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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751

Resumo

KOTZE, Ian  e  KIRSTEN, Johanita. The influence of agentive passive constructions on the changing use of the adposition deur. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2019, vol.59, n.1, pp.36-53. ISSN 2224-7912.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2224-7912/2019/v59n1a3.

Descriptive research on Afrikaans adpositions is very limited and the majority of the research focuses on what adpositions are (such as Ponelis 1979; 1993; Van Schoor 1983:67-84), and how they are used in constructions (such as Kempen 1984; Pretorius 1972; Ponelis 1984), without paying much attention to the function of the adposition in constructions. An Afrikaans adposition that is extremely under-researched is deur ("by" / "through"). This article investigates the reasons behind the frequency changes in the use of the adposition deur in Afrikaans between 1911 and 2010. Halliday and Matthiessen's (2014) representational function, a functional approach to syntax within the theoretical framework of systemic functional grammar, is used to analyse and interpret diachronic corpus data. The four sections in Kirsten's (2016) Historiese korpus van geskrewe Afrikaans (Historical corpus of written Afrikaans) are used to conduct the analyses. Each section of the corpus represents a decade of Afrikaans language usage, namely 1911-1920 (S1), 1941-1950 (S2), 1971-1980 (S3) and 2001-2010 (S4), with intervals of 20 years between each decade - each section consists of approximately 261 000 words. Random samples of 500 instances of deur were extracted from each section of the corpus for further analyses. The analyses indicate that between S1 and S2 of the corpus there is a significant increase in the total adpositional use of deur. The adposition, however, is used less frequently after S2 of the corpus, leading to a gradual, significant decline in usage between S2 and S4 of the corpus. Based on the analyses, it was determined that adpositional phrases with deur are used predominantly in conjunction with material processes. The overall frequency changes of the adpositional use of deur with material processes resemble the frequency changes observed in the overall adpositional use of deur. Between S1 and S2 of the corpus there is a significant increase in the use of adpositions with deur with material processes, followed by a significant decrease in use between S2 and S4 of the corpus. The same pattern of frequency changes is once again observed in the most salient use of adpositional phrases with deur with material processes, and where phrases with deur are used as part of the agent in passive constructions. This led us to the initial conclusion that changes in the most salient use of adpositional phrases with deur were the most likely explanation for the overall frequency changes of the adpositional use of deur. Approximately 85% of the total uses of deur as part of the agent with material processes are used to indicate the agent in long passives. There is therefore a strong relationship between the overall use of passive constructions in Afrikaans and the use of deur. Between S1 and S3 of the corpus there is a significant increase in the overall use of passive constructions, followed by a significant decline in usage between S3 and S4 of the corpus. Since the pattern of changes observed in the overall change of the adpositional uses of deur is very similar to the pattern of the overall change in the use of passive constructions in the corpus, the most likely explanation for the overall frequency changes in die adpositional uses of deur is the result of the change in use of passive constructions. The changes in the use of passive constructions directly impacted the most salient adpositional use of deur, to mark the agent in long passives, which caused the overall change in the adpositional use of deur.

Palavras-chave : Afrikaans adpositions; deur; systemic functional grammar; representational function; semantic categories; material processes; agents; passive constructions; long passives; diachronic corpus linguistics.

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