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5.2.1. Prepositions
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[+]  I.  Spatial prepositions

Subsections A and B discuss R-pronominalization of, respectively, locational and directional prepositional phrases. We will show that R-pronominalization is a fairly productive process for locational PPs; virtually all locational PPs have a pronominal counterpart. Directional PPs, on the other hand, generally seem unable to undergo this pronominalization process.

[+]  A.  Locational prepositional phrases

Chapter 1 has shown that locational PPs typically occur in the complement of the verbs of location in (38a) and the verbs of change of location in (38b). We can therefore test whether locational PPs can be replaced by a pronominal PP by placing the pronominal form in the frames NP Vloc PP and NP Vloc NP PP.

Example 38
a. Verbs of location (monadic: NP Vloc PP):
hangen'to hang', liggen'to lie', staan'to stand', zitten'to sit'
b. Verbs of change of location (dyadic: NP Vloc NP PP):
hangen'to hang', leggen'to lay', zetten'to put'
[+]  1.  Deictic and inherent prepositions

A PP headed by a deictic or an inherent preposition can always be replaced by a pronominal PP. In (39), we give an example for all deictic/inherent prepositions from Table 17 in Section 1.3.1.2.4. Note that for many speakers the pronominal form er tegen in (39g') seems less preferred than the form er tegen aan which is formed on the basis of the circumpositional phrase tegen de muur aan.

Example 39
a. De auto staat voor/achter/naast/tegenover de kerk.
  the car  stands  in.front.of/behind/next.to/opposite  the church
a'. De auto staat er voor/achter/naast/tegenover.
b. Het huis staat net binnen/buiten de stadsgrens.
  the house stands  just  within/outside  the city border
b'. Het huis staat er net binnen/buiten.
c. De huizen staan vlak bij/langs de rivier.
  the houses  stand  just near/along  the river
c'. De huizen staan er vlak bij/langs.
d. De naald steekt in/uit/door het speldenkussen.
  the needle  sticks  in/out.of/through  the pincushion
d'. De naald steekt er in/uit/door.
e. Het amulet hangt aan een kettinkje.
  the amulet  hangs  on a necklace
e'. Het amulet hangt er aan.
f. Het kleed ligt op/over de tafel.
  the cloth  lies  on/over  the table
f'. Het kleed ligt er op/over.
g. De ladder staat tegen de muur (aan).
  the ladder  stands  against the wall  aan
g'. De ladder staat er tegen ??(aan).

      The examples in (39) all involve locational verbs, but the results with verbs denoting a change of location are exactly the same. This is shown in the examples in (40), which provide the change of location counterparts of the primed examples in (39).

Example 40
a. Jan zet de auto er voor/achter/naast/tegenover.
  Jan puts  the car  there  in.front.of/behind/next.to/opposite
b. De architect zet het huis er net binnen/buiten.
  the architect puts  the house  there  just within/outside
c. De architect zet de huizen er vlak bij/langs.
  the architect puts  the houses  there  just near/along
d. Jan steekt de naald er in/uit/door.
  Jan sticks  the needle  there  in/out.of/through
e. Jan hangt het amulet er aan.
  Jan hangs  the amulet  there  on
f. Jan legt het kleed er op/over.
  Jan puts  the cloth  there  on/over
g. Jan zet de ladder er tegen ??(aan).
  Jan puts  the ladder  there  against    aan
[+]  2.  Absolute prepositions

The absolute prepositions from Table 17 in Section 1.3.1.2.4 show mixed behavior. The prepositions boven'above', onder'under' and tussen'between' can readily be part of a pronominal PP.

Example 41
a. De lamp hangt boven de tafel.
  the lamp  hangs  above  the table
a'. De lamp hangt er boven.
b. De brief ligt onder/tussen die papieren.
  the letter  lies under/between  those papers
b'. De brief ligt er onder/tussen.

However, R-pronominalization seems more problematic in the case of om/rond'around'; the pronominal form er om heen, which is based on the circumposition om ... heen'around', is much preferred over the form er om; judgments on the acceptability of er rond seem to vary, but to us this form seems degraded. With the compound rondom'around', on the other hand, the result of R-pronominalization seems a bit formal but acceptable.

