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6.2.2. Position of the complementive adjective in the clause
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This section discusses the position of the complementive in the clause. We will see that the complementive is normally left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position, unless the complementive has been moved into a more leftward position. If movement does not apply, the complementive and the verb(s) in clause-final position can only be separated by a stranded preposition.

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[+]  I.  Position with respect to the verbs in clause-final position

The position of the attributively used adjective is typically to the left of the verb(s) in clause-final position: placement of the adjective after the verb(s) leads to severe ungrammaticality. This is illustrated in (54).

Example 54
a. dat de jongens groot zijn.
  that  the boys  big  are
a'. * dat de jongens zijn groot.
b. dat Jan zijn haar zwart verfde.
  that  Jan his hair  black  dyed
b'. * dat Jan zijn haar verfde zwart.
c. dat Marie Jan aardig vindt.
  that  Marie Jan nice  considers
c'. * dat Marie Jan vindt aardig.

There is a divide between the northern and southern varieties of Dutch with respect to the placement of the complementive when there is more than one verb in clause-final position. In the northern varieties, the adjective usually precedes all verbs. Placement of the adjective in between the auxiliary and main verb, as in the primed examples of (55), is generally rejected, although it should be noted that these orders are occasionally produced and some speakers tend to accept them as marked but acceptable. All speakers of the northern varieties of Dutch do agree, though, that making the adjective phrases in (55) more complex by, e.g., adding a complement or an intensifying adverb, such as erg'very', renders the primed examples fully unacceptable; the same thing holds for adjectives in the comparative or superlative forms.

Example 55
a. dat de jongens groot willen worden.
  that  the boys  big  want  become
  'that the boys want to become big.'
a'. *? dat de jongens willen groot worden.
b. dat Jan zijn haar zwart wil verven.
  that  Jan his hair  black  wants  dye
  'that Jan wants to dye his hair black.'
b'. *? dat Jan zijn haar wil zwart verven.
c. dat Marie Jan aardig wil vinden.
  that  Marie Jan nice  want  consider
  'that Marie wishes to consider Jan kind.'
c'. *? dat Marie Jan wil aardig vinden.

The requirement that the verbs in clause-final position be strictly adjacent to each other does not apply to the southern varieties of Dutch. This is especially clear in the varieties of Dutch spoken in Belgium, where even in the formal registers various types of elements can be placed between the clause-final verbs. In these varieties, the orders in the primed examples in (55) are fully acceptable, even if the adjectives are modified.
      With some more or lesss fixed adjective-verb combinations, all speakers of Dutch accept the occurrence of the adjective in between the auxiliary and the main verb. These combinations are sometimes considered compounds, which is reflected by the orthographical convention of writing the combination as a single word in the primeless examples of (56). That we are dealing with compounds is perhaps supported by the fact that these adjective-verb combinations can be rendered by simple English verbs: to raise, to clean and to drain. It is also suggested by the fact that modification of the adjectives by, e.g., the intensifying adverb erg'very' gives rise to an awkward result, although it should be noted that assuming compounding leaves unexplained that modification is also excluded if the adjective and the verb are not adjacent, as in the primed examples (or in verb second contexts).

Example 56
a. dat hij zijn kinderen in slechte omstandigheden moet (*erg) grootbrengen.
  that  he  his children  in bad circumstances  must    very big.bring
  'that he must raise his children in bad circumstances.'
a'. dat hij zijn kinderen in slechte omstandigheden (*erg) groot moet brengen.
b. dat hij de badkamer wil (*erg) schoonmaken.
  that  he  the bathroom  wants   very  clean.make
  'that he wants to clean the bathroom.'
b'. dat hij de badkamer (??erg) schoon wil maken.
c. dat de regering de Markerwaard wil (*erg) droogleggen.
  that  the government  the Markerwaard  wants   very dry.put
  'that the government wants to drain the Markerwaard.'
c'. dat de regering de Markerwaard (*erg) droog wil leggen.

      If the adjective precedes the verb(s) in clause-final position, it must generally also be adjacent to it/them: intervention of elements such as adverbial phrases leads to unacceptability in all varieties of Dutch if the sentence is pronounced with an unmarked intonation pattern (with main stress on the complementive). This is illustrated in (57).

