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3.3.2.2. The form and function of the relative elements
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The relative element linking a relative clause to a matrix clause can take many forms. Table 3 gives an overview of the various relative elements that will be discussed in this section. The list is not intended as exhaustive, but simply illustrates some typical cases. The mark <f> indicates that the form in question is part of the formal register of the language.

Table 3: Relative elements in Dutch
type form features of the antecedent subsection
Pronouns die -neuter, singular or ±neuter, plural I
  dat +neuter, singular  
  wie +human  
  wat -human, +neuter, singular, AP, VP or CP  
  welke<f> -neuter, singular or ±neuter, plural  
  hetgeen<f> AP, VP or CP  
Possessive pronouns wiens<f> +human, +masc, singular II
  wier<f> +human, +fem, singular or
+human, plural
 
R-pronouns waar (+P) no restrictions III
Adverbial phrases waar
waarop
waarin
zoals
+locative
+temporal or +manner
+temporal
IV
Particle dat +temporal V

Table 3 shows that the choice normally depends on certain features of the antecedent, such as number and gender. In (87), for example, the relative pronoun dat can only occur if the antecedent is a singular, neuter noun like boek'book'; if the antecedent is plural or non-neuter, the relative noun die must be used.

Example 87
a. Het boek dat ik gekocht heb, gaat over de oorlog.
  the book  that  bought  have  goes  about the war
  'The book Iʼve bought is about the war.'
b. De boeken die ik gekocht heb, gaan over de oorlog.
  the book  that  bought  have  goes  about the war
  'The book Iʼve bought is about the war.'
c. De man die naast mij woont, speelt goed piano.
  the man  who  next.to me  lives  plays  well  piano
  'The man who lives next to me plays the piano well.'

In other cases, it is the function of the antecedent in the main clause that determines which element can or must be used. The relative pronouns dat and die in (87), for example, cannot occur as the complement of a preposition; in these cases we use the relative pronoun wie or the R-pronoun waar in (88a&b). Similarly, possessive relative pronouns can only be used if they function as the possessor of a noun phrase.

Example 88
a. De vriend aan wie ik mijn fiets heb geleend, woont hiernaast.
  the friend  to whom  my bike  have  lent  lives  next.door
  'The friend I lent my bike to lives next door.'
b. De auto waarmee ik op vakantie ben geweest, is gestolen.
  the car  where-with  on holiday  am  been  is stolen
  'The car that Iʼve been on holiday with has been stolen.'
c. De vriend wiens fiets ik heb geleend, woont hiernaast.
  the friend  whose bike  have  borrowed  lives  next.door
  'The friend whose bike Iʼve borrowed lives next door.'

Relative elements that function as adverbial phrases come in various sorts. Some examples are given in (89): in (89a), for example, the relative element takes the form of the R-pronoun waar, and in (89b) the form of the relative particle dat.

Example 89
a. Ik herinner me nog de dag waarop het gebeurde.
relative adverb
  I remember  refl  still  the day  where-on  it  happened
  'I still remember the day on which it happened.'
b. De week dat ik op vakantie was, was het mooi weer.
relative particle
  the week  that  on holiday  was  was  it  nice weather
  'The week I was on holiday the weather was nice.'

The following subsections will discuss these relative elements. The discussion concludes in Subsection VI with an overview of the circumstances in which the elements in Table 3 can be used.

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[+]  I.  Relative pronouns

This subsection discusses the relative elements from the first row in Table 3, that is, the colloquial relative pronouns die, dat, wie, and wat, as well as the more formal forms welke and hetgeen. As is indicated in Table 3, the relative pronoun wat can also be used with non-nominal antecedents, and the relative pronoun hetgeen is even used so exclusively. As our present concern is with postmodification of the noun phrase, a discussion of these pronouns in constructions such as (90) would, strictly speaking, fall outside the scope of the present subsection. However, as such a strict approach would leave the discussion of relative elements in Dutch incomplete, and since the constructions in question have much in common with the other ones dealt with in this subsection, we will include these constructions in our discussion.

Example 90
a. [Jan was niet op tijd], wat/hetgeen erg vervelend was.
CP
  Jan was not on.time  what  very annoying  was
  'Jan wasnʼt on time, which was very annoying.'
b. Ik probeer [(om) op tijd te komen], wat/hetgeen misschien lukt.
CP/IP
  I try  comp on time to come  what  maybe  succeeds
  'Iʼll try to be on time, which I may succeed in.'
c. Jan [kocht een nieuwe auto], wat/hetgeen Peter ook wel wou.
VP
  Jan  bought a new car  what  Peter  also  prt  wanted
  'Jan bought a new car, which Peter also would have liked to do.'
d. Jan is [zeer intelligent], wat/hetgeen Peter niet is.
AP
  Jan is  very intelligent  what  Peter not  is
  'Jan is very intelligent, which Peter is not.'

Most relative pronouns can be used both in restrictive and in non-restrictive relative clauses. In what follows, restrictive relative clauses will be used as examples in those cases in which both types can be used. When a particular (use of) pronoun is restricted to one of the two types, this will be explicitly mentioned.

[+]  A.  Die/dat'that'

The relative pronouns die and dat can be seen as the standard pronouns in relative clauses with nominal antecedents. Relative clauses introduced by the pronouns die/dat can be given the global structural representations in the examples in (91); the concrete examples exemplify this for the case in which the relative pronoun functions as the subject of the clause. In this subsection, we will focus on the properties of the relative pronouns.

Example 91
a. Restrictive relative clause: [DP D [NP [... N ...]i [RC RELi .... ti ....]]]
[DP de [NP studenti [RC diei [DPti ] mijn boek heeft geleend]]]
  the  student  who  my book  has borrowed
  'the student who borrowed my book'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]i , [RC RELi .... ti ....]]
[DP de [NP student]i , [RC diei [DPti ] mijn boek heeft geleend]]
  the  student  who  my book  has borrowed
  'the student, who borrowed my book'
[+]  1.  Features of the antecedent

The pronouns die and dat can be used with antecedents referring to both human and non-human referents. Which of the two pronouns is used depends on the gender and number of the antecedent: die is used for -neuter, singular or ±neuter, plural antecedents, whereas dat can only be used in the case of a +neuter, singular antecedent. In other words, dat can only be used with antecedents that take the neuter definite article het, and die is used in all other cases. This is illustrated in Table 4. Note that we gloss die/dat as who when the antecedent is +human and as that when the antecedent is -human, in accordance with the preferred English rendering of the pronoun.

Table 4: Antecedents of the relative pronoun die/dat
  singular plural
[-neuter] [+human] de man die daar loopt
the man who there walks
‘the man who is walking there’
de mannen die daar lopen
the men who there walk
‘the men who are walking there’
  [-human] 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] [+human] het kind dat daar speelt
the child who there plays
‘the child who is playing there’
de kinderen die daar spelen
the children who there play
‘the children who are playing there’
  [-human] 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’

Note, however, that in informal language the pronoun die is increasingly used with +neuter, singular antecedents if the antecedent has a +human or +animate referent. Thus, instead of the expressions in (92a&b), we may find the corresponding primed examples.

Example 92
a. het/een meisje dat daar woont
  the/a  girldim  that there lives
  'the girl who lives there'
a'. het/een meisje die daar woont
b. het/een hondje dat daar loopt
  the/a  dogdim  that there walks
  'the little dog that walks there'
b'. het hondje die daar loopt

It is not entirely clear what the scope of this use is. Haeseryn et al. (1997: 330) provides a couple of examples that involve non-restrictive relative clauses with nouns referring to a person, including an example involving the diminutive of a proper noun; cf. http://taaladvies.net/taal/advies/vraag/208.

Example 93
a. Kareltje, die gejokt had, kreeg een standje.
  Kareltje  who  fibbed  had  got  a reproach
  'Kareltje, who had been telling a fib, got a reproach.'
b. Zijn meisje, die bij ons werkt, is met vakantie.
  his girlfriend  who with us works  is on vacation
  'His girlfriend, who is working with us, is on vacation.'
c. Het hoofd van de afdeling, die hier al jaren werkt, is ontslagen.
  the head of the department  who here already years works,  has.been fired
  'The head of the department, who has been working here for years, has been fired.'

Still, it is not the case that this use is restricted to non-restrictive relative clauses: it is easy to find examples involving restrictive relative clauses on the internet. Two clear cases are given in (94): the first is the title of a story on You tube and the second is part of a review of a theatrical performance.

Example 94
a. een verhaal over een meisje die dacht dat liefde echt was
  a story  about a girl  who  thought  that love true was
  'a story about a girl who thought that love was true'
b. Hij was het jongetje die in het oefenpartijtje scoorde.
  he  was the boy  who  during the exercise  scored
  'He was the boy who scored during the exercise.'

It has been suggested that the examples such as (92a) are common due to the fact that the neuter gender of the nominal head clashes with the sex of the referent of the noun phrase; cf.http://onzetaal.nl/advies/diedat.php. This might indeed be relevant, but it cannot be the whole story given that examples such as (92b') can be found in contexts that provide no indication of the sex of the dog: in this case, it seems the grammatical gender of the stem of the diminutive form that is the determining factor. It seems clear that more research is needed before we can say anything definitive about this phenomenon.

