ILS Colloquium


21 June 2018
15:30 - 17:00
Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal

Norbert Corver

Grammar lore

Universiteit Utrecht

Lore is a body of traditions and knowledge that is passed down among members of a particular group, usually orally. There is food lore, sports lore, family lore et cetera, and there is so-called verbal lore as part of folklore. The latter includes oral traditions such as nursery rhymes, playground rhymes, proverbs and jokes. Seminal studies on English verbal lore are Iona and Peter Opie’s The Oxford dictionary of nursery rhymes (1951) and The lore and language of schoolchildren (1960). In this talk I examine Dutch verbal lore (nursery rhymes and playground rhymes), not so much from an E(xternal)-language perspective (i.e., verbal lore as an expressive body of culture shared by a group) but rather from an I(nternal)-language perspective; that is, the grammatical knowledge (rules and atoms) that underlies the formation of certain characteristic (and quite creative!) linguistic expressions attested in Dutch verbal lore. Hoeper de poep and Jan mijne man will bring you van je ras ras ras back to the days of your (Dutch) childhood.