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2.3.3. Differences between clausal complements and relative clauses
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Clausal modifiers within the noun phrase can be divided into complement and relative clauses, for which we will occasionally use the abbreviations CC and RC. Despite the fact that the two types of clauses fulfill different functions, they may sometimes be difficult to distinguish. This is due to the fact that, although not entirely identical in form, both complement and relative clauses can take the form of a (restrictive) dat-clause. This is illustrated in (649): in (649a) we are dealing with a complement dat-clause that defines the contents of the proposition noun feit'fact', whereas in (649b) we are dealing with a relative dat-clause that serves to identify the particular fact in question and enables the addressee to pick out the intended referent from a potential set of facts.

Example 649
a. Het feit [CC dat de aarde rond is], werd door niemand betwist.
  the fact  that  the earth  round  is  was  by no.one  contested
  'The fact that the earth was round was contested by no one.'
b. Het feit [RC` dat door niemand betwist werd], is dat de aarde rond is.
  the fact  that  by no.one  contested  was  is  that  the earth  round  is
  'The fact that was contested by no.one is that the earth is round.'

Although different types of analysis are available, we will assume for the sake of concreteness that the two types of clause occupy different positions within the noun phrase: complement clauses occur closest to the nominal head, whereas restrictive relative clauses adjoin at some higher level. The representations in (650) and (651) demonstrate the different positions within the noun phrase; the abbreviations comp and rel stand for, respectively, complementizer and relative pronoun (see Subsection II). The next two subsections will subsequently discuss the relevant differences in function and form between complement and relative clauses.

Example 650
Complement clause
a. D [NP N [CC comp     ]]
b. het [NP feit [CC dat de aarde rond is]]
  the   fact   that the earth round is
  'the fact that the earth is round'
Example 651
Restrictive relative clause
a. D [NP N ]i [RC reli ... ]
b. de [NP fiets ]i [RC diei Jan kocht]
  the   bike   that Jan bought
readmore
[+]  I.  Differences in function

Section 1.2.2.2 has shown that complement clauses specify the contents of the noun, and can therefore only follow proposition or speech-act nouns. These complement clauses are normally obligatorily selected, or at least semantically implied, by these nouns. Some examples are given again in (652).

Example 652
a. de veronderstelling [dat er leven is op Mars]Theme
proposition noun
  the supposition  that  there  life  is on Mars
  'the supposition that there is life on Mars'
b. de bewering dat de aarde rond is
speech-act noun
  the assertion  that  the earth  round  is
  'the assertion that the earth is round'

Restrictive relative clauses, on the other hand, can be used to modify any type of noun, whether basic or derived, abstract or concrete. Examples are given in (653).

Example 653
a. het boek dat ik gisteren gekocht heb
  the book  that  yesterday  bought  have
  'the book that I bought yesterday'
b. de gebeurtenis die vanmorgen plaatsvond
  the event  that  this morning  took.place
  'the event that took place this morning'
c. het feit dat door niemand in twijfel werd getrokken
  the fact  that  by no.one  in doubt  was  drawn
  'the fact that was contested by no one'
d. het verzoek dat door de werknemers werd gedaan
  the request  that  by the employees  was  done
  'the request that was made by the employees'

Like complement clauses, relative clauses may sometimes be required in order to arrive at a felicitous result. The reason for this is, however, different for the two types of construction. In the case of complement clauses, it is the semantics of the proposition/speech-act noun that requires the presence of a complement clause, which is clear from the fact that a complement clause in the primeless examples in (654) can only be left out if its content is retrievable from the context. This is also consistent with the fact illustrated by the primed examples that the noun phrases cannot be used as all-new statements, as indicated by the fact that the indefinite article cannot be used.

Example 654
No complement clause
a. # Niemand betwijfelde het feit.
  no.one  doubted  the fact
a'. * Niemand betwijfelde een feit.
  no.one  doubted  a fact
b. # Jan begreep de vraag.
  Jan understood  the question
b'. * Jan begreep een vraag.
  Jan understood  a question

Restrictive relative clauses, on the other hand, are not thus required. The function of the relative clause is to provide information needed to identify the referent of the antecedent. If the antecedent is a definite noun phrase, leaving out the relative clause will typically result in a construction that provides insufficient information to uniquely identify the intended referent, and a request for more identifying information is likely to follow. Unlike the sentences in (654), however, use of an indefinite renders the sentence fully acceptable as an all-new statement.

