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9.3.1. Complementive use

Section 9.2 has shown that attributively used adjectives can be either verbal or truly adjectival in nature. This section adopts as its starting point the hypothesis that only participles of the latter type can be used as complementives: Subsection I will examine this for the past/passive participles and Subsection II for the present participles, subsection III concludes with a discussion of the complementive use of modal infinitives.

[+]  I.  Past/passive participles

This subsection discusses the complementive use of past/passive participles. According to the tests listed in Section 9.2, Table 6, past/passive participles like geslacht'slaughtered' and getrouwd'married' can be used as truly adjectival attributive participles, whereas past/passive participles like aangeboden'offered' and gevallen'fallen' cannot; cf. the discussion of (63) and (64). Consequently, if only truly adjectival participles can be used in the function of a complementive, we expect only the former to be possible in copular constructions. As we have seen in (65), repeated here as (96), this expectation indeed seems to be borne out.

Example 96
a. De schapen bleken geslacht.
  the sheep  turned.out  slaughtered
  'The sheep turned out (to be) slaughtered.'
b. Dat stel bleek getrouwd.
  that couple  turned.out  married
  'That couple turned out (to be) married.'
c. ?? Dat boek bleek aangeboden.
  that book  turned.out  prt.-offered
d. ?? De jongen bleek gevallen.
  the boy  turned.out  fallen

The participles geslacht and getrouwd also exhibit truly adjectival behavior in the constructions in (96a&b) with respect to the tests in Table 6. The participle getrouwd, for example, has no aspectual content but refers to the state of being married. Furthermore, (97a) show that it can be prefixed with the negative marker on-, and (97b) that it can only be modified by time adverbs that refers to an interval on the time axis, such as jarenlang'for years'.

Example 97
a. Het stel bleek ongetrouwd.
  the couple  turned.out  unmarried
  'The couple turned out to be unmarried.'
b. Het stel bleek jarenlang/??om drie uur getrouwd.
  the couple  turned.out  for.years/at 3 oʼclock married
  'The couple turned out to have been married for years.'

The two remaining tests in Table 6 cannot be used for independent reasons: the verb trouwen'to marry' has only one argument (a DO-subject), and comparative formation is impossible due to the fact that the truly adjectival participle getrouwd is not scalar; one is either married or not. Given that examples like (96a&b) exhibit truly adjectival behavior they are sometimes also referred to as adjectival passives.
      The remainder of this subsection wil focus on the verb types of past/passive participle that can be used as complementive. Section 9.2.1 has shown that past/passive participles of intransitive verbs and nom-dat verbs that select the auxiliary hebben cannot be used attributively. The examples in (98) show that the same thing holds for the complementive use of these participles.

Example 98
a. * De jongen is gehuild.
is = copular
  the boy  is  cried
b. * De moed is (ons) ontbroken.
is = copular
  the courage  has  us  lacked

The subsections below will therefore focus on past/past participles of verb types that can also be used attributively, and will also discuss a number of tests that can be used to distinguish this complementive use of these participles from their use in perfect tense and passive constructions.

[+]  A.  Transitive and unaccusative verbs

Given that the copular zijn'to be' is homophonous with the passive auxiliary and the auxiliary of time selected by unaccusative verbs, copular constructions with adjectival past/participle participles are sometimes difficult to distinguish from perfect tense and passive constructions. The following subsections discuss some tests that can be used to distinguish them.

[+]  1.  Distinguishing past perfect, passive and copular constructions

In the copular constructions in (96), we have used the copular verb blijken'to turn out' instead of zijn'to be' in order to avoid problems that arise due to the fact that the copular verb zijn'to be' is homophonous with the perfect and passive auxiliaries zijn; if we replace blijken in (96b-d) by zijn, as in (99), it is not immediately clear whether we are dealing with a copular or a passive/past perfect construction. Note that we can put (96a) aside for the moment because transitive verbs do not take the perfect auxiliary zijn'to be', but hebben'to have' (but see the discussion in Subsection 2).

Example 99
a. Het stel is getrouwd.
  that couple  is married
  Past perfect construction: 'The couple has married.'
  Copular construction: 'The couple is married.'
b. Het boek is aangeboden.
  the book  is prt.-offered
  Passive construction: 'The book has been offered.'
c. De jongen is gevallen.
  the boy  is fallen
  Past perfect construction: 'The boy has fallen.'