[+]  2.  Quantified antecedents

The relative pronouns die and dat can combine with various types of quantified antecedents. This is shown in (95) for existentially quantified noun phrases, and in (96) for universally quantified noun phrases.

Example 95
a. iemand/niemand die ik ken
  somebody/nobody  who  know
  'somebody/nobody I know'
b. iets/niets dat ik gezien heb
  something/nothing  that  seen  have
  'something/nothing I saw'
Example 96
a. alle jongens die ik ken
  all boys  who  know
  'all boys I know'
b. elke jongen die ik ken
  each boy  who  know
  'each boy I know'

In archaic and literary (poetic) Dutch, the relative pronoun die can also take the quantified pronoun al'all' as its antecedent, resulting in such constructions as Al die dit leest is gek'all who read this are mad'. In (formal) Dutch, however, the relative pronoun wie is preferred in this context; cf. Subsection B2, below.

[+]  3.  Free and semi-free relative constructions

The relative pronoun die can also be used in so-called semi-free relative constructions, that is, restrictive relative clauses with an antecedent that has little semantic content and no independent reference. In these constructions, die is used with the antecedents degene(n) and diegene(n)'the one(s)', both of which are used for +human referents only.

Example 97
a. Wil d(i)egene die zijn auto voor de ingang heeft geparkeerd deze a.u.b. verwijderen?
  wants  the/that.one  who his car  in.front.of the entrance  has parked this  please  remove
  'Would the person who parked his car in front of the entrance please remove it?'
b. D(i)egenen die zich hebben ingeschreven krijgen spoedig bericht.
  the/those.ones  who  refl  have  registered  receive  soon  news
  'The/those persons who have registered will soon be informed.'

The relative pronoun dat does not seem to be favored in these constructions: the -human antecedent dat must be followed by the relative pronoun wat, which is probably motivated by the fact that use of dat would lead to haplology. But with datgene as well the use of wat seems much favored, although numerous examples with dat can be found on the internet.

Example 98
a. Dat wat/*dat ik gisteren gekocht heb is nu alweer kapot.
  that  which/which  I yesterday  bought  have  is now  already  broken
  'What I bought yesterday is already broken now.'
b. Datgene wat/%dat ik gisteren gekocht heb is nu alweer kapot.
  that  which/which  I yesterday  bought  have  is now  already  broken
  'What I bought yesterday is already broken now.'

Since the antecedent in semi-free relative constructions does not have independent reference, relative clauses of this type are always restrictive. For completeness’ sake, example (99) shows that neither die nor dat can be used in free relative constructions, that is, these relative pronouns always require an overtly realized antecedent.

Example 99
a. * Die dit leest is gek.
  who  this  reads  is mad
b. * Die te laat komt wordt gestraft.
  who  too late  comes  is  punished
[+]  4.  Syntactic function of the relative pronoun

In (100), it is shown that the relative pronouns die and dat can have the same syntactic functions as a regular noun phrase, namely, as the subject or an object of the relative clause.

Example 100
a. de student die mijn boek heeft geleend
subject
  the student  who  my book  has  borrowed
  'the student who has borrowed my book'
b. de student die ik gisteren heb ontmoet
direct object
  the student  who  yesterday  have  met
  'the student I met yesterday'
c. de student die ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
indirect object
  the/a student  who  yesterday  a book  have  given
  'the/a student I gave a book to yesterday'

The examples in (101) show that the relative pronouns die and dat cannot function as the complement of a preposition, regardless of whether the PP is an argument, as in (101a&b), or an adverbial phrase, as in (101c&d). In this respect these pronouns behave like personal pronouns that refer to inanimate entities; cf. Section P5.1.

Example 101
a. * de student [PP aan die] ik mijn boek heb gegeven
  the student  to whom  my book  have  given
b. * het boek [PP van dat] ik de kaft heb gescheurd
  the book  of which  the cover  have  torn
c. * de vriend [PP met die] ik op vakantie ben geweest
  the friend  with whom  on holiday  have  been
d. * het huis [PP in dat] ik geboren ben
  the house  in which  born  am

Note that stranding of the preposition, as in (102), does not improve matters, which is of course consistent with the fact that Dutch does not allow preposition stranding by extracting a noun phrase; cf. Section P5. Note in passing that mee in (102c) is the stranded form of the preposition met.

Example 102
a. * de student diei ik mijn boek [PP aan ti] heb gegeven
b. * het boek dati ik de kaft [PP van ti] heb gescheurd
c. * de vriend diei op vakantie [PP mee ti] ben geweest
d. * het huis dati ik [PP in ti] geboren ben

This means that Dutch must appeal to other means to express the intended meanings. Subsection B below will show that, in the case of +human antecedents, this can be done by replacing die/dat by the pronoun wie. An alternative option, which is also available if the antecedent is -human and which will be discussed in Subsection III, is to use a (split) pronominal PP waar ... P.
      The examples in (103) and (104) show that die/dat can also be used in restrictive relative clauses with an antecedent functioning as a complementive. This is possible regardless of whether the relative pronoun functions as an argument or a predicate in the relative clause. This is shown in the (a)- and (b)-examples, respectively. Relative clauses of this sort will be discussed more extensively in Section 3.3.2.3.3, sub IC.

Example 103
a. Ik ben niet de dwaas die men denkt dat ik ben.
complementive
  am  not  the fool  who one thinks that I am
  'Iʼm not the fool people think I am.'
b. Ik ben niet een dwaas die altijd doet wat hem gezegd wordt.
argument
  am  not  a fool  who always does what him said is
  'Iʼm not a fool who always does as he is told.'
Example 104
a. Ik vind Jan niet de dwaas die men denkt dat hij is.
complementive
  find  Jan not  the fool  who one thinks that he is
  'I donʼt consider Jan the fool people think he is.'
b. Ik vind Jan een dwaas die altijd doet wat hem gezegd wordt.
argument
  find  Jan  a fool  who always does what him said is
  'I consider Jan a fool who always does as he is told.'
[+]  5.  Possessive use

In some varieties of spoken Dutch, the relative pronoun die is sometimes used in possessive constructions such as (105a), in which it is followed by the reduced possessive pronouns zʼn'his' or dʼr'her', which can also be found in possessive constructions like Jan zʼn boek'Janʼs book' and Marie dʼr boek'Marieʼs book'. Example (105a') shows that the resulting construction, which is considered substandard and is not acceptable to all speakers of Dutch, is restricted to the singular, which may be related to the fact that the third person plural possessive pronoun hun'their' does not have a reduced form; cf. the discussion in Section 5.2.2.5, sub I. Example (105b) shows that the relative pronoun dat markedly differs from die in that it can never be used in this way.

Example 105
a. % de docent die zʼn boek ik heb geleend
  the teacher  who his book  have  borrowed
  'the teacher whose book Iʼve borrowed'
a'. * de studenten die hun examens ik heb nagekeken
  the students  who their exams  have  corrected
  'the students whose exams Iʼve corrected'
b. * het meisje dat dʼr moeder ik ken
  the girl  who her mother  know
[+]  B.  Wie'who'

The relative pronoun wie differs sharply from die/dat in that it is typically used as the complement of a PP, as in the structures in (106). The indices indicate the relations with the structure: the index i indicates that the full PP has been moved into the initial position of the relative clause, and the index j indicates that the noun (phrase) modified by the relative clause acts as the antecedent of the relative pronoun. The relative pronoun can sometimes also be used as a nominal argument in the relative clause, that is, with the structure in (91), but its use is then more restricted than that of die/dat.

Example 106
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]j [RC [PP P wiej ]i ... ti ...]]]
[DP de [NP studentj [RC [aan wiej]i ik [PPti ] mijn boek heb gegeven]]]
  the  student  to who(m)  I my book  have  given
  'the student to whom I gave the book'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]i , [RC [PP P wiej ]i ... ti ...]]
[DP de [NP student] j , [RC [aan wiej]i ik [PPti ] mijn boek heb gegeven]]
  the  student  to who(m)  my book  have  given
  'the student, to whom I gave the book'
[+]  1.  Features of the antecedent

The relative pronoun wie is restricted to +human referents and can be used regardless of the gender, number or definiteness of its antecedent. This is illustrated in examples (107).

Example 107
a. de/een studentnon-neuter aan wie ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the/a student  to who  yesterday  a book  have  given
  'the/a student who I have given a book yesterday'
b. het/een meisjeneuter aan wie ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the/a girl  to whom  yesterday  a book  have  given
c. de studenten/meisjes aan wie ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the students/girls  to whom  yesterday  a book  have  given
[+]  2.  Quantified antecedents

Example (108) shows that it is not easy for wie to take an existentially or universally quantified antecedent: the pronoun die is generally the strongly preferred option in that case. This is shown by (108).

Example 108
a. (n)iemand die/*?wie ik ken
  no/somebody  who/who  know
  'no/somebody I know'
b. iedereen die/*wie ik ken
  everyone  who/who  know
  'everyone I know'

      The examples in (109a&b) show, however, that the pronoun wie can be used to modify the universally quantified pronoun al'all' if this pronoun is used to refer to persons, although this particular use is characterized by a high degree of formality. Note that the antecedent and pronoun can both be interpreted either as singular or (perhaps somewhat marked) as plural, as shown by the form of the finite verbs of the main and relative clause.