Example 655
No restrictive relative clauses
a. # Niemand kocht het boek.
  no.one  bought  the book
a' . Niemand kocht een boek.
  no.one  bought  a book
b. # Jan zag het meisje.
  Jan saw  the girl
b'. Jan zag een meisje.
  Jan saw  a girl

A more extensive discussion of the function of finite clausal complements and restrictive relative clauses within the noun phrase can be found in, respectively, Section 2.3.1 and Section 3.3.2. The remainder of this section will be devoted to a discussion of the differences in form and syntactic behavior of the two types of clauses.

[+]  II.  Syntactic differences

The previous subsection has shown that complement clauses can only be used in combination with nouns that denote abstract content (proposition and speech act nouns), whereas relative clauses can be used to modify all common nouns. Next to this semantic difference, there are a number of syntactic differences between complement clauses and relative clauses. These involve the aspects given in Table 16, each of which will be discussed in more detail in the following subsections.

Table 16: Differences between complement and relative clauses
  complement clause relative clause
Interpretative gap within clause not present present
Linker complementizer relative pronoun
Distribution can also occur independently in
argument or predicative position
can only be used with
an antecedent
Modification of nominal head does not combine freely with the
superlative or comparative forms
of the adjective
combines freely with the
superlative and comparative
forms of the adjective
Determiner selection does not combine freely with
the indefinite article
combines freely with
the indefinite article
[+]  A.  The presence of an interpretative gap within the clause

Complement clauses differ from relative clauses in that only the latter contain an interpretative gap that is “filled” by the head of the nominal construction. This gap is the result of movement of the relative pronoun into the initial position of the clause, and will be referred to as trace (t). The relative pronoun takes the NP (the head noun and its optional modifiers) as its antecedent, which is therefore taken to fill the interpretative gap in the clause, and this enables the relative clause to provide additional information about the denotation of the NP. So, in (656) the relative pronoun dat'that' originates as the direct object of the relative clause and is moved into the initial position of the relative clause leaving the trace ti in its original position. The relative pronoun takes the NP feit as its antecedent, which is expressed by means of co-indexing. Consequently, feit is interpreted as the direct object of the relative clause, and as a result the modified NP denotes a subset of the set of facts, namely those accepted by everyone.

Example 656
Restrictive relative clause
a. D [NP N]i [RC reli ... ti ... ]
b. het [NP feit]i [RC dati iedereen ti aanvaardde]
  the   fact   that everyone   accepted
  'the fact that everyone accepted'

Complement clauses, on the other hand, simply specify the contents referred to by the noun phrase headed by a proposition or speech-act noun. There is no interpretative gap in the complement clause: no part of the complement clause is coreferential with the nominal head, which therefore does not play a role in the interpretation of the complement clause.

Example 657
Complement clause
a. D [NP N [CC comp ... ]]
b. het [NP feit [CC dat de aarde rond is]]
  the   fact   that the earth round is
  'the fact that the earth is round'

For completeness’ sake, observe that the generalization that complement clauses do not contain an interpretative gap holds only for the declarative ones. Interrogative complement clauses introduced by a wh-word do, of course, contain a trace of the wh-word moved into initial position of the dependent clause, but they crucially differ from relative clauses in that the wh-word does not take the head noun as its antecedent.

Example 658
de vraag [wati hij ti feitelijk gezegd had]
  the question  what he  actually  said  had
[+]  B.  The form of the linker

Both complement and relative clauses contain an element linking them to the nominal head of the noun phrase: this linker takes the form of a complementizer in complement clauses, whereas in relative clauses the linker is a relative pronoun taking the NP (the head noun and its optional modifiers), as its antecedent. In many cases the form of the linker will reveal the status of the subordinate clause, but in some cases the complementizer and the relative element can take the same form.

[+]  1.  The linker in complement clauses: complementizers and wh-words

Complement clauses can be introduced by a number of complementizers, depending on the semantic type of the noun they modify: proposition or speech-act noun, as well as the type of speech-act noun. If a complement clause construction is headed by a proposition noun, such as feit'fact', aanname'assumption' or geloof'belief', the complementizer dat must be used. This is shown in (659), as well as in (652) above.

