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11.2.5. Other cases
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This section discusses a selection of V1-constructions that have received little attention in the formal, theoretical literature. It is therefore not easy to decide whether constructions like these constitute support or present problems for the hypothesis that V1-orders are more generally a superficial phonetic phenomenon.

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[+]  I.  Exhortative constructions

Van der Horst (2008:1977ff) observes that V1-constructions are often used as exhortatives. In such cases, the inverted subject is normally the pronoun wij'we'; the exhortative reading does not arise in (non-inverted) V2-construction. Two of Van der Horst's examples are given in (79); the first example is taken from François Haversmidt's Winteravondvertellingen (1894) and the second one from Johan Huizinga's Erasmus (1924).

Example 79
a. Verplaatsen wij ons nu naar …
  move  we  refl  now  to
  'Let us now move to …'
b. Trachten we dien geest van [Erasmus] thans iets dieper te peilen.
  try  we  the mind of Erasmus  now somewhat deeper  to probe
  'Let us try to get a somewhat better understanding of Erasmusʼ mind.'

Examples of the type in (79) sound quite outdated and bookish to present-day ears: nowadays we would instead make use of the exhortative laten-constructions in (80), which are of course also V1-constructions; again the inverted subject is normally the pronoun wij'we'.

Example 80
a. Laten we ons nu verplaatsen naar …
  let  us  refl  now  move  to
b. Laten we trachten …
  let  us  try

The exhortative laten-construction has quite a remarkable history, which can be nicely traced in Van der Horst (2008). The construction originated in the middle ages as a periphrastic conjunctive and could only be used with an object pronoun: laat ons …'let us'. The construction with a subject pronoun came into existence in the 14th century, while the construction with the object pronoun remained the prominent one until the 16th century; cf. Van der Horst (2008:439, 665 & 911). The use of the subject pronoun arose especially in the northern part of the Netherlands (to which it seems to be restricted until this date), possibly in analogy to exhortative constructions of the type in (79); cf. Van der Horst (2008:911). In the 18th century, the coexistence of laten wij and laat ons gave rise to speculations about the meaning difference between the two constructions. Normative grammarians claimed that the former was exhortative and the latter permissive; cf. Van der Horst (2008:1459 & 1787). Given the history of the construction, it seems that we can safely conclude that it does not belong to Dutch core grammar, and should therefore be put aside in the evaluation of the claim that the V1-order is a superficial phonetic phenomenon. For more discussion of V1-structures with laten, we refer the reader to Section 5.2.3.4, sub VI.

[+]  II.  Conjunctive

Conjunctives may occasionally surface as V1-structures, but this is not necessary; see Van der Horst (2008:336) for examples from Old Dutch that exhibit the same property.

Example 81
a. Leve de koningin!
  live  the Queen
b. Lang leve de koningin!
  long  live the Queen

Since examples such as (81) are clearly historical relics and thus part of the periphery of the language, we can put these cases aside as irrelevant for our claim that the V1-order is a superficial phonetic phenomenon. It should be noted, however, that we find the same property in the more productive construction in (82) which is formed by means of the "past tense" form of the verb; see, e.g., Paardekooper (1986: 16).

Example 82
Was hij maar hier!
  was  he  prt  here
'Wish he was here.'
[+]  III.  Fixed constructions

There may be many more or lesss idiomatized constructions that originated as abbreviations of longer constructions. When someone finally decides to see his GP for a flu jab, he may express his premonition that something will go wrong by saying something like (83a): constructions of this type may have originated as abbreviated forms of the conditional construction in (83b).

Example 83
a. Zal je net zien dat de kliniek gesloten is.
  will  you  prt  see  that  the clinic  closed  is
  'Youʼll see that the clinic is closed.'
b. Als ik naar de dokter ga dan zal je net zien dat de kliniek gesloten is.
  if  to the doctor  go then  will  you  prt  see  that  the clinic  closed  is
  'When I go to my GP, then youʼll see that the clinic is closed.'

Another case, which is also used in more formal settings or in writing, is given in (84a); cf. Van der Horst & Van der Horst (1999:273). An example such as (84a) typically would be used when the final issue of a (mental) list is addressed. It does not seem too far-fetched that we are dealing with an omitted connective like dan in (84b).

Example 84
a. Blijft/Rest/Resteert nog het probleem van de koffieautomaat.
  stays/remains/remains  still  the problem of the coffee.machine
  'The final issue is the problem of the coffee machine.'
b. Dan blijft/rest/resteert nog het probleem van de koffieautomaat.
  then  stays/remains/remains  still  the problem of the coffee.machine
  'Then we still have the remaining issue concerning the coffee machine.'

The two more or lesss randomly chosen cases discussed in this subsection show that each individual V1-structure should be investigated in its own right before it is possible to decide whether the structure in question may constitute a problem for the hypothesis that the V1-order is a superficial phonetic phenomenon. A full evaluation of this hypothesis will have to wait until we have a more exhaustive inventory of V1-constructions at our disposal.

References:
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der2008Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse syntaxisLeuvenUniversitaire Pers Leuven
  • Horst, Joop van der & Horst, Kees van der1999Geschiedenis van het Nederlands in de twintigste eeuwDen Haag/AntwerpenSDU Uitgevers & Standaard Uitgeverij
  • Paardekooper, P.C1986Beknopte ABN-syntaksisEindhovenP.C. Paardekooper
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