Example 42
a. De meisjes staan om het kampvuur (heen).
  the girls  stand  around the campfire  heen
a'. De meisjes staan er om ??(heen).
b. De meisjes staan rond het kampvuur.
  the girls  stand  around the campfire
b'. % De meisjes staan er rond.
c. De meisjes staan rondom het kampvuur.
  the girls  stand  around the campfire
c'. De meisjes staan er rondom.

      The examples in (41) and (42) all involve locational verbs but the results with verbs denoting a change of location are exactly the same. This is shown in (43) and (44), which give the change of location counterparts of the primed examples in (41) and (42).

Example 43
a. Jan hangt de lamp er boven.
  Jan hangs  the lamp  there  above
b. Jan legt de brief er onder/tussen.
  Jan puts  the letter  there  under/between
Example 44
a. Marie zet de meisjes er om ??(heen).
  Marie puts  the girls  there  around     heen 
b. % Marie zet de meisjes er rond.
  Marie puts  the girls  there  around
c. Marie zet de meisjes er rondom.
  Marie puts  the girls  there  around
[+]  B.  Directional prepositional phrases

Directional PPs typically occur in the complement of verbs of traversing, as in (45a). These verbs differ from the corresponding activity verbs by not taking the auxiliary hebben'to have' in the perfect tense, but the auxiliary zijn'to be'. We can therefore test whether a directional PP can be replaced by a pronominal PP by placing the pronominal form in the PP-position in frame (45b).

Example 45
a. Verbs of traversing: rijden'to drive', fietsen'to cycle', wandelen'to walk', etc.
b. Marie is PP gereden/gefietst/gewandeld.
  Marie is PP driven/cycled/walked

It seems that most directional PPs from Table 17 in Section 1.3.1.2.4 cannot be part of a pronominal PP. This is illustrated for the directional preposition naar'to' in the (a)-examples in (46); the (b)-examples show that a pronominal PP based on the directional circumposition naar ... toe is much preferred.

Example 46
a. Marie is helemaal naar Groningen gewandeld.
  Marie is completely  to Groningen  walked
a'. * Marie is er helemaal naar gewandeld.
  Marie is there  completely  to  walked
b. Marie is helemaal naar Groningen toe gewandeld.
  Marie is completely  to Groningen  toe  walked
b'. Marie is er helemaal naar toe gewandeld.
  Marie is there  completely  to  toe  walked

A similar contrast, with perhaps slightly less absolute judgments, can be observed in (47) with the directional preposition over'across' and the directional circumposition over ...heen'across'.

Example 47
a. Marie is over de brug gefietst.
  Marie is over the bridge  cycled
a'. ?? Marie is er over gefietst.
  Marie is there  over  cycled
b. Marie is over de brug heen gefietst.
  Marie is over the bridge  heen  cycled
b'. Marie is er over heen gefietst.
  Marie is there  over heen  cycled

Note in passing that the directional prepositions naar and over differ sharply in this respect from the functional prepositions naar and over in (48), which can readily occur as part of pronominal PPs.

Example 48
a. Marie keek naar de schilderijen.
  Marie looked  at the paintings
a'. Marie keek er naar.
  Marie looked  there  at
b. Zij hebben urenlang over dat probleem gedebatteerd.
  they  have  for.hours  about that problem  debated
b'. Zij hebben er urenlang over gedebatteerd.
  they  have  there  for.hours  about  debated

      Like naar and over, the directional prepositions van'from' and via'via' do not allow the formation of a pronominal PP, and in this case no circumpositional variant is possible either.

Example 49
a. Marie is van/via Utrecht (naar Groningen) gereden.
  Marie is from/via Utrecht   to Groningen  driven
b. * Marie is er van/via (naar Groningen) gereden.
  Marie is there  from/via   to Groningen  driven

      At first sight, the directional preposition voorbij'past' in (50) does seem to be able to occur in a pronominal PP, but we probably have to put this example aside as irrelevant; the fact that the R-pronoun hier'here' can be dropped indicates that it does not act as the complement of the preposition voorbij but as an independent adverbial phrase, so that voorbij is actually an intransitive preposition or a verbal particle in this example.