Example 659
a. de aanname dat Jan komt
  the assumption  that  Jan comes
  'the assumption that Jan is coming'
b. het geloof dat er leven is op Mars
  the belief  that  there  life  is on Mars
  'the belief that there is life on Mars'

If the head noun is a speech-act noun, the choice of complementizer depends on the illocutionary force of the speech-act noun. If the speech act concerned is a statement, promise, threat, or prediction, the declarative complementizer dat must be used, as illustrated by the constructions in (660a&b).

Example 660
a. de mededeling dat Jan komt
  the announcement  that  Jan comes
  'the announcement that Jan is coming'
b. het bericht dat er leven is op Mars
  the news  comp  there  life  is on Mars
  'the news that there is life on Mars'

If the illocutionary force is that of a question, the form of the complementizer depends on the kind of question formulated in the complement clause: if the complement is the equivalent of a yes/no-question like (661a), the complementizer of will be used, as in (661a'); if the complement is the equivalent of a wh-question like (661b), the linker will take the form of a question word like wie'who', waarom'why' or hoe'how', as is shown in (661b').

Example 661
a. Komt Jan morgen ook?
  comes  Jan tomorrow  too
  'Is Jan also coming tomorrow?'
a'. de vraag of Jan morgen komt
  the question  comp  Jan tomorrow  comes
  'the question as to whether Jan is coming tomorrow'
b. Wanneer/Waarom/Hoe komt Peter?
  when/why/how  comes  Peter
  'When/Why/How will Peter come?'
b'. de vraag wanneer/waarom/hoe Peter komt
  the question  when/why/how  Peter comes
  'the question as to when/why/how Peter will come'

The examples in (662) show that if the speech act concerned is a request, order or suggestion, the complement typically takes the form of an infinitival clause (optionally preceded by the complementizer om); we have seen earlier that it is also marginally possible to use a finite clause introduced by of but we will not illustrate this here again; cf. (619d').

Example 662
a. het verzoek (om) PRO toegelaten te worden
  the request  comp  admitted  to be
  'the request to be admitted'
b. het bevel (om) PRO te vertrekken
  the order  comp  to leave
  'the order to leave'
[+]  2.  The linker in restrictive relative clauses: relative pronouns

In relative clauses, the linker takes the form of a relative pronoun. These pronouns can take a number of forms. If the antecedent is an NP, the relative pronouns die and dat can be used, depending on the gender and the number features of the noun. Examples are given in (663).

Example 663
The relative pronouns die and dat
  singular plural
[-neuter] de bal die daar ligt
the ball that there lies
‘the ball that is lying there’
de ballen die daar liggen
the balls that there lie
‘the balls that are lying there’
[+neuter] het boek dat daar ligt
the book that there lies
‘the book that is lying there’
de boeken die daar liggen
the books that there lie
‘the books that are lying there’

But this does not exhaust the possibilities. For example, question words can function as relative pronouns, as in (664a), in which the antecedent NP refers to a place. The same thing holds for pronominal PPs, as in examples (664b&c), in which case the relativized element is the object of a PP. Where the antecedent has temporal reference, as in example (664d), the linker toen can be used, although the relative particle dat is usually preferred. There are more options but for these we refer the reader to Section 3.3.2.1; for our present purpose the examples in (663) and (664) suffice.

Example 664
a. de plaatsi waari ik geboren ti ben
  the place  rel  born  am
  'the place where I was born'
b. de autoi waarmeei ik op vakantie ti ben geweest
  the car  rel-with  on holiday  have  been
  'the car I went on holiday with'
c. het boeki waarini ik zit ti te lezen
  the book  rel-in  sit  to read
  'the book Iʼm reading'
d. de tijd ?toeni/dati men nog per koets ti reisde
  the time  when/that  one  still  by carriage  traveled
  'the days people traveled by carriage'
[+]  3.  The linkers of the two constructions compared

The discussion above has shown that in many cases the nature of the subordinate clause is revealed by the form of the linker. For example, the linkers om and of can only be used as complementizers introducing complement clauses, whereas the linker die is a relative pronoun introducing relative clauses. The linker dat, however, can be used to introduce both complement and relative clauses. Here, we will show how the two cases can be distinguished.
      The linker dat behaves syntactically in a different way in the two types of clauses. If dat functions as the complementizer in a complement clause, its form is invariable: in contrast to the relative pronouns in (663), it does not agree with the number and gender features of the head noun. Therefore, in cases of doubt all we have to do is to replace the singular head noun by a plural one and see whether the form of the linker changes: in the (a)-examples of (665) the form of the linker remains the same and we are therefore dealing with a complement clause; in the (b)-examples, the form of the linker changes from dat to die, which shows that we are dealing with a relative clause.

