis of hierarchical incrementality, then biases should exert their influence on structure choices, regardless of early (VO) or late (OV) position of the verb in the clause. Conversely, if planning proceeds in a piecemeal fashion, strictly guided by lexical availability, as claimed by linear incrementality, then the verb and its associated biases can only influence structure choices in VO sentences. We tested these predictions by analyzing structure choices in the CGN, using mixed logit models. Our results support a combination of linear and hierarchical incrementality, showing a significant influence of verb bias on structure choices in VO, and a weaker (but still significant) effect in OV clauses
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