Cross-serial dependencies in Dutch: On the syntactic and psycholinguistic processes in verb clusters in standard Dutch, and how they can be related
Mulukom, V. van
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Since Bach et al. (1986), it is generally assumed that cross-serial dependencies are easier to process than nested dependencies. In this thesis this will be examined further. First, it will be investigated what the underlying syntactic structure is of cross-serial dependencies as found in Dutch verb clusters (and to a lesser extent of the nested dependencies in German verb clusters), in both a (traditional, GB) OV-approach and a (minimalist) VO-approach. Next, it will be investigated how these structures are processed. Three models will be looked into: one memory-based model, one expectation-based model and an interference-based model. These models will be tested in two experiments; one in Dutch, the other one in German. Then, by means of the Most Economic Derivation Assumption, the two research projects will be linked, and it will be shown that, given this assumption, the (minimalist) VO-framework can account for the difference found in the processing of Dutch and German verb clusters (or, in other words, between the processing of crossed and nested dependencies as practically directly compared in these verb cluster constructions). A comparison between Experiment 1 (Dutch) and the pilot study Experiment 2 (German) suggests that there is indeed a difference in processing, and that crossed dependencies in these verb clusters are indeed easier to process than nested dependencies.