Example 57
a. dat de jongens altijd al groot hebben willen worden.
  that  the boys  always  prt  big  have  want  become
  'that the boys always wanted to become big.'
a'. * dat de jongens groot altijd al hebben willen worden.
b. dat Jan zijn haar altijd al zwart heeft willen verven.
  that  Jan his hair  always  prt  black  has  wanted  dye
  'that Jan always wanted to dye his hair black.'
b'. * dat Jan zijn haar zwart altijd al heeft willen verven.
c. dat Marie Jan altijd al aardig heeft gevonden.
  that  Marie Jan always  prt  nice  has  considered
  'that Marie has always considered Jan to be kind.'
c'. * dat Marie Jan aardig altijd al heeft gevonden.

      The general rule for placement of complementive adjectives can be schematized as in (58): √ indicates the position of the complementive in the “unmarked" construction, % indicates the position where the adjective cannot occur in the northern varieties, and * marks the positions where the adjective cannot occur at all, subsection II will show, however, that several exceptions to this general schema exist. In what follows we will focus on the northern varieties of Dutch and refer to the generalization in (58) as the adjacency restriction.

Example 58
The position of the complementive in the clause:
.... * XP √ Verb % Verb *

Note further that, in order to be more precise, we should of course say that the adjectival phrase must be adjacent to the clause-final verb(s), since otherwise an example such as (59), in which the intervening PP is an argument of the adjective (cf. Section 2.1), would constitute a problem for this claim. For convenience, however, we will maintain our loose formulation in the following discussion.

Example 59
dat Jan [AP boos op zijn vader] is.
  that  Jan  angry at his father  is
'that Jan is angry at his father.'

      The fact that the adjective must be left-adjacent to the verbs in clause-final position suggests that there is some close relationship between the verb cluster and the adjective. That this is indeed the case is also clear from the fact that the adjective must be pied-piped in the case of VP-topicalization, as is illustrated in (60b-c).

Example 60
a. Jan wil de deur niet groen verven.
  Jan wants  the door  not  green  paint
  'Jan doesnʼt want to paint the door green.'
b. Groen verven wil Jan de deur niet.
c. * Verven wil Jan de deur niet groen.

The examples in (61) show that it is not impossible to separate the verb and the adjective. This frequently happens in Verb-second contexts if the main verb is finite, as in (61a). Separation may also result from leftward movement of the adjective. This is illustrated in (61b) for topicalization. The various types of leftward movement that may bring about such separation are discussed Subsection II.

Example 61
a. Jan verft de deur groen.
  Jan paints  the door  green
b. Groen wil Jan de deur niet verven.
[+]  II.  Focus movement, wh-movement and topicalization of the adjective

The adjacency restriction between the adjective and the verb cluster can be overruled by assigning focus accent to the adjective; the primed examples in (57) improve considerably in that case. The order in these examples can be further improved by placing a focus particle like zo'that' in front of the adjective. This is illustrated in the primed examples of (62). The primeless examples show that the complementive adjective can also occupy the unmarked position.

Example 62
a. dat de jongens altijd al zo groot hebben willen worden.
  that  the boys  always al  that big  have  want  be
a'. dat de jongens zo groot altijd al hebben willen worden.
b. dat Jan zijn haar altijd al zo zwart heeft willen verven.
b'. dat Jan zijn haar zo zwart altijd al heeft willen verven.
c. dat Marie Jan altijd al zo aardig heeft gevonden.
c'. dat Marie Jan zo aardig altijd al heeft gevonden.

The adjacency requirement can also be overruled by placing the adjective in clause-initial position by wh-movement or topicalization. We illustrate this in (63) by means of topicalization. The reader can construct the corresponding Wh-constructions himself by placing the interrogative intensifier hoe'how' in front of the adjective.

Example 63
a. Groot hebben de jongens altijd al willen worden.
  big  have  the boys  always  prt  want  become
  'Big, the boys always wanted to become.'
b. Zwart heeft Jan zijn haar altijd al willen verven.
  black  has  Jan his hair  always  prt  wanted  paint
  'Black, Jan always wanted to dye his hair.'
c. Aardig heeft Marie Jan altijd al gevonden.
  nice  has  Marie Jan always  prt  considered
  'Nice, Marie always considered Jan to be.'