Example 109
a. Al wie aanwezig was, werd ondervraagd.
  all who present was  was  interrogated
b. ? Al wie aanwezig waren, werden ondervraagd.
  all who present were  were  interrogated

Example (110a) shows that the universally quantified pronoun al cannot be used without the relative clause introduced by wie. This also explains why it cannot be used with a non-restrictive relative clause, as shown in (110b). For more details on the quantifier al, see Section 7.1.2.1.

Example 110
a. * Al werd/werden ondervraagd.
  all  was/were  interrogated
b. * Al, wie aanwezig waren, werden ondervraagd.
  all who present were  were  interrogated
[+]  3.  Free and semi-free relative constructions

Relative clauses introduced by the pronoun wie can readily be used as free relatives, that is, without a phonetically expressed antecedent. Some examples are given in (111). Free relatives occur most frequently as the subject of a generic matrix clause like (111a&b), but (111c) shows that it is certainly not impossible to use a free relative subject to refer to a specific individual.

Example 111
Subject
a. [Wie dit leest] is gek.
  who  this  reads  is mad
  'Whoever reads this is mad.'
b. [Wie te laat komt] wordt gestraft.
  who  too late  comes  is punished
  'Whoever comes late will be punished.'
c. [Wie daar staat] is erg knap.
  who  there  stands  is very handsome
  'The person standing there is very handsome.'

In (111) there is matching in syntactic function between the free relative in the main clause and the relative pronoun in the relative clause, but it is also possible to have a mismatch between these two functions. In (112a), for example, the free relative functions as the subject of the main clause, whereas the relative pronoun functions as the direct object of the relative clause. The acceptability of (112a) contrasts sharply with the ungrammaticality of the German example in (112b) (cf. Van Riemsdijk 2006: 353), which is generally attributed to the fact that, unlike Dutch, German has morphological case: the relative pronoun in the German example must be accusative in order to be able to perform its role within the relative clause, but nominative in order for the free relative clause to perform its role in the main clause: this morphological clash, which is absent in Dutch, causes the ungrammaticality of (112b).

Example 112
a. [Wie hij niet kent] is onbelangrijk.
  who  he  not  knows  is unimportant
  'Who he doesnʼt know is unimportant.'
b. * [Wen/wer Got schwach geschaffen hat], muss klug sein.
  whoacc/whonom  God  weak  created  has  must  clever  be
  'Who God has created weak must be clever.'

      The examples in (113) show that free relatives can also function as direct objects; again the free relative can have a generic or a specific interpretation. These examples show again that Dutch is not subject to a matching restriction: the free relative clauses in (113) function as direct objects of the main clauses whereas the relative pronouns function as subjects of the relative clauses. In German, examples such as (113) are reported to be ungrammatical or archaic; see Van Riemsdijk (2006: 355-6) for discussion.

Example 113
Direct object
a. Ik bewonder wie zoiets kan.
  admire  who  such.thing  can
  'I admire whoever is able to do such a thing.'
b. We straften [wie dat gedaan had] streng.
  we  punished   who  that  done  had  severely
  'We have punished the person who did it.'

Example (114a), taken from the internet, shows that a free relatives can also be used as the complement of a preposition, although it should be noted that using a free relative as part of an indirect object introduced by aan'to', as in (113b), seems less favored than using a nominal indirect object.

Example 114
PP-complement
a. Het is een hel als je wacht op [wie er het eerste dood gaat].
  it is a hell  if  one waits  for   who  there  the first  dead  goes
  'Itʼs hell if one waits for who will die first.'
b. Ik zal [(?aan) wie daar om gevraagd heeft] een exemplaar toesturen.
  I will      to  who  there  for  asked  has  a copy  prt.-send
  'Weʼll send a copy to whoever asked for one.'

      A free relative is normally analyzed as a noun phrase headed by a phonetically empty antecedent for the relative pronoun noun wie, and not as a clause (Van Riemsdijk 2006). Evidence in favor of this claim is that the free relatives with wie have the syntactic distribution of noun phrases, and not that of clauses: they must precede the verbs in clause-final position, even if an anticipatory pronoun is present. This is illustrated in (115) by means of free relatives functioning as the subject and the object of the clause, respectively.

Example 115
a. dat [wie dit leest] gek is.
  that   who  this  reads  mad  is
  'that whoever will read this is mad.'
a'. * dat (het/hij) gek is [wie dit leest].
  that   it/he  mad  is   who  this  reads
b. We zullen [wie dit gedaan heeft] streng straffen.
  we  will   who  this  done  has severely  punish
  'We will severely punish whoever has done this.'
b'. * We zullen (het/hem) streng straffen [wie dit gedaan heeft].
  we  will  it/him  severely  punish  who  this  done  has

      The examples in (116) show that the semi-free relative constructions are marked, both compared to the corresponding free relatives in (111) and semi-free relatives like (97b&c) with the relative pronoun die.

Example 116
Semi-free relatives
a. Degene/Diegene die/??wie dit leest is gek.
  the.one/that.one  who/who this reads  is mad
  'Anyone who will read this is mad.'
b. Degene/Diegene die/??wie te laat komt wordt gestraft.
  the.one/that.one  who/who  too late comes  is punished
  'Anyone whoʼs late will be punished.'

      Although the more or lesss idiomatic constructions in (117a&b) resemble free relative constructions, they are different in a number of ways. First, the particle ook is obligatorily present and adds a concessive meaning of the construction (“no matter who you ask/see...”), as a result of which the construction as a whole is more or lesss equivalent to constructions with a universal quantifier: (117a) could be paraphrased as “Everyone is giving the same answer” and (117b) as “Everyone has a mobile telephone”. Second, the primed examples show that it is completely impossible for the construction to take an overt antecedent or to appear in the form of a semi-free relative construction.

Example 117
a. Wie je er ook naar vraagt, ze zeggen allemaal hetzelfde.
  who  you  there  prt  prt.  asks  they  say  all  the.same
  'No matter who you ask, they all give the same answer.'
a'. * Degene wie je er ook naar vraagt, ze zeggen allemaal hetzelfde.
b. Wie je ook ziet, ze hebben allemaal een mobiele telefoon.
  who you prt see  they  have  all  a mobile phone
  'Whoever you see, they all have a cellular phone.'
b'. * Degene wie je ook ziet, ze hebben allemaal een mobiele telefoon.

The wie-constructions in the primeless examples furthermore do not act as arguments, but more like clausal adjuncts. Since Dutch is a verb-second language, the finite verb in declarative main clauses is preceded by a single constituent, and since the subject occupies this position in the primeless examples in (117), the wie-phrase must be clause-external. This conclusion is also supported by the fact illustrated by (118) that, in contrast to regular constituents of the clause, the wie-phrase cannot occupy the first position of the clause itself.

Example 118
a. * Wie je er ook naar vraagt zeggen ze allemaal hetzelfde.
  who  you  there  prt  prt.  asks  say  they  all  the.same
b. * Wie je ook ziet hebben ze allemaal een mobiele telefoon.
  who you prt see  have  they  all  a mobile phone

For completeness’ sake, note that according to Haeseryn et al. (1997: 361) modifiers like onverschillig'indifferent' and om het even'irrespective' may perform the same function as the particle ook in (117). Here we quote one example; to our ear, the use of onverschillig sounds rather formal and somewhat forced.

Example 119
Om het even/Onverschillig wie hij tegenkomt, hij groet niet.
  om het even/indifferent  who  he  prt.-meet  he  greets  not
'No matter who he meets, he wonʼt greet them.'

      Another highly idiomatic type of expression, typically found in proverbs, is illustrated by the constructions in (120); cf. Stoett (1923-5: #2503). Originally, the second part of the construction functioned syntactically as a relative clause introduced by the relative pronouns die and dat. Nowadays, however, it is more common to use the pronouns wie and wat, respectively, which is clear from the hits that resulted from a Google search (1/12/2015). In (121), we provide similar examples with wat/dat.

Example 120
a. Wie niet waagt, wie niet wint.
330 hits
  who  not ventures,  who  not  wins
  'Nothing ventured, nothing gained.'
b. Wie niet waagt, die niet wint.
311 hits
Example 121
a. Wat niet weet, wat niet deert.
334 hits
  what  not  knows,  that  not  harms
  'What the eye doesnʼt see, the heart doesnʼt grieve over.'
b. Wat niet weet, dat niet deert.
237 hits
[+]  4.  Syntactic function of the pronoun

The examples in (122) show that the pronoun wie cannot function as the subject or direct object of the relative clause in Standard Dutch, although it should be noted that in some varieties of Dutch (like the dialect spoken in Amsterdam) the relative pronoun wie can also be used as the direct object of the relative clause, hence the % mark in (122b&c).

Example 122
Subject and direct object
a. * de student wie daar loopt
  the student  who  there  walks
b. % de student wie we geschorst hebben
  the student  who  we suspended  have
c. % Dit is de jongen wie ik gisteren gezien heb.
  this is the boy  who  yesterday  seen  have

The relative pronoun wie normally functions instead as the object of a PP, where the PP as a whole may function either as a complement or as an adjunct of the relative clause: the examples in (123a&b) illustrate the former and involve, respectively, an indirect object and a PP-complement; example (123c) illustrates the latter.