Example 50
Marie is (hier) een momentje geleden voorbij gereden.
  Marie is there  a moment ago  past  driven

      The prepositions langs'along' and door'through', which can be used both as locational PPs and as directional PPs, seem to allow R-pronominalization not only in the locational constructions in (39c&d), but also in the directional constructions in (51). Note that the use of the pronominal PP er door in (51b') has more or lesss the same degree of acceptability as the use of the pronominal circumpositional phrase er door heen.

Example 51
a. Marie is gisteren langs het kanaal gereden.
  Marie is yesterday  along the canal  driven
a'. Marie is er gisteren langs gereden.
  Marie is there  yesterday  along  driven
b. Marie is twee keer door de tunnel (heen) gefietst.
  Marie is two times  through the tunnel  heen  cycled
b'. Marie is er twee keer door (heen) gefietst.
  Marie is there  two times  through  heen  cycled
[+]  II.  Temporal prepositions

The formation of pronominal PPs with the temporal prepositions from Table 25 in Section 1.3.2, sub IA, is very restricted. Only the prepositions voor'before' and na'after' seem to allow it. This is illustrated in (52).

Example 52
a. Jan moest voor/na de vergadering telefoneren.
  Jan must  before/after  the meeting  phone
  'Jan had to make a phone call before/after the meeting.'
b. Jan moest er voor/na telefoneren.
  Jan must  there  before/after  phone
  'Jan had to make a phone call before/after it.'

The other temporal prepositions in (53) categorically resist the formation of pronominal PPs. For completeness' sake, note that the pronominal PP er tussen in (53e) is acceptable if it is interpreted locationally, and that er ... vanaf in (53f) is possible as a locational pronominal circumpositional phrase. The last column of the table shows that the restriction that the complement of a preposition cannot be a -human pronoun also holds. This means that pronominalization of the complement of these temporal prepositions is completely impossible.

Example 53
Pronominalization of/in temporal PPs
  example pronominal PP pronoun
a. tijdens de boottocht
during the boat trip
*er tijdens
there during
*tijdens 'm
during it[-human]
b. gedurende de vergadering
during the meeting
*er gedurende
here during
*gedurende 'r
during it[-human]
c. sinds het einde van de vakantie
since the end of the holiday
*er sinds
there since
*sinds 't
during it[-human]
d. tot het einde van de vakantie
until the end of the holiday
*er tot/toe
there until
*tot 't
during it[-human]
e. tussen de lessen
between the lessons
#er tussen
here between
*tussen ze
between them[-human]
f. vanaf het begin
since the beginning
#er vanaf
there since
*vanaf 't
during it[-human]

[+]  III.  Non-spatial/temporal prepositions

Section 1.3.3, sub II has made a distinction between three types of non-spatial/temporal prepositions: (i) prepositions introducing a specific semantic role, (ii) prepositions heading PP-complements, and (iii) prepositions heading non-spatial/temporal adverbial phrases. Below, we will see that only the first two groups can be involved in the formation of pronominal PPs.

[+]  A.  Prepositions introducing a specific semantic role

Section 1.3.3, sub II, has discussed several prepositional phrases that are not selected by the verb (or the head of some other phrase they are part of) but introduce a referent that plays a certain semantic role in the clause (or other relevant phrase). Such PPs generally allow the formation of a pronominal PP. This will be illustrated below for the individual prepositions that may head such phrases.

[+]  1.  Door'by'

The first preposition is door'by', which introduces an agent in a passive clause or a cause in an active clause. The primed examples in (54) illustrate that R-pronominalization is possible by means of relative pronominal PPs.

