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4.4.2. Temporal PPs

Temporal adpositional phrases are generally prepositional, but there are also a limited number of temporal postpositional phrases. In (88), we give one example of each. Below we will show that these temporal adpositional phrases behave just like the adverbially used spatial PPs.

Example 88
a. Jan heeft Marie in de oorlog ontmoet.
  Jan has  Marie in the war  met
  'Jan met Marie during the war.'
b. Het heeft de hele dag door geregend.
  it  has the whole day  through  rained
  'It has rained all day.'
[+]  I.  Topicalization

The examples in (89) show that topicalization of temporal PPs is possible.

Example 89
a. In de oorlog heeft Jan Marie ontmoet.
  in the war  has  Jan Marie met
b. De hele dag door heeft het geregend.
  the whole day through  has  it  rained
[+]  II.  Word order in the middle field of the clause

As in the case of adverbially used spatial PPs, the term scrambling should be avoided because it might be the case that temporal phrases can be base-generated in different positions. This is supported by example (90a), which shows that, as in the case of the spatial PPs, the clause may contain more than one temporal PP. These temporal PPs are strictly ordered: the more general phrase op vrijdag'on Friday' must precede the more specific phrase om drie uur'at three oʼclock'.

Example 90
a. dat ik op vrijdag waarschijnlijk om drie uur langs kom.
  that  on Friday  probably  at three o'clock  along  come
  'On Friday Iʼll probably drop by at three o'clock.'
b. * dat ik om drie uur waarschijnlijk op vrijdag langs kom.
[+]  III.  PP-over-V

PP-over-V of temporal prepositional phrases is perfectly acceptable. PP-over-V of postpositional phrases, on the other hand, seems marked. It is not clear what causes this difference.

Example 91
a. dat Jan Marie heeft ontmoet in de oorlog.
  that  Jan Marie has  met  in the war
b. ?? dat het heeft geregend de hele dag door.
  that  it  has  rained  the whole day  through

If the clause contains more than one (temporal) PP, PP-over-V reverses the order the PPs have in the middle field of the clause. This becomes clear by comparing example (90) with (92). It is difficult to show that the order must be reversed, given that (92b) is also acceptable, but it seems plausible that the acceptability of this example is due to the fact that the PP om drie uur'at three oʼclock' can be used as an attributive modifier of the noun vrijdag'Friday': cf. Vrijdag om drie uur vertrek ik'I leave Friday at three oʼclock'.

Example 92
a. dat ik waarschijnlijk langs kom om drie uur op vrijdag.
  that  probably  along  come  at three o'clock  on Friday
  'On Friday Iʼll probably drop by at three o'clock.'
b. # dat ik waarschijnlijk langs kom op vrijdag om drie uur.
[+]  IV.  R-extraction

R-extraction from a temporal prepositional phrase is excluded, which is not surprising given that temporal adpositions normally do not even allow the process of R-pronominalization; see Section 5.3.2, sub IIIB, for some exceptions.

Example 93
a. dat Jan Marie in de oorlog heeft ontmoet.
  that  Jan Marie in the war  has  met
b. * dat Jan Marie daarin heeft ontmoet.
  that  Jan Marie there in  has  met
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    This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
    A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.