Example 123
PP-complement
a. de student aan wie ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the student  to whom  yesterday  a book  have  given
  'the student to whom Iʼve given a book yesterday'
b. de vriend op wie ik tevergeefs heb gewacht
  the friend  on whom  in.vain  have  waited
  'the friend I waited for in vain'
c. de vriend met wie ik op vakantie ben geweest
  the friend  with whom  on holiday  am  been
  'the friend with whom Iʼve been on holiday'

Since the pronoun wie functions as a regular noun phrase the preposition is obligatorily pied-piped, that is, stranding the preposition, as in (124), leads to ungrammaticality; in such constructions the relative pronoun must take the form of an R-pronoun; cf. Subsection III.

Example 124
a. * de student wiei ik gisteren een boek [aan ti] heb gegeven
  the student  whom  yesterday  a book   to  have  given
b. * de vriend wiei ik tevergeefs [op ti] heb gewacht
  the friend  whom  in.vain   on   have  waited
c. * de vriend wiei ik op vakantie [met/mee ti] ben geweest
  the friend  whom  on holiday   with  am  been

      Although the examples in (122) have shown that the relative pronoun wie cannot function as the subject or the direct object, it can function as a nominal indirect object of a ditransitive relative clause. This means that the examples in (107) alternate with the examples in (125). The examples in (125) also show that bare wie (but not wie in the PP) can be replaced by the relative pronoun die/dat, which was discussed in Subsection A above.

Example 125
Indirect object
a. de student wie/die ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the student  who/who  yesterday  a book  have  given
  'the student whom Iʼve given a book yesterday'
b. het meisje wie/dat ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the girl  who/who  yesterday  a book  have  given
c. de studenten/meisjes wie/die ik gisteren een boek heb gegeven
  the students/girls  who/who  yesterday  a book  have  given

      It seems that the relative pronoun wie can also be used for other types of dative noun phrase, although judgments are perhaps less clear. In (126a&b) we are dealing with nom-dat verbs, that is, unaccusative verbs with a dative argument (cf. V2.1.3), and it seems possible to relativize the dative argument by means of either wie or die. The two options are certainly available for examples such as (126c), in which the dative is not an argument of the copular verb zijn'to be' but of the adjective trouw'loyal'; cf. Section A2.2.

Example 126
a. De man wie/die de maaltijd niet beviel, klaagde bij de gerant.
  the man  who/who  the meal  not  pleased  complained  with the manager
  'The man, who wasnʼt pleased by the meal, complained to the manager.'
b. De man, wie/die de maaltijd goed smaakte, zuchtte tevreden.
  the man  who  the meal  well tasted,  sighed  contentedly
  'The man, who was pleased by the meal, sighed contentedly.'
c. Zij is een meisje, wie/dat ik altijd trouw zal zijn.
  she  is  a girl  who  always  loyal  will  be
  'She is the girl to whom Iʼll always be true.'
[+]  5.  Possessive use

In some varieties of spoken Dutch, the relative pronoun wie can be used in possessive constructions like (127a&b), where it is followed by the reduced possessive pronouns zʼn'his' or dʼr'her', which can also be found in possessive constructions like Jan zʼn boek'Janʼs book' and Marie dʼr boek'Marieʼs book'. Its use is restricted to the singular, which may be related to the fact that the third person plural possessive pronoun hun'their' does not have a reduced form; cf. the discussion in Section 5.2.2.5, sub I.

Example 127
a. % de vriend wie zʼn boek ik heb geleend
  the friend  who his book  have  borrowed
  'the friend whose book Iʼve borrowed'
b. % het meisje wie dʼr moeder naast me woont
  the girl  who her mother  next.to me  lives
  'the girl whose mother lives next to me'
c. * de vrienden wie hun boeken ik heb geleend
  the friends  who their books  have  borrowed

The constructions in (127a&b) are often considered substandard and are not acceptable to all speakers of Dutch. speakers that do not accept these examples normally use the genitive form wiens'whose' in possessive constructions like these; cf. Subsection II.

[+]  C.  Wat'which'

The relative pronoun wat can be used both in restrictive and in non-restrictive relative clauses, although the conditions under which these can be used differ considerably. The constructions in (128) are similar in all relevant respects to those given for die/dat in (91), although we will see that the use of wat is much more restricted than that of die/dat.

Example 128
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]i [RCwati .... ti ....]]]
[DP een [NP ideei [RC wati me wel [DPti ] aansprak]]]
  an  idea  which  me prt  appealed
  'an idea that appealed to me'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]i , [RCwati .... ti ....]]
[DP een [NP origineel idee]i , [RC wati me wel [DPti ] aansprak]]
  an  original idea  which  me prt  appealed
  'an original idea, which appealed to me'
[+]  1.  Features of the antecedent

Describing the use of the relative pronoun wat is complicated by the fact that a process of language change seems to be going on, in which the use of wat is on the rise (Van der Horst 1988, Schoonenboom 1997/2002); many of the uses of wat in the examples below seem to be relatively recent innovations in the language, and therefore meet normative opposition.
      Nominal antecedents of the relative pronoun wat are +neuter and +singular. That the antecedent must be neuter can be seen in (129a&b): despite the fact that the two nouns voorstel'proposition' and suggestie'proposition' are near synonyms, only the neuter noun voorstel can enter the construction. That the antecedent must be singular can be seen in (129c). Note that all examples in (129) are grammatical with the relative pronoun dat or die.

Example 129
a. Hij deed een voorstelneuter wat/dat we nu gaan uitwerken.
  he  did  an  proposition  which  we  now  go  prt.-develop
  'He made a proposition which we will develop now.'
b. Hij deed een suggestienon-neuter die/*wat we nu gaan uitwerken.
  he  did  an  proposition  which  we  now  go  prt.-develop
c. Hij deed twee voorstellenpl die/*wat we nu gaan uitwerken.
  he  did  two propositions  which  we  now  go  prt.-develop

Haeseryn et al. (1997: 338) claim that wat can only be used with an indefinite antecedent, but they immediately add that in informal speech wat can be used with every singular neuter noun and is actually preferred to dat in large parts of the language area; a cursory look on the internet shows that this is indeed the case. A Google search (4/17/2008) on the strings het aanbod wat/dat er is gave the results in (130). Nevertheless, it seems that wat is more generally accepted with an indefinite antecedent than with a definite one, hence the % mark in (130b).

Example 130
a. het aanbod dat er is
45 hits
  the supply  that there is
  'the supply that is available'
b. % het aanbod wat er is
12 hits

      The examples so far all involve abstract nouns. Most speakers of Dutch seem to be less willing to accept examples with concrete nouns, although examples can readily be found on the internet both with indefinite and with definite antecedents; two examples are given in (131). Note that (131b) shows again that wat can also occur with definite antecedents.

Example 131
a. Het is een mobieltje dat/%wat er leuk uitziet’.
  it  is a cell phone  which  there  nice  prt.-looks
  'Itʼs a cell phone that looks nice.'
b. Zoek het mobieltje dat/%wat bij je past.
  look.for  the cell.phone  which  with you  fits
  'Find the cell phone that suits you best.'

The examples in (131) involve restrictive relative clauses. Judgments are different with non-restrictive relative clauses, where the use of wat seems to be more generally accepted, and is even preferred by some speakers with indefinite antecedents. This is illustrated in the constructed examples in (132). First, example (132a) involves a restrictive clause, and dat is preferred to wat by most speakers of the standard variety, regardless of the definiteness of the antecedent. Example (132b) involves a non-restrictive relative clause with an indefinite antecedent: all speakers accept the relative pronoun wat, and some (but not all) speakers even prefer it to the relative pronoun dat. Finally, example (132c) involves a non-restrictive relative clause with a definite antecedent, and most speakers accept both wat and dat (although speakers’ preferences seem to vary from person to person). In short: although the precise status of the examples in (132b&c) is perhaps somewhat unclear, it seems safe to conclude that wat is accepted in non-restrictive clauses by most speakers.

Example 132
a. Wij zoeken naar een/het horloge dat/%wat opgewonden kan worden.
  we  gave  him a/the watch  which  wound.up  can  be
  'Weʼre looking for a/the watch that can be wound up.'
b. Wij gaven hem een nieuw horloge, wat/%dat hij nu dagelijks draagt.
  we  gave  him  a new watch  which  he  now  daily  wears
  'We gave him a new watch, which he now wears every day.'
c. Wij gaven hem vaders horloge, dat/wat hij nu dagelijks draagt.
  we  gave  him  daddyʼs watch  which/which  he  now  daily  wears
  'We gave him daddyʼs watch, which he now wears every day.'

      The examples in (132) show that wat can also be used if the antecedent is animate or human, although many speakers will object to these examples even more than to those with inanimate nouns in (131). The examples with wat in (133) are taken from the internet.

Example 133
a. Het paard dat/%wat het hoogst in rang is, is meestal een oudere merrie.
  the horse  which  the highest  in rank  is  is generally  an older mare
  'The horse that is highest in rank is generally an older mare.'
b. Daar loopt het meisje dat/%wat naast me woont.
  there  walks  the girl  which  next.to me  lives
  'The girl who lives next to me is walking over there.'