Example (99c) is grammatical, in contrast to (96d), but we are not dealing with a copular construction since the participle can only refer to the process of falling and not to the state of being fallen. This is also clear from the fact, illustrated in (100), that adverbials like al jarenlang cannot be used. From this we conclude that we are dealing with the perfect auxiliary zijn.

Example 100
De jongen is gisteren/*al jarenlang gevallen.
  the boy  is yesterday/for years  fallen
'The boy fell yesterday.'

      We are not dealing with a copular construction in (99b) either: the participle does not refer to the state of being offered and (101a) shows that modification by the adverbial phrase al jarenlang is impossible. Furthermore, an indirect object can be added, which is impossible if we are dealing with a truly adjectival participle; cf. Table 6. Since a passive door-phrase is also possible in (101a), we are clearly dealing with a passive construction. Recall that if the passive auxiliary is worden, as in (101b), an inchoative or durative aspect is added, as a result of which the adverb test is no longer conclusive: adverbial phrases that refer to an interval on the time axis become possible in that case.

Example 101
a. Het boek is gisteren/*al jarenlang (door hem) (aan Marie) aangeboden.
  the book  is yesterday/for years   by him    to Marie  prt.-offered
  'The book was offered yesterday.'
b. Het boek wordt morgen/al jarenlang aangeboden.
  the book  is  tomorrow/for years  prt.-offered
  'The book will be/has been offered tomorrow/for years.'

      In accordance with our findings with respect to (99b&c), the participle in example (99a) may also have a verbal reading. So, (99a) differs from the unambiguous copular construction with blijken'to turn out' in (96b) in that it need not have the adjectival/state reading, but can also have the (verbal) past perfect reading. In accordance with this, example (102a) shows that the adverbial phrases al jarenlang'for years' and om drie uur'at 3 oʼclock' can both be used felicitously. This does not imply, however, that constructions with zijn are always ambiguous: if the participle is prefixed with on-, as in (102b), we are clearly dealing with an adjective and only the stative reading is possible, which is also clear from the fact that the presence of the adverbial PP om drie uur leads to unacceptability. Furthermore, example (102c) shows that the adjectival reading is excluded if the participle appears after the verb in clause-final position: this is, of course, in accordance with the finding from Section 6.2.2 that adjectives must precede the clause-final verb(s); see also Table 2.

Example 102
a. Het stel is al jarenlang/om drie uur getrouwd.
  the couple  is for years/at 3 oʼclock  married
b. Het stel is al jarenlang/*om drie uur ongetrouwd.
  the couple  is for years/at 3 oʼclock  unmarried
  'The couple has been unmarried for years.'
c. dat het stel om drie uur/*al jarenlang is getrouwd.
  that  the couple  at 3 oʼclock/for years  is married
  'that the couple married at 3 oʼclock.'

Nevertheless, it should be noted that the ungrammatical version of sentences such as (102c) is sometimes produced. On closer introspection, most speakers will agree that this should be considered a performance error. The same performance error is occasionally made with pseudo-participles like bekend'well-known/famous'.

[+]  2.  Distinguishing past perfect and semi-copular constructions

Section 6.2.1, sub IB, has shown that in Dutch dialects that allow possessive datives, the Standard Dutch copular construction in (103a) has the semi-copular alternant in (103b).

Example 103
a. Zijn band is lek.
  his tire  is punctured
b. Hij heeft de band lek.
  he  has  the tire  punctured
  'He has a punctured tire.'

Now, consider the Standard Dutch example in (104a), which can be construed either as a passive or as a copular construction, depending on whether the participle is construed as verbal or adjectival. The actual reading can be established by means of several tests: addition of the adverb gisteren'yesterday', as in (104b), suggests that we are dealing with the verbal (passive) participle, which is confirmed by the fact that the passive door-phrase can be added to such examples; addition of adverbial phrases like al jarenlang, as in (104c), suggests that we are dealing with a copular construction, which is confirmed by the fact that the door-phrase cannot be added. More evidence for these conclusions is that (104d) shows that the participle cannot occur postverbally if the adverbial phrase is al jarenlang.

Example 104
a. Zijn fiets is gestolen.
  his bicycle  is stolen
  Passive construction: 'His bike is stolen.'
is = passive auxiliary
  Semi-copular construction: 'His bike is stolen.'
is = copular
b. Zijn fiets is gisteren (door Peter) gestolen.
  his bicycle  is yesterday   by Peter  stolen
  'His bicycle was stolen (by Peter) yesterday.'
c. Zijn fiets is al jarenlang (*door Peter) gestolen.
  his bicycle  is for years     by Peter  stolen
  'His bicycle has been stolen for years.'
d. dat zijn fiets gisteren/*al jarenlang is gestolen.
  that  his bicycle  yesterday/for years  is stolen
  'that his bicycle was stolen yesterday.'

