Computational Linguistics in the Netherlands Journal vol:4 pages:149-170
In Dutch V-final clauses the verbs tend to form a cluster which cannot be split up by nonverbal
material. However, Haeseryn et al. (1997) as well as other studies on the phenomenon list several
cases in which the verb cluster may be interrupted by
The most common examples are constructions with separable verb particles, but examples with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs are attested as well.
Since the majority of the data in previous studies is collected by introspection and elicitation,
it is interesting to compare those findings to corpus data. The corpus analysis is based on data
from two Dutch treebanks (CGN and LASSY), which allow to take into account regional and/or
stylistic variation. This is an important aspect for the analysis, since cluster creeping is reported
to be a typical property of spoken and regional variants of Dutch.
The goal of this corpus-based investigation is on the one hand to provide insight in the frequency
of the phenomenon, and on the other hand to classify the types of cluster creepers. Besides the
linguistic analysis, methodological issues regarding the extraction of the relevant data from the
treebanks will be addressed as well.