      The antecedent of non-restrictive relative clauses with the relative pronoun wat need not function as an argument, but can also function as a nominal predicate, and in this respect wat crucially differs from the relative pronouns die and dat, which normally cannot be used in this context. This is illustrated in (134). Note that the relative pronoun wat is not sensitive to the gender and number specification of the predicative noun phrase; this is related to the fact discussed in Subsection 5 below that wat can also take an AP predicate as its antecedent.

Example 134
a. Marie is een aardig meisje, wat/*dat Els zeker niet is.
  Marie is a nice girl  which  Els certainly  not  is
  'Marie is a nice girl, which certainly Els isnʼt.'
b. Jan is een aardig jongen, wat/*die Peter zeker niet is.
  Jan is a nice boy  which  Peter certainly  not  is
  'Jan is a nice boy, which certainly Peter isnʼt.'
c. Jan en Marie zijn aardige kinderen, wat/*die Els en Peter zeker niet zijn.
  Jan and Marie are nice kids  which  Els and Peter  certainly  not are
  'Jan and Marie are nice kids, which certainly Peter and Els are not.'

      Finally, we can point to a typical use of the pronoun wat in constructions with a nominal antecedent in the form of an elliptical superlative expression followed by a restrictive relative clause. Examples are given in (135a&b), where wat can be seen as coreferential with the phonetically empty noun [ e] modified by the superlatives mooiste'most beautiful' and meest belachelijke'most ridiculous'; example (135c) has a more or lesss idiomatic flavor. Note that dat can also be used in these cases.

Example 135
a. Dit is het mooiste [e] wat/dat me had kunnen overkomen.
  this  is the most beautiful  which  me had  could  happen
  'This is the best thing that could happen to me.'
b. Dat is het meest belachelijke [e] wat/dat je je voor kunt stellen.
  that  is the most ridiculous  which  you  refl  prt.  can  imagine
  'That is the most ridiculous thing you can imagine.'
c. Dat is wel het minste [e] wat/dat hij kan doen.
  that  is prt  the least  which  he  can  do
  'That is the least he can do.'

As is shown in (136), a similar construction occurs with expressions like enige'only' and eerste/laatste'first/last', which are similar to superlative phrases in that they are normally used in definite (uniquely referring) noun phrases.

Example 136
a. Dit is het enige [e] wat/dat ik kan doen.
  this  is the only  which  can  do
  'This is the only thing I can do.'
b. Ik zei het eerste [e] wat/dat in me opkwam.
  said  the first  which  in me  prt.-rose
  'I said the first thing that occurred to me.'
[+]  2.  Quantified antecedents

The relative pronoun wat is also used in combination with quantified pronominal antecedents. Some examples are given in (137). Although it is possible to use either wat or dat, in some cases one of the two pronouns is clearly preferred. This is especially clear with the examples in (137a&c): a cursory look on the internet shows that the string [ alles wat] occurs about twenty times as often as [ alles dat], whereas [ zoveel dat] is about ten times as frequent as [ zoveel wat]; the string [ iets wat] in (137b) occurs about two times as often as [ iets dat].

Example 137
a. Ik gaf hem al(les) wat/??dat ik bezat.
  gave  him  all  that/that  owned
b. Dat is nou iets wat/dat ik nooit begrepen heb.
  that  is  now  something  that  never  understood  have
  'Now that is something Iʼve never understood.'
c. Er is zoveel wat/dat ik niet begrijp.
  there  is so much  that  not  understand
  'Thereʼs so much I donʼt understand.'

      When the antecedent is niets, as in (138), both wat and dat are acceptable, although the former seems to be more popular: a Google search (1/12/2015) on the string [ niets wat/dat ik] gave 294 hits for wat and 359 hits for dat, of which many involve the irrelevant construction Het is niet voor niets dat ik ...'It is for a good reason that I ...'. Nevertheless, there seem to be several interfering factors, which, to our knowledge, have not been investigated so far. Whereas in example (138a) wat is about six times as frequently as dat, our Google search also showed that in (138b) dat an wat occur with about the same frequency. The search strings are given in square brackets.

Example 138
a. [Niets wat/dat ik doe] helpt. [93/13]
  nothing  which  do  helps
  'Nothing I do is helping.'
b. Er is [niets dat/wat ik kan doen]. [105/104]
  there  is nothing  which  can  do
  'There is nothing I can do.'

Finally, example (139a) shows that in some cases, both the use of wat and dat seem to give rise to a degraded result. The preferred way of expressing the intended thought is as given in (139b). In all likelihood we are dealing here with modification by means of a PP headed by the preposition van which takes a free relative as its complement; cf. niets van dat alles'nothing of that all' in which dat alles is likewise the complement of van.

Example 139
a. Niets ?dat/*?wat hij voorspelde kwam ooit uit.
  nothing  that/that  he  predicted  came  ever  out
b. Niets van wat/*dat hij voorspelde kwam ooit uit.
  nothing  of what/that  he  predicted  came  ever  out
  'Nothing of what he predicted ever came out.'
[+]  3.  Free and semi-free relative constructions

The examples in (140) show that the relative pronoun wat can be used in so-called semi-free relative constructions, where it is coreferential with the antecedent dat(gene). Replacing wat in these examples by the relative pronoun dat leads to an ungrammatical result, which is probably motivated by the fact that this would lead to haplology. But with datgene the use of wat also seems much favored, although numerous examples with dat can be found on the internet.

Example 140
a. Dat wat/*dat er niet is kun je ook niet zien.
  that  which  there  not  is  can  you  also  not  see
  'What isnʼt there you canʼt see either.'
b. Ik gaf hem al datgene wat/%dat ik hem beloofd had.
  gave  him  all that     which  him  promised  had
  'I gave him all that Iʼd promised him.'

       Wat can also be used in free relative constructions, that is, without an overt antecedent. In (141) an example is given involving a subject. These examples show that the result is best if the free relative is in clause-initial or extraposed position; example (141c), in which the subject occupies the regular subject position immediately after the finite verb in the second position of the clause, is marked. This suggests that, despite the fact that free relatives are normally claimed to be part of a noun phrase with a phonetically empty antecedent, the free relative in (141) has more or lesss the distribution of a subject clause. In fact, the similarity with a regular clause goes deeper, which is clear from the fact that example (141b) must contain an anticipatory pronoun het'it', just as it would when we are dealing with a regular subject clause (De Vries 2002: 281; Van Riemsdijk 2006: 345). Note that whereas example (141a) seems compatible with both a generic and a specific interpretation of the free relative, example (141b) clearly favors a specific interpretation.

Example 141
Subject (main clause)
a. [Wat hij doet] is lovenswaardig.
  what  he  does  is praiseworthy
  'What(ever) heʼs doing is praiseworthy.'
b. Natuurlijk is het goed [wat hij doet].
  of course,  is it  praiseworthy   what  he  does
  'Of course, itʼs praiseworthy what heʼs doing.'
c. ? Natuurlijk is [wat hij doet] goed.

The examples in (142) show more or lesss the same thing for embedded clauses: since topicalization is excluded in Dutch embedded clauses, the subject is preferably placed in extraposed position with the anticipatory pronoun het in subject position.

Example 142
Subject (embedded clause)
a. Marie vertelde me dat het lovenswaardig is [wat hij doet].
  Marie  told  me  that  it  praiseworthy  is   what  he  does
  'Marie told me that itʼs praiseworthy what heʼs doing.'
b. ? Marie vertelde me dat [wat hij doet] lovenswaardig is.
  Marie  told  me  that   what  he  does  praiseworthy  is

      A free relative functioning as a direct object also exhibits the syntactic behavior of a clause: (143a&b) shows that the free relative is preferably placed in clause-initial or extraposed position. In the latter case the anticipatory pronoun het'it' is optional, just as it would be with a regular object clause; example (143c), in which the free relative occupies the regular object position, is again marked.

Example 143
Direct object (main clause)
a. [Wat jij daar zegt] zal zij niet waarderen.
  what  you  there  say  shall  she  not  appreciate
  'She wonʼt appreciate what youʼre saying there.'
b. Zij zal (het) niet waarderen [wat je daar zegt].
  she  will   it  not  appreciate  what  you  there  say
  'She wonʼt appreciate what youʼre saying there.'
c. ? Zij zal [wat je daar zegt] niet waarderen.
  she  will  what  you  there  say  not  appreciate

It seems that the examples in (143) do not readily allow a generic interpretation, but that such an interpretation is not entirely impossible is clear from the constructions in (144a); example (144b) is a similar, more idiomatic expression.

Example 144
a. dat hij eet wat er op tafel komt.
  that  he  eats  what  there  on the.table  comes
  'that he eats whatever is served.'
b. dat hij eet wat de pot schaft.
  that  he  eats  what  the pot  gives
  'that heʼll take potluck.'

Example (145) provides the embedded clauses corresponding to (143): since topicalization is excluded in Dutch embedded clauses, the object is preferably placed in extraposed position with an optional anticipatory pronoun het in object position.