In the non-standard varieties of Dutch that allow the semi-copular construction in (103b), (104a) can be translated as in (105a) on the truly adjectival reading of the participle. This sentence is again ambiguous, as it can also be interpreted as a perfect-tense construction. The construction can be disambiguated in similar ways as (104a): addition of the adverb gisteren in (105b) is only possible on the verbal reading of the participle, whereas addition of al jarenlang in (105c) triggers the adjectival/state reading. Observe that, as expected, the adverbial phrase al jarenlang cannot be used in the corresponding present-tense construction *Hij steelt al jarenlang de fiets'He was stealing the bike for years'. Example (104d), finally, shows that the adverbial phrase al jarenlang cannot be used if the participle follows the auxiliary in clause-final position.

Example 105
a. Hij heeft de fiets gestolen.
  he  has  the bicycle  stolen
  Past perfect construction: 'He has stolen the bike.'
  Semi-copular construction: 'His bike was stolen.'
b. Hij heeft gisteren de fiets gestolen.
  he  has  yesterday  the bicycle  stolen
  'He stole the bicycle yesterday.'
c. Hij heeft al jarenlang de fiets gestolen.
  he  has  for years  the bicycle  stolen
  'He has had his bicycle stolen for years.'
d. dat hij gisteren/*al jarenlang de fiets heeft gestolen.
  that  he  yesterday/for years  the bicycle  has  stolen

As the participle can only be interpreted as truly adjectival if the subject enters into a possessive relation with the object, (105a) can also be disambiguated by adding a possessive pronoun to the object: this blocks this possessive relation and, as a result, (106) is only compatible with the verbal reading of the participle.

Example 106
Hij heeft haar/zijn fiets gestolen.
  he  has  her/his bicycle  stolen
'He has stolen her/his bicycle.'

      Section 6.2.1, sub IB, has also shown that Standard Dutch has a similar semi-copular construction with hebben'to have', which occurs under somewhat more strict conditions than the dialect construction in (105a). A sentence like (107a), for example, is ambiguous between a past perfect and a semi-copular reading. That (107a) can be interpreted as a past perfect construction is clear from the fact that it has the present tense counterpart in (107b), and that it can be interpreted as a semi-copular construction is evident from the fact that hebben can be replaced by the semi-copular verb krijgen'to get' in (107c). Observe that, unlike the dialect construction in (105a), the Standard Dutch semi-copular construction is possible if the object contains a possessive pronoun.

Example 107
a. Jan heeft zijn raam niet gesloten.
  Jan has  his window  not  closed
  Past perfect construction: 'Jan hasnʼt closed his window.'
  Semi-copular construction: 'Jan doesnʼt have his window closed.'
b. Jan sluit zijn raam niet.
  Jan closes  his window  not
c. Jan krijgt zijn raam niet gesloten.
  Jan gets  his window  not  closed

The semi-copular and past perfect readings in (107a) are again subject to the familiar restrictions: use of punctual adverbs like gisteren, as in (108a), is only possible on the verbal/eventive reading of the participle, whereas addition of non-punctual adverbs like altijd in (105c) triggers the adjectival/state reading. Placing the participle after the finite verb in clause-final position, as in (108c), is only possible in the perfect-tense construction, that is, if the participle is verbal; this is clear from the fact that this construction is only compatible with punctual adverbial phrases like gisteren.

Example 108
a. Jan heeft gisteren zijn raam gesloten.
  Jan has  yesterday  his window  closed
  'Jan didnʼt close his window yesterday.'
b. Jan heeft altijd zijn raam gesloten.
  Jan has  always  his window  closed
  'Jan always has his window closed.'
c. dat Jan zijn raam gisteren/*altijd heeft gesloten.
  that  Jan his window  yesterday/always  has  closed
  'that Jan didnʼt close his window yesterday.'
[+]  3.  Summary

This subsection has shown that only truly adjectival participles can be used as predicates in (semi-)copular constructions. Sometimes ambiguity arises between the predicative and the passive/past perfect constructions, but it has been shown that some of the tests from Section 9.1 can be used to distinguish the two readings. Further, it has been shown that the relative position of the participle and the remaining verbs in clause-final position is relevant: if the participle follows the verb hebben/zijn, the adjectival reading is blocked.