Example 665
Complement clauses
a. het bericht [dat er leven op Mars zou zijn]
complement clause
  the report  that  there  life  on Mars  would  be
  'the news that there would be life on Mars'
a'. de berichten [dat er leven op Mars zou zijn]
  the reports  that  there  life  on Mars  would  be
b. het bericht [dat ons bereikte]
relative clause
  the report  that  us  reached
  'the report that reached us'
b'. de berichten [die ons bereikten]
  the reports  that  us  reached

      If the linker takes the form of a wh-word or a pronominal PP, the ambiguity still prevails, as these are insensitive to number and gender variation of the head noun. Of course, with proposition and declarative speech-act nouns the problem does not arise because such nouns can only be complemented by declarative clauses introduced by the complementizer dat; if such a noun is followed by a question word or a pronominal PP, as in (666), we must be dealing with a relative clause.

Example 666
a. Het feit waar <aan> niemand <aan> twijfelde was dat de aarde rond is.
  the fact where    on  no.one  doubted  was that the earth round is
  'The fact that no one contested was that the earth is round.'
b. De veronderstelling waar <over> veel discussie <over> ontstond was of er leven is op Mars.
  the supposition  where   about  much discussion  arose  was  whether  there  life  is on Mars
  'The supposition causing much discussion was whether there is life on Mars.'

However, if the speech-act noun involves a question, true ambiguity may occur. In example (667), for instance, the element waarover can introduce both a relative clause and an interrogative complement. In the former case, the pronominal part of the PP is coindexed with the NP vraag'question', which is therefore interpreted as the theme of the verb discussiëren'to discuss', and as a result, the clause provides information needed to identify the question referred to. In the latter case, the pronominal PP is interpreted independently of vraag and the following complement clause simply describes the contents of the question referred to.

Example 667
a. De vraagi waariover ze discussieerden, bleef onbeantwoord.
  the question  where-about  they  discussed  remained  unanswered
  Relative clause: 'The question they discussed remained unanswered.'
b. De vraag waarover ze discussieerden, bleef onbeantwoord.
  the question  where-about  they  discussed  remained  unanswered
  Complement: 'The question of what they discussed remained unanswered.'

The difference is again exemplified by the sentences in (668). In the relative clause in (668a) the pronominal PP waarmee functions as a relative pronoun, coreferential with the antecedent vraag'question', which is therefore interpreted as the complement of the verb lastigvallen'to bother': as a result the relative clause provides information that is necessary to properly identify the intended question. In the complement clause in (668a) the pronominal part of the PP waarmee is interpreted independently of vraag; it refers to the instrument used to commit the murder, and the whole complement clause is simply specifying the contents of the question referred to.

Example 668
a. De vraagi waarimee hij me bleef lastigvallen was zeer persoonlijk.
  the question  where-with  he  me kept  bother  was very personal
  'The question he kept harassing me with was very personal.'
b. Hij beantwoordde de vraag waarmee hij de moord had gepleegd.
  he  answered.to  the question  where-with  he  the murder  had committed
  'He replied to the question about what he had committed the murder with.'
[+]  C.  Distribution of the complement and relative clause

There are also distributional differences between complement and relative clauses. These differences are due to the fact that relative clauses contain a relative pronoun that requires an antecedent, whereas complement clauses are not dependent on the noun in that same way. As a result, complement clauses are freer in their distribution: they may function, e.g., as the subject of the object of a verb, as in (669b).

Example 669
a. Niemand geloofde toen [dat de aarde rond is].
  no.one  believed  then  that the earth round is
  'No one believed then that the earth is round.'
b. [Dat de aarde rond is] werd toen door niemand geloofd.
  that the earth round is  was  then  by no.one  believed
  'That the earth is round was believed by no one then.'

They may even be used as the predicate in a copular construction, in which case they are predicated of a noun phrase headed by a proposition or speech-act noun, as in (670). This is, of course, hardly surprising, given that the nominal head denotes the same abstract entity as the clause.