      These examples show that we have to revise the schema in (58) as in (64). Again, the dots represents a random string of elements, √ indicates the position of the complementive in the “unmarked" construction, % indicates the position where the adjective cannot occur in the northern varieties, and * marks the positions in which the adjective cannot occur in Standard Dutch. In addition, WH/TOP indicates the position of the adjective in topicalization or wh- constructions such as (63), and FOC indicates the position of the adjective in focus constructions such as (62); the star below FOC indicates that this position can only be filled by contrastively focused adjectives.

Example 64
The position of the complementive in the clause:
WH/TOP ... XP √ Verb % Verb *

      In constructions with leftward movement of the adjective, the close relation between the complementive and the verb is broken. Therefore, we may expect that in such cases, VP-topicalization may strand the complementive. It is of course not possible to check this if the complementive has undergone wh-movement or topicalization itself, as the prospective landing site of the VP would already be filled then, but it is possible to check this when the adjective has undergone focus movement, since this leaves the clause-initial position free for VP-topicalization. Example (65) seems to indicate that VP-topicalization is not possible for some reason. Nevertheless, we will see in the next subsection that leftward movement of the adjective may indeed make it possible for the verb to topicalize in isolation.

Example 65
?? Verven wil Jan de deur zo groen toch echt niet.
  paint  wants  Jan the door  that green  yet  really  not
[+]  III.  Complementive adjectives and stranded prepositions

Like complementives, stranded prepositions must be left-adjacent to the verb cluster in clause-final position, which means that the two compete for the same position. Nevertheless, they may co-occur in a single clause. At first sight, the ordering of the two elements seems to be free: in (66a), which contains a stranded preposition of an instrumental PP, the stranded preposition may either precede or follow the complementive, and the same thing holds for (66b), which involves the stranded preposition of a restrictive adverbial van-PP. For convenience, we have given the stranded preposition and its moved complement, the R-word waar, in italics.

Example 66
a. de doek waar Jan de kast mee droog gemaakt heeft
  the cloth  which  Jan the cupboard  with  dry  made  has
  'the cloth Jan has dried the cupboard with'
a'. de doek waar Jan de kast droog mee gemaakt heeft
b. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant van droog gemaakt heeft
  the cupboard  which  Jan the top side  of  dry  made  has
  'the cupboard of which Jan has dried the top side'
b'. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant droog van gemaakt heeft

The situation is, however, far more complex than the examples in (66) suggest. In fact, the general rule seems to be that the stranded preposition follows the complementive adjective. The following subsections discuss various facts supporting this claim.

[+]  A.  The resultative versus the vinden-construction

The examples in (66) with free ordering of the complementive and the stranded preposition are all resultative constructions. When we consider the order of the two in vinden-constructions like (67b) and (68b), it turns out that the complementive must precede the stranded preposition, notwithstanding the fact that the full prepositional phrase must precede the complementive adjective (unless, of course, the PP is placed in post-verbal position by means of PP-over-V, an option not relevant here: dat Marie haar broer mooi vindt in die kleren).

Example 67
a. dat Marie haar broer in die kleren mooi vindt.
  that  Marie her brother  in those clothes  beautiful  considers
  'Marie considers her brother beautiful in those clothes.'
a'. * dat Marie haar broer mooi in die kleren vindt.
b. * de kleren waar Marie haar broer in mooi vindt
  the clothes  that  Marie her brother  in beautiful  considers
  'the clothes in which Marie considers her brother beautiful'
b'. de kleren waar Marie haar broer mooi in vindt
Example 68
a. dat Jan de minister in dit document gek noemt.
  that  Jan the minister  in this document  mad  calls
  'that Jan is calling the minister mad in this document.'
a'. * dat Jan de minister gek in dit document noemt.
b. * het document waar Jan de minister in gek noemt
  the document that  Jan the minister  in mad  calls
  'the document in which Jan calls the minister mad'
b'. het document waar Jan de minister gek in noemt
[+]  B.  Modification of the complementive

As soon as the complementives in (66) are modified by, e.g., the intensifier erg'very', the order with the stranded preposition preceding the adjective becomes completely ungrammatical. The same thing holds if we replace erg droog by the morphologically amplified compound kurkdroog'bone-dry', but this is not illustrated here.