Example 54
Passive/causal door-phrase
a. Jan is door deze automobilist aangereden.
  Jan has.been  by  this car.driver  over.run
  'Jan was run over by this car driver.'
a'. de automobilist waar Jan door aangereden is
  the car.driver  that  Jan by  over.run  has.been
b. Het raam brak door de explosie.
  the window  broke  by the explosion
  'The explosion caused the window to break.'
b'. de explosie waar het raam door brak
  the explosion  that  the window  by  broke
[+]  2.  Aan'to' and voor'for'

The prepositions aan'to' and voor'for' introduce, respectively, a recipient and a beneficiary. The primed examples in (55) show that PPs headed by these prepositions allow R-pronominalization.

Example 55
Recipient aan- and beneficiary voor-phrases
a. Ik heb het boek aan de jongen gegeven.
  have  the book  to the boy  given
  'I gave the book to the boy.'
a'. de jongen waar ik het boek aan gegeven heb
  the boy  where  the book  to  given  have
b. Ik heb een trui voor mijn kleindochter gebreid.
  have  a sweater  for my granddaughter  knitted
  'I knitted a sweater for my granddaughter.'
b'. mijn kleindochter waar ik een trui voor gebreid heb
  my granddaughter  where  a sweater  for  knitted  have

The preposition voor can also head a purpose clause and in this case, too, the formation of a pronominal PP is possible. It is not clear whether this use of voor is similar to the use of voor in the beneficiary PP.

Example 56
Purpose voor-phrase
a. Jan doet het voor het geld.
  Jan does it  because.of  the money
b. Het geld, daar doet Jan het voor.
  the money  there  does  Jan it  because.of
  'The money, that is what Jan is doing it for.'
[+]  3.  Met'with' and zonder'without'

The complement of the preposition met'with' can denote an instrument (57a), a co-agent (57b), or a located object (57c), and R-pronominalization is possible in all these cases.

Example 57
Met-phrases
a. Jan opende de kist met een breekijzer.
instrumental
  Jan opened  the box  with a crowbar
a'. het breekijzer waar Jan de kist mee opende
  the crowbar  where  Jan the box  with  opened
b. Marie speelde met Jan.
comitative
  Marie  played  with Jan
b'. de jongen waar Marie mee speelde
  the boy  where  Marie  with  played
c. Jan belaadde de wagen met hooi.
located object
  Jan loaded  the wagon  with hay
c'. het hooi waar Jan de wagen mee belaadde
  the hay  where  Jan  the wagon  with  loaded

This does not hold for all met-PPs, however. If the met-PP expresses an accessory circumstance, as in (58), R-pronominalization is excluded, and the same thing holds if met is the head of an absolute met-construction; cf. Section 2.5.1.

Example 58
a. Jan slaapt met het raam open.
accessory circumstance
  Jan sleeps  with  the window  open
b. * het raam waar Jan mee open slaapt
  the window  where  Jan with  open  sleeps

      Judgments on the preposition zonder'without' sometimes seem to vary; although the interrogative counterpart of (59a) is ungrammatical for most speakers, some of our informants do accept it and we also found a number of at least marginally acceptable examples on the internet in which the string [ er zonder] clearly functions as a pronominal PP, e.g., Water heeft de eigenschap dat je er zonder niet kunt leven'Water has the property that one cannot live without it'. In most cases, however, R-pronominalization of a zonder-PP leads to a severely degraded result. This is shown in (59b'), which can be compared with example (57a').

Example 59
a. Jan zit zonder geld.
  Jan sits  without money
  'Jan has no money.'
a'. % Waar zit je zonder?
b. Jan opende de kist zonder het breekijzer.
  Jan opened  the box  without the crowbar
b'. * het breekijzer waar Jan de kist zonder opende
  the crowbar  where  Jan the box  without  opened
[+]  4.  Bij'with'

Example (60) shows that possessive bij-phrases in locational constructions can also be pronominalized.