Example 145
Direct object (embedded clause)
a. Ik denk dat zij (het) niet zal waarderen [wat je daar zegt].
  think  that  she   it  not  will  appreciate what  you  there  say
  'I think that she wonʼt appreciate what youʼre saying right now.'
b. ? Ik denk dat zij [wat je daar zegt] niet zal waarderen.
  think  that  she  what  you  there  say  not  will  appreciate

      That free relatives with wat behave like regular clauses is also clear from the examples in (146), in which the free relative is part of a PP-complement of the verb: the PP can be in extraposed position as a whole, as in (146a), or the free relative may be extraposed in isolation, in which case the clause must contain the anticipatory PP er + P. What seems impossible, however, is to place the full PP in a position preceding the clause-final verb. This is exactly the pattern that we also find with complement PPs containing a regular finite clause; cf. Section P2.4.

Example 146
PP-complement
a. dat hij mij wees [PP op [wat er in de kleine lettertjes stond]].
  that  he  me  pointed  at  what  there  in the little print  stood
  'He drew my attention to what it said in the fine print.'
b. dat hij mij [PP erop] wees [wat er in de kleine lettertjes stond].
  that  he  me    there-at  pointed  what  there  in the little print  stood
c. ?? dat hij mij [PP op [wat er in de kleine lettertjes stond]] wees.

      The distribution of free relatives with wat differs sharply from that of free relatives with wie, discussed in Subsection B3 above, which have the distribution of noun phrases, not clauses. It is not entirely clear what the correct analysis of the examples in (141) to (146) is. De Vries (2002: 281) suggests that we may be dealing with some sort of Heavy NP Shift or Right Dislocation, with het or a phonetically empty pronoun pro occupying the original position of the free relative, as indicated in (147a). There are three problems with this proposal, however. First, it leaves unexplained why we could not have the empty pronoun pro with heavy DPs like het beeldje in de etalage in examples such as (147b): it forces us to assume that pro is only possible with DPs that have the form of free relatives. Second, it leaves unexplained why free relatives with wie in examples such as (147c) cannot undergo the same type of movement as free relatives with wat. In short, it forces us to adopt the ad hoc solution that pro is only possible with DPs that have the form of a free relative that contain wat. Finally, it leaves unexplained why (147a) does not require the obligatory intonation break (indicated by an em-dash) that we find in (147b).

Example 147
a. dat Marie het/pro mooi vindt [wat daar staat].
  that  Marie  it/pro  beautiful  considers  what  there  stands
  'that Marie considers it beautiful what is standing there.'
b. dat Marie het/*pro mooi vindt — [dat beeldje in de etalage].
  that  Marie  it/pro  beautiful  considers  that statue  in the shop window
c. * dat Marie het/hem/pro mooi vindt [wie daar staat].
  that  Marie  it/hem/pro  beautiful  considers  who  there  stands

      Another possibility suggested by De Vries (2002: 281) is that we are dealing with an apposition. The main reason for assuming this is that sometimes an apposition marker like en wel'namely' can be used, which he illustrates with example (148a). There are, again, several problems with this suggestion. The first problem, noticed by De Vries himself, is that the marker en wel requires the pronoun het to be present; furthermore, it is very difficult to pronounce (148b) with the intonation contour typically associated with appositions, that is, with an intonation break before the free relative, when this marker is not present.

Example 148
a. Ze heeft het vernield, en wel [wat jij gemaakt hebt].
  she  has  it  destroyed  namely  what  you  made  have
  'She has it destroyed, (namely) what you have made.'
b. Ze heeft vernield, ??(*en wel) [wat jij gemaakt hebt].

Second, adding the marker to the earlier examples with postverbal free relatives seems entirely excluded, which is illustrated in the primeless examples in (149) for the examples in (141b) and (143b). The primed examples show that the free relatives can optionally be pronounced with the intonation contour associated with appositions, which shows that an apposition reading is possible. However, this intonation contour requires that the pronoun het'it' be present; this can only be illustrated if the free relative is an object, as in (149b''), given that the pronoun is always obligatory with free relative subjects in extraposed position.

Example 149
a. Natuurlijk is het goed(,) (*en wel) [wat hij doet].
  of course,  is it  praiseworthy    namely  what  he  does
  'Of course, itʼs praiseworthy what heʼs doing.'
a'. Natuurlijk is het goed, [wat hij doet].
b. Zij zal het niet waarderen, (*en wel) [wat je daar zegt].
  she  will  it  not  appreciate    namely  what  you  there  say
  'She wonʼt appreciate what youʼre saying there.'
b'. Zij zal het niet waarderen(,) [wat je daar zegt].
b''. Zij zal niet waarderen(*,) [wat je daar zegt].

A third, and final problem for the suggestion that we are dealing with appositions is that this predicts that free relatives with wie can be used in the same way, and would thus be able to occur in postverbal position; we have already seen in (147) that this expectation is not borne out. Given these problems with the two proposals discussed above, we conclude that the examples in (141) to (146) constitute an as yet unsolved problem.
      We now continue the discussion with a special type of free relative construction, which may function as the predicate of the clause. Some examples can be found in (150). The predicative free relatives are sometimes called transparent free relatives given that they themselves contain a predicate (given in italics) which is semantically the most prominent part of the construction. The examples in (150), for example, are more or lesss equivalent to the examples in (151); the free relative simply adds the information (due to the presence of noemen'to call') that we are dealing with an assessment by the speaker, which leaves open the possibility that other people have a different opinion.

Example 150
a. Deze auto is niet [wat ik duur zou noemen].
  this car  is  not  what  expensive  may  call
  'This car isnʼt what I would call expensive.'
b. Jan is [wat ik een schurk zou willen noemen].
  Jan is what  a scoundrel  may  want  call
  'Jan is what I would like to call a scoundrel.'
Example 151
a. Deze auto is niet duur.
  this car  is  not  expensive
b. Jan is een schurk.
  Jan is a scoundrel

Transparent free relatives are always introduced by wat, which is remarkable given that wat seems to function as the argument of the embedded predicate, and might therefore be expected to be sensitive to features of the subject of the clause. Nevertheless, substituting wie for wat in (150b) leads to an unacceptable result, as shown by (152).

Example 152
* Jan is wie ik een schurk zou willen noemen.
  Jan is who  a scoundrel  may  want  call

      That the free relatives in (150) are transparent in the sense that it is actually the embedded predicative phrase that is active in the main clause is especially clear in example (150a), in which the embedded predicate is adjectival: just like the regular set-denoting adjectives, the predicative free relative construction can be used in attributive prenominal position, as is illustrated by (153). There are at least two things that are remarkable about the structure in (153a). First, the adjective is inflected with the attributive -e ending, which we also find with the regular attributively used adjective in (153b), and not with the uninflected form duur, which we find with the predicatively used adjective in (151b). Second, the adjective follows the clause-final verb noemen in (153), which would never be possible in other cases: dat ik deze auto <duur> noem <*duur>.

Example 153
a. een [wat je zou kunnen noemen dure/*duur] auto
  what  one  may  can  call  expensive  car
  'a what one could call expensive car'
b. een dure auto
  an  expensive  car

      Transparent free relatives also occur in argument positions. This is most natural when the free relative is the complement of a preposition, as in (154a), which is a slightly adapted example taken from the newspaper Het Parool (“Kraamkamer vol ideeën”; March, 29, 2008), or a direct object; if the free relative functions as subject the result seems somewhat marked. Note that the primeless examples are, again, more or lesss equivalent to the primed examples: the free relative construction in the primeless examples only adds the information (due to the use of the verb blijken'to turn out') that at the time that they were sold it was not known that the shares were worthless.

Example 154
a. Hij verkocht zijn bedrijf voor [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn].
  he  sold  his company  for what  later worthless shares  appeared  to be
  'He sold his company for what turned out to be worthless shares.'
a'. Hij verkocht zijn bedrijf voor waardeloze aandelen.
b. Hij verkocht ons [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn].
  he  sold  us  what  later  worthless shares  appeared  to be
  'He sold us what turned out to be worthless shares.'
b'. Hij verkocht waardeloze aandelen.
c. (?) Er werden ons [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn] verkocht.
  there were  us  what  later  worthless shares  appeared to be  sold
  'What later turned out to be worthless shares were sold to us there.'
c'. Er werden ons waardeloze aandelen verkocht.

The markedness of example (154c) may be caused by the fact that the transparent free relative precedes the verb in clause-final position, given that example (154b) also gets somewhat marked if it is embedded; cf. (155a). It should be noted, however, that extraposition of the transparent free relative does not improve matters; on the contrary, it worsens the result as can be seen from the fact that (155a') is only possible with an intonation break before the free relative. That extraposition of the transparent free relative worsens the result is also shown by the unacceptability of the extraposition counterpart of (154c) in (155b).

Example 155
a. (?) dat hij [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn] verkocht.
  that  he  what  later  worthless shares  appeared  to be  sold
a'. ?? dat hij ons verkocht [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn].
b. * Er werden ons verkocht [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn].