[+]  B.  Dyadic unaccusative verbs

Section 9.2.1 has shown that past participles of nom-dat verbs can be used attributively to modify a head noun that corresponds to the DO-subject, provided that the verb takes the auxiliary zijn in the perfect tense. This is shown again in (109).

Example 109
a. Die opmerking is ons opgevallen.
perfect auxiliary zijn
  that remark  is us  prt.-noticed
  'We have noticed that remark.'
a'. de ons opgevallen opmerking
  the  us  prt.-noticed  remark
  'the remark that we have noticed'
b. De moed heeft ons ontbroken.
perfect auxiliary hebben
  the courage  has  us  lacked
  'We (have) lacked the courage.'
b'. *? de ons ontbroken moed
  the  us  lacked  courage

Since the past participle ontbroken cannot be used attributively, it does not come as a surprise that it cannot be used predicatively (cf. *de moed is/bleek ontbroken). Example (110) shows, though, that the past participle of the nom-dat verb opvallen cannot be used predicatively either. This is, however, in accordance with the conclusion reached in 9.2.1, sub II, that past participles of nom-dat verbs like opvallen do not have a truly adjectival interpretation; cf. (57).

Example 110
a. * De opmerking is/blijkt opgevallen.
  the remark  is/turns.out  prt.-noticed

For completeness’ sake, note that (109a) is not ambiguous between the perfect tense and the copular construction as truly adjectival participles generally do not allow nominal arguments; that (109a) cannot be a case of the copular construction is also illustrated by the fact illustrated in (111) that only adverbs that refer to a certain point on the time axis, like gisteren, lead to a felicitous result; cf. Table 6.

Example 111
Die opmerking is ons gisteren/*al jaren opgevallen.
  that remark  is us  yesterday/for years  prt.-noticed
'We noticed that remark yesterday.'
[+]  C.  Object experiencer psych-verbs

Section 9.2.1 has also shown that past participles of object experiencer psych-verbs can be used attributively if the modified noun corresponds to the +human object of the corresponding active verb. This is illustrated again in (112).

Example 112
a. Die berichten verontrusten de jongen.
  those messages  disturb  the boy
a'. de verontruste jongen
  the  disturbed  boy
b. Het avontuur wond de jongen op.
  the adventure  excited  the boy  prt.
  'The adventure excited the boy.'
b'. de opgewonden jongen
  the  excited  boy

The examples in (113) show that the past participles can also be used predicatively; in these cases no confusion arises with perfect-tense constructions, given that these psych-verbs select the auxiliary hebben'to have'. Observe that the truly adjectival status of the participles is also evident from the fact that they can be modified by intensifiers like heel/zeer'very'.

Example 113
a. De jongen is al jaren/*gisteren (heel) verontrust (over die berichten).
  the boy  is for years/yesterday   very  disturbed  about those messages
b. De jongen is al jaren/*gisteren (zeer) opgewonden (over het avontuur).
  the boy  is for years/yesterday   very  excited  about the adventure
[+]  D.  Summary

The discussion in this subsection has shown that the complementive use of past/passive participles is more restricted than their attributive use: it is only possible if the participle is truly adjectival, that is, with a subset of transitive and monadic unaccusative verbs, and object experiencer verbs; cf. Table 5.

[+]  II.  Present participles

Section 9.2.1, sub II, has shown that the truly adjectival reading of present participles is restricted to object experiencer psych-verbs. If only truly adjectival participles can be used in predicative position, we would expect that only the participles of psych-verbs can occur in the copular construction. The following subsections will show that this expectation is more or lesss borne out, although various provisos must be made. Let us first start with a brief overview.

[+]  A.  Intransitive and transitive verbs

Present participles of intransitive and transitive verbs cannot be used in the copular construction. This was shown in (74a&b), and some more examples are given in (114) and (115). The ungrammaticality of the predicative constructions in the primed examples contrast sharply with the acceptability of the corresponding attributive constructions: cf. het vloekende/werkende meisje'the cursing/working girl' and het zingende/etende meisje 'the singing/eating girl'.

Example 114
Present participles of intransitive verbs
a. Het meisje vloekt.
  the girl  curses
a'. * Het meisje is vloekend.
   the girl  iscopula  cursing
b. Het meisje werkt.
  the girl  works
b'. * Het meisje is werkend.
   the girl  iscopula  working
Example 115
Present participles of transitive verbs
a. Het meisje zingt een lied.
  the girl  sings  a song
a'. * Het meisje is zingend.
   the girl  iscopula  singing
b. Het meisje eet een appel.
  the girl  eats  an apple
b'. * Het meisje is etend.
   the girl  iscopula  eating

The examples in (116) show, however, there are many metaphorically used present participles that can be used not only attributively, but also predicatively. Given that the meanings of these forms are highly specialized, we may be dealing with genuine adjectives. Note that the non-metaphorically used present participles in (116c'&d') yield unacceptable results.