Example 670
a. De nieuwste ontdekking is [dat de aarde rond is].
  the newest discovery  is that  the earth  round  is
  'The latest discovery is that the earth is round.'
b. Het antwoord was [dat de zaak nog onbeslist was].
  the answer  was  that  the case  still  undecided  was
  'The answer was that the case was still undecided.'
c. De vraag is [of we dat wel willen].
  the question  is whether  we  that  prt  want
  'The question is whether we want that.'

Relative clauses, on the other hand, never occur independently; the clause contains a relative pronoun which needs an antecedent, and, consequently, the relative clause in (671a) can be used neither as an argument nor as a predicate of a copular construction. This is demonstrated by, respectively, (671b&c) and (671d).

Example 671
a. De veronderstellingi diei niet aanvaard werd, was dat er leven is op Mars.
  the supposition  that  not  accepted  was  was that there life is on Mars
  'The supposition that wasnʼt accepted was that there is life on Mars.'
b. * Niemand veronderstelde diei niet aanvaard werd.
  no.one  supposed  that  not  accepted  was
c. * Diei niet aanvaard werd, werd door niemand verondersteld.
  that not accepted was  was  by no.one  supposed
d. * De veronderstelling is diei niet aanvaard werd.
  the supposition  is that  not  accepted  was
[+]  D.  Modification

Another difference between the complement and relative clauses stems from the different communicative functions they fulfill. Finite complement clauses express the contents of some proposition or speech-act noun. As such they can be said to be uniquely determining; there is only one fact, assumption, question, request, etc. with the particular contents specified in the complement clause. This can be supported by the fact that the adjectives interessant and triviaal in (672) can only be used on a nonrestrictive (purely property-assigning) reading.

Example 672
a. het interessante feit dat er leven is op Mars
  the interesting fact  that  there  life  is on Mars
b. de triviale aanname dat de aarde rond is
  the trivial assumption  that  the earth  round  is

Another piece of evidence supporting this assumption is that NPs containing a complement clause cannot be modified by a superlative, since these presuppose a non-singleton set. Note in passing that Dutch lacks the non-superlative interpretation that is available for the English translations in (673), which amount to “extremely interesting fact/trivial assumption” or “the most interesting fact/trivial assumption possible”, and which does not involve selection from a presupposed set, but nonrestrictive assignment of a property.

Example 673
a. * het interessantste feit dat er leven is op Mars
  the most interesting fact  that  there  life  is on Mars
  'the most interesting fact that there is life on Mars'
b. * de triviaalste aanname dat de aarde rond is
  the most trivial assumption  that  the earth  round  is
  'the most trivial assumption that the earth is round'

Use of the comparative form is possible, but only if the comparison involves some other fact altogether. In (674a), for instance, the fact referred to is compared to some other, possibly contextually evoked, fact, which is asserted to be less interesting; likewise, the sentence in (674b) is acceptable only in relation to some other, less trivial, assumption.

Example 674
a. Het interessantere feit dat er leven is op Mars werd geheim gehouden (*maar niet het minder interessante dat er water is).
  the more interesting fact  that there life is on Mars  was  secret  kept but  not  the  less interesting  that  there  water is
  'The much more interesting fact that there is life on Mars was kept a secret (but not the less interesting fact that there is water).'
b. De veel trivialere aanname dat de aarde rond is werd door iedereen aanvaard (*maar niet de minder triviale).
  the much more trivial assumption  that  the earth  round  is was by everyone  accepted     but  not  the less trivial
  'The much more trivial fact that the earth is round was accepted by everyone (but not the less trivial one).'

With relative clauses, such restrictions do not apply. Both the superlative and the comparative forms of the adjective can be used in their selective/comparative function, while adjectives can be used both restrictively and non-restrictively. Example (675a), for instance, implies that there is a larger set of facts, the most interesting of which was that there is life on Mars, and in (675b) a comparison is made between two facts, the more interesting of which is the one mentioned. In (675c), the adjective interessant is used contrastively: a set of two facts is implied, one interesting, the other uninteresting. Observe that a non-contrastive, nonrestrictive reading of the adjective is also possible; in that case the fact in question is simply assigned the property of being interesting.

