The influences of valency of psych-verbs on the word order in the middle field

Jana Kijonková


This paper is a summary of my research on the influence of valency of Dutch psych-verbs on the word order of the nominal subject and nominal object in the middle field of the Dutch sentence. It’s been noted by some linguists that certain verbs allow for the subject to be placed behind the object in the middle field of the Dutch sentence, which means that they deviate from the tendency to place nominal subject before the nominal object. Most of the verbs described to behave in this manner are called psych-verbs or psychological verbs. These verbs refer to a situation in which an animate being can be subject to a change of their psychological state. Valency is defined as the ability of a verb to bind a number of elements in order to form a grammatically correct sentence. However, valency has to be seen not only from the syntactic, but also from the semantic point of view. In other words, I am not only interested in the number of elements a verb requires, but also in the semantic features of these elements such as animacy, affectedness etc. In my research I analyzed twenty psych-verbs to find out which aspects of valency can influence the word order of the nominal subject and nominal object in the middle field. The main results of the analysis are presented in this paper.


Dutch; valency; psych-verbs; word order; middle field

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Roczniki Humanistyczne · ISSN 0035-7707 | eISSN 2544-5200 | DOI: 10.18290/rh

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