Net verschenen in nummer 2020/4 van TNTL:

Wolf, H. (2020), ‘Gebruiksaspecten van het uitroeppartikel wat in het Nederlands en Fries’. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse taal- en letterkunde, p. 189-209.

Abstract – Both Dutch and (West) Frisian make use of the exclamative particle wat (‘how’), that adds an element of surprise about a high degree of something to the semantics of the sentence. In this paper I will first show the similarities between the use of the particle in the two languages. I will demonstrate that, in Dutch, its use is largely confined to constructions that are semantically scalable, whereas in Frisian this restriction is far less strict. I will explain the difference by showing that Dutch wat is a syntactic amplifier of lexical phrases, whereas Frisian wat has developed into a pragmatic amplifier of the core predicate. I will try to account for that difference by showing how homophonous words absent in Dutch are likely to have influenced the use of Frisian wat, and how Dutch prosody strengthens the connection between wat and the amplified lexical phrase, whereas Frisian prosody weakens it. Finally, I will show that the system described as ‘Frisian’ is occasionally found in varieties of Dutch too.