Example 675
a. Het interessantste feit dat werd aangetoond was dat er leven is op Mars.
  the most interesting fact  that  was  proved  was that there life is on Mars
b. Het interessantere feit dat werd aangetoond was dat er leven is op Mars.
  the more interesting fact  that  was  proved  was that there life is on Mars
c. Het interessante feit dat werd aangetoond was dat er leven is op Mars. (het oninteressante dat de aarde rond is).
  the interesting fact  that  was  proved  was that there life is on Mars  the uninteresting  that  the earth  round  is
[+]  E.  Determiner selection

A final difference between the two types of clauses can be accounted for along the same lines as the previous one: due to the fact that the contents of complement clauses serve to uniquely determine the entity referred to by the noun phrase, they can only be used in combination with the definite article (provided that the complement clause is the only modifying element); use of the indefinite article yields an unacceptable result. This is demonstrated in example (676).

Example 676
a. het/*een feit dat de aarde rond is
  the/a fact  that  the earth  round  is
b. de/*een veronderstelling dat er leven is op Mars
  the/a supposition  that  there  life  is on Mars
c. de/*een vraag of Jan komt
  the/a question  whether  Jan comes

Relative clauses, on the other hand, readily accept both the definite and the indefinite article, as shown by example (677).

Example 677
a. Het/Een feit dat niemand in twijfel trok was dat de aarde rond was.
  the/a fact  that  no.one  in doubt  drew  was that the earth round was
  'The/A fact that no one doubted was that the earth was round.'
b. De/Een veronderstelling die niemand aanvaardde was dat er leven is op Mars.
  the/a supposition  that no.one accepted  was that there life is on Mars
  'The/A supposition that no one accepted was that there is life on Mars.'
c. De/Een vraag die niemand kon beantwoorden was of Jan was vertrokken.
  the/a question  that  no.one  could answer  was whether Jan had left
  'The/A question that nobody could answer was whether Jan had left.'
[+]  F.  A final note on infinitival complement clauses

Proposition nouns followed by infinitival complement clauses introduced by om differ from those followed by a finite complement clause in that they can be modified by an adjective and do accept the indefinite article. Some examples are given in (678).

Example 678
a. een dringend/het dringende verzoek [om PRO toegelaten te worden]
  an urgent/the urgent request  comp  admitted  to be
  'an/the urgent request to be admitted'
b. een plotseling/het plotselinge bevel [om PRO te vertrekken]
  a sudden/the sudden  order  comp  to leave
c. een/de grote angst [ om PRO ontslagen te worden]
  a/the great fear  comp  dismissed  to be
  'a/the great fear to be dismissed'

A possible explanation for this contrast with finite complement clauses can be found, first of all, in the fact that om-clauses do not, strictly speaking, specify the content of the head noun, but the purpose or cause of the action or emotion expressed by the proposition noun. As a result, the relation between the proposition noun and the complement clause need not be uniquely determined: there may be various ways of requesting to be admitted or of ordering a person to leave. In (678a), for instance, a particular type of request is referred to: the kind intended to achieve admission. The exact form of the request, however, is not specified.
      An alternative explanation may focus on the fact that om-clauses are always non-factual, specifying requests, orders, wishes, possible situations and the like (see also Section 2.3.2). Again, this means that although the complement clause is certainly used to specify the proposition noun, noun phrase and clause do not share their reference. That something like this might be on the right track is also suggested by the fact that using the infinitival complements as the predicate of a copular clause is marked compared to the fully acceptable examples in (670), discussed in C, involving finite complement clauses.

Example 679
a. ? Het verzoek was [om PRO toegelaten te worden].
  the request  was  comp  admitted  to be
  'The request was to be admitted.'
b. ? Het bevel was [om PRO te vertrekken].
  the order  was  comp  to leave
c. ?? de grote angst was [om PRO ontslagen te worden].
  a/the great fear  was comp  dismissed  to be
  'a/the great fear to be dismissed'

Note that the infinitival clause in (679a) can also be interpreted as a purpose clause. This is related to the fact that the om-clause in (680) can also be interpreted either as the complement of the noun or as an adverbial phrase indicating purpose. The fact that om-clauses in sentence-final position are typically interpreted as purpose clauses may well affect the judgments on (679). This concludes our discussion of complementation of nouns.

Example 680
Hij plaatste het verzoek [om PRO toegelaten te worden].
  he  placed  the request  comp  admitted  to be
'He made the request (in order) to be admitted.'
References:
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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.