Example 116
a. een moordend tempo
  killing  tempo
  'a punishing tempo'
c. een moordende scholier
  the  killing  student
  'the student who is killing'
a'. Het tempo is moordend.
c'. * De scholier is moordend.
b. een sprekende gelijkenis
  speaking  resemblance
  'a remarkable/telling resemblance'
d. de sprekende voorzitter
   the  speaking  chairman
  'the chairman, who is speaking'
b'. De gelijkenis is sprekend.
d'. * De voorzitter is sprekend.
[+]  B.  Monadic unaccusative verbs

Example (74c) has shown that present participles of unaccusative verbs normally cannot be used in the copular construction; the examples in (117) illustrate this again. The ungrammaticality of the predicative constructions in the primed examples again contrasts sharply with the acceptability of the corresponding attributive constructions de vertrekkende gasten'the leaving guests' and de vallende jongen'the falling boy'.

Example 117
Present participles of unaccusative verbs
a. De gasten zijn vertrokken.
  the guests  are  left
  'The guests have left.'
a'. * De gasten zijn vertrekkend.
   the guests arecopula leaving
b. De jongen is gevallen.
  the boy  is fallen
  'The boy fell/has fallen.'
b'. * De jongen is vallend.
   the boy  iscopula  falling

The primed examples in (118) provide some potential counterexamples to the claim that the complementive use of present participles of unaccusative verbs is excluded.

Example 118
Present participles of unaccusative verbs ending in -e
a. De man is gestorven.
  the man is died
  'The man has died.'
b. Het schip is gezonken.
  the ship  is sunk
  'The ship has sunk.'
c. Het verzet is gegroeid
  the resistance  is grown
  'The resistance has grown.'
a'. De man is stervende.
  the man is dying
b'. Het schip is zinkende.
  the ship is sinking
c'. Het verzet is groeiende.
  the resistance is growing
a''. de stervende man
  the dying man
b''. het zinkende schip
  the sinking ship
c''. het groeiende verzet
  the growing resistance

Whether we are really dealing with copular constructions in these cases is not clear, however. First, the present participles in the primed examples are inflected by means of an -e ending, which is normally not possible with predicatively used adjectives. Second, the present participles seem to refer to ongoing processes, just like the attributively used verbal present participles in the doubly-primed examples: the subject of the clause is claimed to be undergoing a change of state. This is clear from the fact that the primed examples can be properly paraphrased by means of the durative aan het + infinitive construction; (118b'), for instance, is virtually synonymous with Het schip is aan het zinken'The ship is sinking'.
      Other potentially problematic cases involve motion verbs like lopen'to walk', bussen'to travel by bus' or liften'to hitchhike', which can be used either as intransitive or as unaccusative verbs; cf. Section V2.1.2, sub I. The unaccusative forms of these verbs in (119b) require a directional PP to be present and select the perfect auxiliary verb zijn'to be', whereas the forms of these verbs in (119a) simply behave as intransitive verbs: they occur without a predicative complement and select the perfect auxiliary verb hebben'to have'. The examples in (119c) show that the present participle of these motion verbs can be used as the predicate in a copular construction.

Example 119
Motion verbs
a. De jongen heeft gelopen/gebust/gelift.
intransitive verb
  the boy  has  walked/bused/hitchhiked
b. De jongen is naar Amsterdam gelopen/gebust/gelift.
unaccusative verb
  the boy  is to Amsterdam  walked/bused/hitchhiked
c. De jongen is/bleek (*naar Amsterdam) lopend/bussend/liftend.
  the boy  is/ turned.out     to Amsterdam  walking/busing/hitchhiking
  'The boy has/appeared to have come on foot/by bus/hitchhiking.'

The examples in (119c) differ from the primed examples in (118) in that they do not refer to an ongoing event. A sentence like Ik ben lopend does not imply that the speaker is walking at the moment of utterance, but just expresses that he came on foot. This suggests that the present participles in (119c) are truly adjectival, which seems to be supported by the fact that the predicative complement naar Amsterdam'to Amsterdam' cannot be used, in contrast to what is the case with the attributively used verbal participles in de naar Amsterdam lopende jongen'the boy that is walking to Amsterdam'.

