Want/omdat X and the fluidity of linguistic categories
In this article, I set out to demonstrate the inadequateness of traditional linguistic categories in light of ongoing language change. As a case in point, I analyse some of the syntactic properties of the Dutch want/omdat X construction. The erstwhile coordinating conjunction want ‘because’ and the subordinating conjunction omdat ‘because’ not only take clauses as complements, but nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, interjections, direct speech, and emoticons as well. I discuss three proposed analyses of the aforementioned constructions: an ellipsis, a preposition, or a category sui generis. Against the backdrop of these diverging proposals, I emphasise the need to understand linguistic categories such as parts of speech as intrinsically vague and prototypical. Moreover, I also briefly sketch the diachrony of want/omdat X and show that, contrary to frequent claims, it is not a recent innovation since its precursors can be found as early as in the 1960s.