The fact that transparent free relatives cannot be in extraposed position shows that they have the distribution of noun phrases; they are therefore truly different from regular free relatives with wat, which, as we have seen, have the distribution of clauses; cf. the discussion of (141) to (146). Another difference involves the fact, illustrated in (154c) above, that transparent free relatives can be used in an expletive construction, which shows that they are indefinites; regular free relatives, on the other hand, are definite or generic and therefore never occur in an expletive construction. This is clear from the fact that (141a) does not have an expletive counterpart: *Er is [wat hij doet] lovenswaardig.
      The fact that transparent free relatives behave like indefinite noun phrases might give rise to the idea that they contain some phonetically empty quantificational pronoun. Such an idea might be supported by the fact that all transparent free relative constructions in (154) alternate with semi-free relative constructions headed by the pronoun iets'something': iets wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn'something that turned out to be worthless shares'. Still, it does not seem possible to assume that the examples in (154) contain a silent iets, given that the semi-free relative construction with iets triggers singular agreement on the finite verb, and not plural agreement, as is the case with the transparent free relative in (154c): Er werd/*werden ons daar iets [wat later waardeloze aandelen bleken te zijn] verkocht.
      Let us conclude with the more or lesss idiomatic constructions in examples (156a&b), which resemble free relative constructions but are different in a number of ways. First, it is not possible for the construction to take an overt antecedent or to appear in the form of a semi-free relative construction; cf. (156a'&b'). Second, the particle ook (or a modifier like onverschillig'indifferent' and om het even'irrespective') is obligatorily present, and adds a concessive meaning to the construction (no matter what you say/do...).

Example 156
a. Wat je ook zegt, hij gelooft het toch niet.
  what  you  prt  say  he  believes  it  prt  not
  'No matter what you say, he wonʼt believe it.'
a'. * Datgene wat je ook zegt, ik geloof het toch niet.
b. Wat je ook doet, het helpt toch niet.
  what   you  prt  do  it  helps  prt  not
  'No matter what you do, it wonʼt help.'
b'. * Datgene wat je ook doet, het helpt toch niet.

Third, the wat-constructions in the primeless examples do not act as arguments, but more like clausal adjuncts; since Dutch is a verb-second language, the finite verb in declarative main clauses is preceded by a single constituent, and since the subject occupies this position in the primeless examples in (156), the wat-phrase must be clause-external. This conclusion is also supported by the fact illustrated in (157) that, unlike regular constituents of the clause, the wat-phrase cannot occupy the first position of the clause itself; see also the discussion of (118).

Example 157
a. * Wat je ook zegt, gelooft hij het toch niet.
  what  you  prt  say  believes  he  it  prt  not
b. * Wat je ook doet, helpt het toch niet.
  what   you  prt  do  helps  it  prt  not

Finally, note that similar constructions are possible with wh-phrases in first position. Given that the examples in (158) are clearly not free relatives, and given that wat can also be used as an interrogative pronoun, we conclude that we are not dealing with free relatives in (156) either; see Van Riemsdijk (2006: 362-3) for more arguments.

Example 158
a. Welke argumenten je ook aanvoert, hij gelooft het toch niet.
  which arguments  je  prt  put.forward  he  believes  it  prt  not
  'No matter what you supply, he wonʼt believe it.'
b. Welke moeite je ook doet, het helpt toch niet.
  what trouble  you  prt  take  it  helps  prt  not
  'No matter what trouble you take, it wonʼt help.'
[+]  4.  Syntactic function of the pronoun

Since the pronoun wat typically has a non-human, abstract reference, it occurs most naturally as the direct object of the relative clause. Examples of a restrictive and a non-restrictive construction can be found in (159a&b), respectively.

Example 159
Direct object
a. Jan deed een voorstel wat we hebben aangenomen.
  Jan did  a proposal  that  we have  prt.-accepted
  'Jan made a proposal that we accepted.'
b. Jan deed een goed voorstel, wat we unaniem hebben aangenomen.
  Jan did  a good proposal  which  we unanimously  have  prt.-accepted
  'Jan made a good proposal, which we accepted unanimously.'

Wat can, however, also function as the subject of the relative clause in passive and unaccusative constructions, as in (160).

Example 160
Subject of passive and unaccusative verbs
a. Jan deed een goed voorstel, wat unaniem werd aangenomen.
  Jan did  a good proposal  which  unanimously  was  prt.-accepted
  'Jan made a good proposal, which was accepted unanimously.'
b. De eigenaar vroeg een miljoen euro, wat ons budget te boven ging.
  the owner  asked  a million euros  which  our budget  exceeded
  'The owner asked a million euros, which exceeded our budget.'

The relative pronoun can also function as a nominal indirect object provided that the referent is -human, as in (161a). Example (161b) shows, however, that it cannot occur in a prepositional indirect object (or any other PP); (161c) shows that in cases like these, a (split or unsplit) pronominal PP must be used; cf. Subsection III.

Example 161
Indirect object
a. Jan deed een voorstel, wat we onze steun hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  which  we our support  have  given
  'Jan made a proposal, which we gave our full support.'
b. * Jan deed een voorstel, aan wat we onze steun hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  to what  we our support  have  given
c. Jan deed een voorstel, waar<aan> we onze steun <aan> hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  where-to we our support  have  given

      Finally, the pronoun wat can be used as the predicate of a non-restrictive relative clause. In that case, the normal restriction that the antecedent refers to a +neuter+singular-human abstract entity does not hold. For example, in (162a) wat accepts a human, non-neuter antecedent, while example (162b) shows that the antecedent can also be plural.

Example 162
Predicate
a. Ze zoeken een ervaren manager, wat ik niet ben.
  they  search  an experienced manager  which  not  am
  'They are looking for an experienced manager, which Iʼm not.'
b. Ze zoeken ervaren managers, wat wij niet zijn.
  they  search  experienced managers  which  we  not  are
  'They are looking for experienced managers, which weʼre not.'

In (162), the antecedent and the relative pronoun agree in number. The examples in (163) show, however, that this is not required: in (163a), the antecedent appears in the singular, whereas the plurality of the subject ( wij'we') and the verb ( zijn'to be') in the relative clause normally requires a plural predicate, as shown in (163a'). The inverse case in (163b&b'), where the antecedent appears in the plural, while the relative clause requires a singular predicate, is less felicitous.

Example 163
a. Ze zoeken een ervaren manager, wat wij niet zijn.
  they  search  an experienced manager  which  we  not  are
  'They are looking for an experienced manager, which weʼre not.'
a'. Wij zijn ervaren managers/*een ervaren manager.
  we  are  experienced managers/an experienced manager
b. ?? Ze zoeken ervaren managers, wat ik niet ben.
  they  search  experienced managers  which  not  am
  'They are looking for experienced managers, which Iʼm not.'
b'. Ik ben een ervaren manager/*ervaren managers.
  am  an experienced manager/experienced managers
[+]  5.  Non-nominal antecedents

The pronoun wat also accepts non-nominal antecedents. In the examples in (164), for example, the antecedent takes the form of a clause.

Example 164
Clause
a. Hij arriveerde vroeg, wat ik erg waardeerde.
  he  arrived  early,  which  very  appreciated
  'He arrived early, which I appreciated very much.'
b. Hij liep plotseling kwaad weg, wat ik erg goed begreep.
  he  walked  suddenly  angry  away,  which  very well  understood
  'He suddenly walked away angry, which I could understand very well.'

Given that the relative pronoun can also take a singular, neuter nominal antecedent, this may sometimes lead to genuine ambiguity. An example is given in (165a): on the clausal antecedent reading, it is the making of the offer that is appreciated, whereas on the nominal antecedent reading it is the offer itself that is appreciated. If the potential antecedent is plural (or replaced by a non-neuter noun), the ambiguity is resolved: the use of wat now necessarily expresses the clausal antecedent reading, whereas the use of die expresses the nominal antecedent reading.

Example 165
a. Hij deed mij een prachtig aanbodneuter, wat ik erg waardeerde.
  he  did  me  a splendid offer  which  very  appreciated
  'He made me a splendid offer, which I appreciated very much.'
b. Hij deed mij prachtig aanbiedingen, die/wat ik erg waardeerde.
  he  did  me  splendid offers  which  very  appreciated
  'He made me a splendid offers, which I appreciated very much.'

      The antecedent of wat need not be a full clause, but may also be a smaller (extended) projection of the verb. Examples can be found in (166a), where it is the VP skiën'skiing' that forms the antecedent of the pronoun wat, and in (166b), where it is only the verb zwemmen'to swim' which functions as the antecedent.

Example 166
Verbal projection
a. Ik ga deze winter skiën, wat ik nog nooit eerder heb gedaan.
  go  this winter  ski  which  yet  never  before  have  done
  'This winter Iʼm going to ski in the Alps, which Iʼve never done before.'
b. Mijn broer kan goed zwemmen, wat ik helemaal niet kan.
  my brother  can  well  swim  which  completely  not  can
  'My brother can swim very well, which is something I certainly canʼt.'

      Finally, the examples in (167) show that the antecedent of wat can also be a predicative phrase in, e.g., a copular or a vinden-construction. The predicate can be an AP, a noun phrase or a PP, although in the last case there is a clear preference for the use of the locative relative element waar'where'.