[+]  C.  Dyadic unaccusative verbs

Nom-dat verbs normally resist formation of truly adjectival participles, regardless of whether they select the auxiliary zijn or hebben in the perfect tense. This is demonstrated in (120). Section 9.2.1, sub IIB, has already shown that the present participle of the verb opvallen'to strike' constitutes an exception in this respect.

Example 120
Present participles of nom-dat verbs
a. De maaltijd is ons goed bevallen.
  the meal  is us  good  pleased
  'The meal (has) pleased us very much.'
a'. * De maaltijd is (goed) bevallend.
vs. de goed bevallende maaltijd
  the meal  iscopula   good  pleasing
b. De maaltijd heeft ons goed gesmaakt.
  the meal  has  us  good  tasted
  'We (have) enjoyed the meal very much.'
b'. * De maaltijd is (goed) smakend.
vs. de goed smakende maaltijd
  the meal  iscopula   good  tasting
[+]  D.  Object experiencer psych-verbs

This leaves us with the present participles of the object experiencer psych-verbs. The primed examples in (121) show that these can readily be used as the predicates in copular constructions. The fact that the present participles can be modified by the intensifiers zeer/heel'very' confirms that we are dealing with truly adjectival participles in these examples.

Example 121
Present participles of object experiencer psych-verbs
a. Het bericht verontrust mij.
  the message  disturbs  me
a'. Het bericht is (heel) verontrustend.
  the message  is very  disturbing
b. Het avontuur wond ons op.
  the adventure  excited  us  prt.
b'. Het avontuur is (zeer) opwindend.
  the adventure  is very  prt.-exciting
c. Het boek intrigeert ons.
  the book  intrigues  us
c'. Het boek is (zeer) intrigerend.
  the book  is  very  intriguing

The examples in (122) show that the result is occasionally unacceptable. If so, the intended assertion can generally be expressed by means of a genuine adjective, which suggests that the adjectival use of the present participle is blocked by the availability of this alternative.

Example 122
a. Die opmerkingen irriteren mij.
  those remarks  annoy  me
a'. Die opmerkingen zijn erg irritant/??irriterend.
  those remarks  are   very annoying
b. Het schilderij bekoorde mij.
  the painting  beguiled  me
b'. Het schilderij is erg bekoorlijk/*?bekorend.
  the painting  is very beguiling
c. Het boek interesseert mij.
  the book  interests  me
c'. Het boek is erg interessant/*interesserend.
  the book  is very interesting

This “blocking" approach to the unacceptable versions of the primed examples in (122) seems to be supported by the fact that the present participles cannot be used attributively on their adjectival/state reading either; this reading can only be expressed by the genuine adjectives. Note in passing that the primeless examples in (123) show that the attributive use of the present participles on their verbal/eventive reading gives rise to varying degrees of acceptability.

Example 123
a. een irriterende opmerking
  'a remark that is annoying someone'
a'. een irritante opmerking
  'an annoying remark'
b. ? een bekorend schilderij
  'a painting that is beguiling someone'
b'. een bekoorlijk schilderij
  'a charming painting'
c. * een interesserend boek
c'. een interessant boek
  'an interesting book'

The fact that the present participles in (122) cannot be used as complementives thus follows from the fact illustrated by (123) that they are always verbal in nature, if possible at all.

[+]  E.  Summary

Table 7 summarizes the tendencies that were observed in the previous subsections. Occasionally, participles occur in copular constructions that are not expected on the basis of these tendencies, but these exceptions are mostly idiosyncratic in nature.

Table 7: The predicative use of present participles
intransitive verbs *Het meisje is vloekend (114a')
transitive verbs *Het meisje is zingend (115a')
unaccusative verbs
possible exceptions:
(i) present participles with -e
(ii) motion verbs
*De gasten zijn vertrekkend

Het schip is zinkende
De jongen bleek lopend

nom-dat verbs
(i) with zijn as an auxiliary
(ii) with hebben as an auxiliary

*De maaltijd is (goed) bevallend
*De maaltijd is (goed) smakend

object experiencer psych-verbs Het avontuur is (erg) opwindend (121b')
[+]  III.  Modal infinitives

This subsection discusses the predicative use of modal infinitives. We will show that this use differs from the attributive use of these elements in that it is only compatible with the ability reading. This would follow from our more general claim that complementives cannot be verbal in nature, given that we have already established in Section 9.2.2 that modal infinitives are verbal under the obligation reading. We will conclude with a number of potentially problematic cases.