Example 60
The possessive bij-phrase
a. Marie zit graag bij hem op schoot.
  Marie sits  with pleasure  with him  on lap
  'Marie is sitting on his lap with pleasure.'
b. de jongen waar Marie graag bij op schoot zit
  the boy  where  Marie  with pleasure  with  on lap  sits
[+]  5.  Van'of'

Van-PPs may express a possessor, an agent, or a theme in a nominal construction. The primed examples in (61) show that possessive and agentive van-PPs cannot undergo R-pronominalization.

Example 61
Possessive or agentive van-phrases
a. het boek van de bibliotheek
possessive
  the book  of the library
a'. *? het boek ervan
b. het dansen van de kinderen
agentive
  the danceinf  of the children
b'. *? het dansen ervan

Van-PPs expressing a theme, on the other hand, may be pronominalized. The two examples in (62) differ in that the nominal infinitives lezen and vallen are derived from, respectively, a transitive and an unaccusative verb.

Example 62
Van-phrases expressing a theme
a. het lezen van het boek
theme of transitive verb
  the readinf  of the book
c'. het lezen ervan
d. het vallen van de bladeren
theme of unaccusative verb
  the fallinf  of the leaves
d'. het vallen ervan
[+]  B.  Functional prepositions (PP-complements)

PP-complements of verbs, adjectives, nouns and adpositions all allow R-pronominalization. Since we discuss this more extensively in Section 5.3.2, sub I, we will only give an example of each case here.

Example 63
a. Jan verlangt erg naar vakantie.
  Jan longs  much  for holiday
a'. Jan verlangt er erg naar.
  Jan longs  there  much  for
b. Jan is nieuwsgierig naar je werk
  Jan is curious  to your work
b'. Jan is er nieuwsgierig naar.
  Jan is there  curious  to
c. de jacht op ganzen
  the hunt on geese
c'. de jacht er op
  the hunt  there  on
d. voor bij de maaltijd
  for  with the meal
d'. voor er bij
  for  there  with
[+]  C.  Prepositions heading non-spatial/temporal adverbial phrases

Adverbial phrases headed by a non-spatial/temporal preposition cannot undergo R-pronominalization, that is, the prepositions in Table 30 in Section 1.3.3, sub IIC cannot head a pronominal PP. The last column of Table (64) shows that these prepositions cannot be followed by a weak pronoun either, irrespective of whether the pronoun is -human or +human. The examples with dankzij, namens, ondanks, vanwege, volgens and zonder become acceptable if the weak pronoun is replaced by a phonetically strong -neuter one, which is always used to denote a +human entity.

Example 64
Pronominalization of/in non-spatial/temporal PPs
  example pronominal PP pronoun
a. dankzij de computer
thanks.to the computer
*er dankzij
there thanks.to
*dankzij 'm
thanks.to it
b. gezien deze problemen
in.view.of these problems
*er gezien
there in.view.of
*gezien ze
in.view.of them
c. namens de firma
in.name.of the firm
*er namens
there in.name.of
*namens 'r
in.name.of it
d. ondanks zijn tegenzin
despite his reluctance
*er ondanks
there despite
*ondanks 'm
despite it
e. ongeacht de kosten
irrespective.of the costs
*er ongeacht
there irrespective.of
*ongeacht ze
irrespective.of them
f. per post/auto/kilo
by mail/car/the.kilo
*er per
there by
*per 'r/'m/'t
by it
g. vanwege de kosten
because.of the costs
*er vanwege
there because.of
*vanwege ze
because.of them
h. volgens het nieuws
according.to the news
*er volgens
there according.to
*volgens 't
according.to it
i. wegens het slechte weer
because.of the bad weather
*er wegens
there because.of
*wegens 't
because.of it
j. zonder het geld
without the money
*er zonder
there without
*zonder 't
without it

Apparent counterexamples to the claim that non-spatial/temporal PPs do not allow R-pronominalization are daaromtrent'as to that' and hieromtrent'hereabout'. These formations are, however, better considered fossilized lexical items, because they are in a severely limited paradigm. The formation eromtrent, for example, is not possible. Note in this connection that the morpheme daar also occurs in formations like daarentegen'on the other hand' and daarenboven'moreover', which are based on the medieval prepositions entegen and enboven ( Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal).

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