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2.4. Pronominalization of the adjective (phrase)

This section discusses pronominalization of the AP. Pronominalization is a common phenomenon in the case of nominal arguments, but it is also possible in the case of predicates. Consider the examples in (95). In (95a), the pronoun het/dat'it/that' has the same function as the VP op zijn vader wachten, so that we may conclude that the VP is pronominalized. Sometimes a smaller constituent than a full VP is pronominalized; in (95b), for example, the pronoun performs the function of the verb only.

Example 95
Jan wil [VP op zijn vader wachten] ..
  Jan wants  for his father  wait ..
a. .. en ik wil het/dat ook.
  .. and  want  it/that  too
b. .. en ik wil het/dat op mijn moeder.
  .. and  want  it/that  for my mother

The examples in (96) show that predicatively used APs can also be pronominalized. In (96a) the pronoun het'it' performs the same function as the complex AP bang voor honden'afraid of dogs'. Just as in the VP case in (95), the pronoun may also replace a smaller constituent; in (96b) the pronoun replaces only the adjective bang'afraid'.

Example 96
Jan is [AP bang voor honden] ..
  Jan is  afraid  of dogs ..
a. .. en ik ben het ook.
  .. and  am  it  too
b. .. en ik ben het voor spinnen.
  .. and  am  it  of spiders

The use of the pronoun het is very normal in coordination contexts and discourse. In left dislocation contexts, such as given in (97), the demonstrative pronoun dat'that' is used; observe that dat cannot be analyzed as a complementizer given that the finite verb does not occupy the clause-final position.

Example 97
a. [AP Bang voor honden], dat is Jan.
  afraid of dogs  that is Jan
b. Bang, dat is Jan voor honden.
  afraid  that  is Jan of dogs

      The position occupied by the pronoun het'it' differs from the position occupied by the adjective (phrase). The examples in (98) show that predicatively used APs are normally placed in the predicative position immediately left-adjacent to the verbs in clause-final position (if present), that is, after adverbs like ook'too' or altijd'always'; see Section 6.2.2 for a more precise and detailed discussion. The pronoun, on the other hand, must precede the adverb, as is illustrated in (99).

Example 98
a. Jan is <*bang voor honden> ook/altijd <bang voor honden> geweest.
  Jan is     afraid of dogs  too/always  been
b. Jan is <*bang> ook/altijd <bang> voor honden geweest.
  Jan is     afraid  too/always  of dogs  been
  'Jan has always been afraid of dogs, too.'
Example 99
Peter is bang voor honden ..
  Peter is afraid  of dogs ..
a. .. en Jan is <het> ook <*het> geweest.
  .. and  Jan is   it  too  been
b. .. en Jan is <het> altijd <*het> voor spinnen geweest.
  .. and  Jan is   it  always  of spiders  been

This difference in placement suggests that the pronoun does not function as a predicative phrase, but like a regular nominal argument. If the pronoun indeed functions as a regular nominal argument, this may perhaps also provide an answer to the question how it is possible that a pronoun het/dat, which should probably be seen as a maximal projection, can refer to the adjectival head in (96b), (97b) and (99b). Given that a proper analysis of the behavior of the pronominal element is beyond the scope of the present discussion, we leave it as a topic for future research. We refer the reader to Sections 3.4 and 4.4 for more discussion of pronominalization of the adjective (phrase).

    This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
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