[+]  A.  Predicatively used modal infinites have an ability reading only

Apart from their attributive use, modal infinitives can also be used as predicates in copular and vinden-constructions. Predicatively used te-infinitives differ from the attributively used ones, however, in that they have an ability reading only; example (124a), for example, does not readily allow an interpretation according to which the books must be read: the only readily available reading is that the books are easily accessible.

Example 124
a. Deze boeken zijn/leken (gemakkelijk) te lezen.
  these books  are/appeared   easily  to read
  'These books are easily accessible.'
a'. Jan vindt de boeken (gemakkelijk) te lezen.
  Jan considers  the books   easily  to read
  'Jan believes that the books can be read easily.'
b. Deze afstand is/leek (gemakkelijk) af te leggen.
  this distance  is/appeared   easily prt.  to cover
  'This distance can be covered easily.'
b'. Jan vindt de afstand (gemakkelijk) af te leggen.
  Jan considers  the distance   easily  to cover
  'Jan believes that the distance can be covered easily.'

Note that the adjective gemakkelijk acts as an adverb modifying the te-infinitive and not as a predicative complement of the verb zijn/lijken. Because adverbs are not morphologically distinguished from the other adjectives in Dutch, the examples in (124) are easily confused with the easy-to-please-construction, which does involve a predicative adjective. Fortunately, there are several criteria for distinguishing the two constructions: (i) the predicative adjective is obligatorily present in the easy-to-please-construction, whereas the adverbial adjective can be dropped in the case of the modal infinitives; (ii) the infinitival clause has an obligatory complementizer om in the easy-to-please-construction, whereas this complementizer cannot co-occur with modal infinitives; (iii) in attributive constructions the infinitival clause from the easy-to-please-construction follows the modified noun, whereas the modal infinitive precedes it. These tests are more extensively discussed in Section 6.5, sub IV.

[+]  B.  Verb type

Section 9.2.2 has shown that the noun modified by attributively used modal infinitives must function as the accusative object in the corresponding active sentence. Something similar holds for predicatively used modal infinitives; the noun phrase they are predicated of must function as the accusative object in the corresponding active sentence. This is clear from the contrast between the examples in (124) and (125): the modal infinitives in the former are transitive and the result is fine, whereas the modal infinitives in the latter are, respectively, intransitive and unaccusative and the result is unacceptable.

Example 125
a. * Er is te lachen.
  there  is  to laugh
b. * Er is te vallen.
  there  is  to fall

It should be noted, however, that examples such as (126) have been given as counterexamples to the claim that intransitive verbs cannot act as modal infinitives. The fact that these examples have an ability reading makes it plausible that we are indeed dealing with modal infinitives. The difference between the examples in (125) and (126) is not clear to us. For the moment, we can only observe that the examples in (126) are special in that there is a certain preference to use the verb vallen instead of zijn and that some adverbial or quantified phrase like niet or veel must be present.

Example 126
a. Er valt/?is hier niet te werken.
  there  falls/is  here  not  to work
  'One cannot work here.'
b. Er valt/??is hier veel te lachen.
  there  falls/is  here  much  to laugh
  'One can laugh a lot here.'
[+]  C.  Categorial status

Section 9.2.2 has observed that arguments and predicative complements can only be expressed in the attributive construction if the modal infinitives have the verbal/obligation reading; cf. (91). The fact that arguments and predicative complements cannot occur if the modal infinitives is used predicatively supports our claim that they are always truly adjectival.

Example 127
a. *? Deze brief is aan de studenten te sturen.
  this letter  is to the students  to send
b. *? De boeken zijn in de kast te zetten.
  the books  are  in the cupboard  to put

A potential problem for this claim is, however, that predicatively used modal infinitives can be combined with the predicative parts of collocations like schoon maken'to clean' or kwaad/bang maken'to anger/frighten'. This is shown in (128).

Example 128
a. Dit fornuis is gemakkelijk schoon te maken.
  this cooker  is easily  clean  to make
  'This cooker can be cleaned easily.'
b. Jan is gemakkelijk kwaad/bang te maken.
  Jan is easily  angry/afraid  to make
  'Jan can be made angry/afraid easily.'

      A similar argument can be made in favor of the claim that predicatively used modal infinitives are always truly adjectival, based on the fact that the addition of a (passive) door-phrase gives rise to a marginal result, whereas the addition of a voor-phrase is fully acceptable if the adverb gemakkelijk is present. The percentage sign in (129a) indicates that our judgment is controversial since similar examples have been given in the literature as acceptable; but note that speakers who accept the door-phrase in (129a) report that the sentence has the ability reading, which suggests that the modal infinite is adjectival here, not verbal.

