Across 'yesterday' or 'not'?
Direct object scrambling is a type of word order variation in which the direct object of a sentence moves across an adverb to a more leftward position in the sentence. The phenomenon exists in a number of the Germanic languages among which Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages. While the permissibility and optionality of scrambling have recurrently been discussed in detail in the linguistic literature, it was always with a heavy focus on features of the direct object. In this thesis, I conducted a sentence judgment task and two sentence completion experiments to explore the influence of the type of adverb on Dutch scrambling. More specifically, I contrasted syntactically high and syntactically low adverbs and found that objects are scrambled significantly more often across the latter. Furthermore, the results indicate that semantic features of the adverb, most notably its scope-taking nature, also play a role in the chosen word configuration.
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