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Proeven as an acquired taste

Marjolein Poortvliet

Abstract: This paper demonstrates the diachronic development of the Dutch gustatory verbs proeven and smaken and the semantic encroachment of the former on the meanings covered by the latter, and explains the current use of proeven in constructions in which smaken is expected (i.e. De soep proeft lekker ‘the soup tastes good’). This spread of the use of proeven (and the consequential increasingly limited use of smaken) can be explained by metaphorization and is analyzed as the result of lexical paradigm levelling.1
Keywords: proeven / consequential increasingly / acquired taste / semantic encroachment / tastes good / paradigm levelling.1 / increasingly limited / soup tastes / soep proeft

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