Example 129
a. % Dit boek is door Peter te lezen.
  this book  is  by Peter  to read
  'This book must be read by Peter.'
b. Dit boek is voor Peter gemakkelijk te lezen.
  this book  is for Peter  easily  to read
  'This book can be read by Peter easily.'

      Another argument in favor of assuming non-verbal status of the predicatively used modal infinitives is that they at least preferably precede the finite verb in clause-final position.

Example 130
a. dat deze boeken (gemakkelijk) te lezen zijn/leken.
  that  these books   easily  to read  are/appeared
a'. % dat deze boeken (gemakkelijk) zijn/leken te lezen.
b. dat deze afstand (gemakkelijk) af te leggen is/leek.
  that  this distance   easily  prt.  to cover is/appeared
b'. % dat deze afstand (gemakkelijk) af is/leek te leggen.

The fact that some speakers seem to allow the modal infinitives to follow the copular verbs in (130) is not conclusive for arguing that they are verbal given that postverbal placement of the modal infinitive is excluded for all speakers if there is more than one verb in clause-final position, as in (131).

Example 131
a. dat deze boeken me altijd (gemakkelijk) te lezen hebben geleken.
  that  these books  me always   easily  to read  have  appeared
a'. * dat deze boeken me altijd (gemakkelijk) hebben geleken te lezen.
b. dat deze afstand me altijd (gemakkelijk) af te leggen heeft geleken.
  that  this distance  me always   easily  prt.  to cover  have  appeared
b'. * dat deze afstand me altijd (gemakkelijk) <af> heeft geleken <af> te leggen.

The fact that the modal infinitives may precede the verbs in clause-final position, on the other hand, does show that they are not verbal; The examples in (132) show that te-infinitives that are unequivocally verbal never occupy this preverbal position.

Example 132
a. * dat Jan deze boeken te lezen bleek.
  that  Jan these books  to read turned.out
a'. dat Jan deze boeken bleek te lezen.
b. * dat Jan deze afstand af te leggen bleek.
  that  Jan this distance  prt.  to cover  turned.out
b'. dat Jan deze afstand af bleek te leggen.
[+]  D.  Potential problems

Before concluding the discussion, we have to point out a problem for our earlier claim that modal infinitives cannot be used as predicates on their obligation reading. Consider the examples in (133), which do allow an obligation reading.

Example 133
a. dat Jan dat te doen heeft.
heeft can be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan that  to do  has
  'that Jan has to do that.'
b. dat Jan dat boek te lezen heeft.
heeft can be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan that book  to read  has
  'that Jan has to read that book.'

The fact that the infinitives may precede the clause-final finite verb indicates that they are not verbal. This raises the question as to whether we are dealing with predicatively used modal infinitives in this construction. An affirmative answer to this question is suggested by the fact that the verb hebben can also be used in other predicative constructions, such as (134). Observe that hebben can be replaced by krijgen'to get' in (134), an option that is also available in the examples in (133).

Example 134
dat Jan het raam niet open heeft.
heeft can be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan the window  not open  has

To our knowledge, the question as to whether we are dealing with predicatively used modal infinitives in (133) has not been investigated yet. There are two potential arguments against the assumption that we are dealing with modal infinitives in these constructions. The first argument, illustrated in (135), is that the te-infinitive can be predicated of a subject of a transitive verb in the hebben construction, whereas we have seen in (124) that the modal infinitive is normally predicated of the direct object in the copular construction.

Example 135
dat Jan (mij) te gehoorzamen heeft.
heeft cannot be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan  me  to obey has
'that Jan has to obey (me).'

The second argument, illustrated in (136), is that the hebben construction occurs with intransitive and unaccusative verbs, whereas attributively or predicatively used modal infinitives of these verbs normally do not occur; cf. (84) and (125).

Example 136
a. dat Jan te werken heeft.
heeft cannot be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan to work  has
  'that Jan has to work.'
b. dat Jan te komen heeft.
heeft cannot be replaced by krijgt
  that  Jan to come  has
  'that Jan has to come.'

      It is not clear to us whether these two arguments are sufficient to refute the claim that we are dealing with modal infinitives in (133); the examples in (135) and (136) are possibly of a different nature than those in (133), given that hebben can only be replaced by the semi-copular krijgen in the first set of examples.

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