Example 69
a. * de doek waar hij de kast mee erg droog gemaakt heeft
  the cloth  which  he  the closet  with  very dry  made  has
  'the cloth he made the closet very dry with'
a'. de doek waar hij de kast erg droog mee gemaakt heeft
b. * de kast waar Jan de bovenkant van erg droog gemaakt heeft
  the closet  which  Jan the top side  of  very dry  made  has
  'the closet of which Jan has made the top side very dry'
b'. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant erg droog van gemaakt heeft
[+]  C.  Comparative and superlative formation

If the complementive has the comparative or superlative form, the stranded preposition must follow it.

Example 70
a. * de doek waar hij de kast mee droger/het droogst gemaakt heeft
  the cloth  which  he  the closet  with  drier/the driest  made  has
  'the cloth he made the closet drier/the driest with'
a'. de doek waar hij de kast droger/het droogst mee gemaakt heeft
b. * de kast waar Jan de bovenkant van droger/het droogst gemaakt heeft
  the closet  which  Jan the top side  of  drier/the driest  made  has
  'the closet of which Jan has made the top side drier/the driest'
b'. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant droger/het droogst van gemaakt heeft
[+]  D.  Negation

If the clause is negated, the complementive may generally either precede or follow the stranded preposition, as is shown in (71).

Example 71
a. de doek waar Jan de kast niet mee droog gemaakt heeft
  the cloth  which  Jan the closet  not  with  dry  made  has
  'the cloth that Jan didnʼt dry the closet with'
a'. de doek waar hij de kast niet droog mee gemaakt heeft
b. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant niet van droog gemaakt heeft
  the closet  which  Jan the top side  not  of  dry  made  has
  'the closet of which Jan didnʼt dry the top side'
b'. de kast waar Jan de bovenkant niet droog van gemaakt heeft

If the scope of negation is restricted to the complementive, however, the adjective must precede the stranded preposition. This is illustrated in (72). In (72b), it is not the event of painting that is negated: the negation focuses on the adjective only; the color Jan is using is not green. In contrast to what we find in (72a), the complementive must precede the stranded preposition in this case.

Example 72
a. de kwast waar Jan de deur <mee> groen <mee> verft
  the brush  which  Jan the door    with  green  paints
  'the brush with which Jan is painting the door green'
b. de kwast waar Jan de deur <*mee> niet <??mee> groen <mee> verft
  the brush  which  Jan the door     with  not  green  paints
[+]  E.  Leftward movement of the complementive?

It is not immediately clear how the orders in A to D are brought about. There is, however, some evidence that the order in which the complementive precedes the stranded preposition involves leftward movement of the adjective. In Subsection II, we suggested that, in principle, leftward movement of the complementive should make topicalization of the verb in isolation possible, although we have not come across an acceptable example of this type so far. Now consider the two examples in (73), which involve negation with scope over the complementive only: Jan didnʼt want to paint the door green, but he did want to paint it yellow.

Example 73
a. Jan wil de deur niet groen verven maar geel.
  Jan wants  the door  not  green  paint  but  yellow
  'Jan doesnʼt want to paint the door green but yellow.'
b. Verven wil Jan de deur niet groen maar geel.

The acceptability of (73b) would follow if the focus of negation on the adjective groen forces the adjective to move leftward; as a result of that the tie between the verb and the adjective is broken, and the verb can be topicalized in isolation. From this it would follow that the grammatical order in (72b) is the result of leftward movement of the adjective. By extension, we might speculate that the same thing holds for the other cases in which the complementive adjectives precede the stranded prepositions, but future research must make clear whether this suggestion is tenable.

[+]  F.  Conclusion

Now that we have established that stranded prepositions may intervene between the complementive and the verbs in clause-final position, we can further revise the schema in (64) as in (74), in which P str. stands for the position of the stranded preposition. This concludes our discussion of the position of the complementive adjective.

Example 74
The position of the complementive in the clause
WH/TOP ... XP √ Pstr. Verb % Verb *
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