Example 167
Predicative phrase
a. Mijn auto is rood, wat ik een mooie kleur vind.
  my car  is red  which  a lovely color  find
  'My car is red, which I find a lovely color.'
b. Ik vind Jan een typische ambtenaar, wat ik nooit zou willen zijn.
  I consider  Jan is a typical civil servant,  which  never  would  want  be
  'I consider Jan a typical civil servant, which I never would like to be.'
c. Jan is al in Griekenland, waar/?wat ik ook wel zou willen zijn.
  Jan is already  in Greece  where/which  also  prt  would  want  be
  'Jan is already in Greece, where I would also like to be.'
[+]  D.  Welke'which'

The relative pronoun welke is only found in formal written contexts. Even in such contexts, however, replacement by die is always possible and generally preferred. Constructions with the relative pronoun welke can be represented as in (168).

Example 168
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]i [RCwelkei .... ti ....]]]
[DP de [NP stakingi [RC welkei [DPti ] vanmorgen aanving]]]
  the  strike  which  this morning  commenced
  'the strike which started this morning'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]i , [RCwelkei .... ti ....]]
[DP de [NP staking]i, [RC welkei [DPti ] vanmorgen aanving]]
  the  strike which  this morning  commenced
  'the strike, which started this morning'
[+]  1.  Features of the antecedent

The relative pronoun welke is syntactically similar to the pronoun die: like die, it is used for singular -neuter and plural ±neuter antecedents, both with human and with non-human referents. Some examples are given in (169).

Example 169
a. Hij protesteert tegen de procedure welke/die de commissie heeft gevolgd.
  he protests  against the procedure  which  the committee  has followed
  'Heʼs protesting against the procedure that the committee has followed.'
b. Hij protesteert tegen de procedures welke/die de commissie heeft gevolgd.
  he protests  against the procedures  which  the committee  has followed
c. De brief was gericht aan personen welke/die zich hadden ingeschreven.
  the letter was addressed  to persons  which  refl  had  registered
  'The letter was addressed to persons who had registered.'

The relative pronoun welke has a singular +neuter counterpart, hetwelk, which is generally considered archaic (advies.net/taal/advies/vraag/887); even in formal written texts, it is normally the pronoun dat which is used. Given that there are only few +human neuter nouns, the use of hetwelk is mainly restricted to -human antecedents. An example is given in (170). In the remainder of our present discussion, hetwelk will not be discussed.

Example 170
Het verdrag hetwelk/dat beide partijen sloten werd snel geschonden.
  the treaty  which  both parties  concluded  was  soon  violated
'The treaty which both parties agreed on was soon violated.'
[+]  2.  Syntactic function of the pronoun

Like die, the relative pronoun welke can fulfill various syntactic functions. In the examples in (169) above, welke functions as the subject of the relative clause. The examples in (171) show that it can also function as the direct object or as the indirect object of the relative clause.

Example 171
a. Hij protesteerde tegen de procedure welke de commissie had gevolgd.
  he  protested  against the procedure  that  the committee  had followed
  'He protested against the procedure that the committee had followed.'
b. De stichting welke wij geld hadden geschonken, bleek malafide.
  the foundation  that  we  money  had  donated  proved  unreliable
  'The foundation to which we had donated money turned out to be unreliable.'

The relative pronoun w elke can also be used as the object of a preposition. The examples in (172) show, however, that the degree of acceptability of welke as a prepositional object may vary with the preposition. All these examples with welke are restricted to formal contexts: in other contexts, the use of  wie (for +human antecedents) or a pronominal PP waar + P is preferred.

Example 172
a. Personen tegen wie/?welke een proces wordt aangespannen hebben recht op een advocaat.
  persons  against who/who  a process  is  instituted  have right on a lawyer
  'Persons against whom proceedings are instituted have the right to a lawyer.'
b. De mensen voor wie/*?welke de regeling geldt zijn zeer tevreden.
  the people  for whom/whom  the measure  holds  are  very satisfied
  'The people to whom the measure applies are quite satisfied.'
c. De arbeiders namens wie/welke wij optreden zijn ongeschoold.
  the workers  on.behalf.of whom  we  act  are  unskilled
  'The workers on whose behalf we act are unskilled.'
d. De stichting waarmee/??met welke wij onderhandelen blijkt malafide.
  the foundation  where-with/with which  we  negotiate proves  unreliable
  'The foundation with which are negotiating proves to be unreliable.'

Although the examples in (172) are all more or lesss marked, there is one context where the pronoun welke must be used, viz., when the antecedent is -human and the relative element is the complement of a preposition that cannot undergo R-pronominalization, that is, cannot be used in combination with an R-pronoun. Examples of such prepositions are tijdens'during' or volgens'according to' in (173).

Example 173
a. tijdens het overleg
  during the deliberation
a'. * tijdens het
  during it
a''. * ertijdens
  during.it
b. volgens de regels
  according.to the rules
b'. * volgens ze
  according.to them
b''. * ervolgens
  according.to.them

The fact that welke must be used in such contexts is related to the fact that the relative pronouns die/dat or wat are just like the -animate pronoun het'it' and z e'them' in (173) in that they cannot occur as the complement of a preposition; see Section P5.1 and also example (161b) above. Apparently, welke can be used as a last resort; see Haeseryn et al. (1997: 336/7) for more examples.

Example 174
a. De vergadering tijdens welke/*die/*wat het besluit werd genomen was niet openbaar.
  the meeting  during which the decision  was  taken  was not  public
  'The meeting during which the decision was made wasnʼt public.'
b. De reglementen volgens welke/*die/*wat wij optraden waren verouderd.
  the regulations  according.to which  we  acted  were  outdated
  'The regulations upon which we acted were out.of.date.'
[+]  3.  A special case

To conclude our discussion of the relative pronoun welke, we like to note that welk(e) can also be used attributively, in which case the pronoun heads a DP, which in turn acts as the complement of a PP, and which as a whole is coreferential with the antecedent. This kind of construction is only allowed in non-restrictive contexts like (175a), and we may be dealing in these cases not with a relative clause but with an apposition. The meaning of sentence (175a) is comparable to that of sentence (175b), in which the relative element takes the form of the pronominal PP waarmee. Note that in this latter sentence, the relative form waarmee can also be coreferential with the complete clause Jan kreeg een horloge'Jan was given a watch'; repetition of the antecedent, as in (175a), excludes this interpretation.

Example 175
a. Jan kreeg een horloge, met welk cadeau hij blij was.
NP antecedent
  Jan received a watch  with which present  he  glad  was
  'Jan received a watch, which present made him very happy.'
b. Jan kreeg een horloge, waarmee hij blij was.
NP or CP antecedent
  Jan received a watch  where-with  he  glad  was
  'Jan received a watch, which made him very happy.'

Occasionally, dependent clauses like (176) occur, in which the noun phrase containing welke does not act as the complement of a preposition. This construction seems archaic and certainly does not seem to belong to the spoken language.

Example 176
Een staking, welk middel we niet graag gebruiken, is nu het enige alternatief.
  a strike  which means  we  not gladly  use  is now the only alternative
[+]  E.  Hetgeen'which'

The relative pronoun hetgeen can in many contexts be used as a formal equivalent of the pronoun wat, although it is more restricted in its use: whereas hetgeen can always be replaced by wat, the reverse does not hold. For example, unlike wat, hetgeen can only be used in non-restrictive relative clauses and it is claimed that it typically takes clausal antecedents. If so, constructions with hetgeen must be represented as in (177). We will see, however, that the claim underlying this representation is in need of various modifications.

Example 177
Non-restrictive use of hetgeen: clausei , [RChetgeeni.... ti ....]
[Jan komt morgen thuis]i , [RC hetgeeniti ons zeer verheugt].
  Jan comes tomorrow home  which  us very pleases
'Jan is coming home tomorrow, which pleases us very much.'
[+]  1.  Features of the antecedent

Haeseryn et al. (1997: 342) claim that the antecedent of hetgeen can only be a clause, as in (178b), and perhaps this is indeed the most typical use of hetgeen. However, it seems to us that the antecedent of hetgeen may also be a smaller (extended) projection of the verb or the predicate in a copular or vinden-construction. If so, hetgeen behaves exactly like wat in this respect, which will become clear by comparing the examples in (178)-(180) to those in (165)-(167).

Example 178
Clause
a. Hij deed mij een prachtig aanbod, hetgeen ik niet had verwacht.
  he  did  me  a splendid offer  which  not  had  expected
b. Hij deed mij een prachtig aanbod, hetgeen ik erg waardeerde.
  he  did  me  a splendid offer  which  very  appreciated
Example 179
Verbal projection
a. Ik ga deze winter skiën, hetgeen ik nog nooit eerder heb gedaan.
  go this winter  ski  which  yet  never  before  have  done
b. Mijn broer kan goed zwemmen, hetgeen ik helemaal niet kan.
  my brother  can  well  swim  which  completely  not  can
Example 180
a. Mijn auto is rood, hetgeen ik een mooie kleur vind.
  my car  is red  which  a lovely color  find
  'My car is red, which I find a lovely color.'
b. Ik vind Jan een echte ambtenaar, hetgeen ik nooit zou willen zijn.
  I consider  Jan a typical civil.servant,  which  never  would  want  be
  'I consider Jan a typical civil servant, which I never would like to be.'

      In fact, we believe that hetgeen can also take nominal antecedents, provided that the relative clause is non-restrictive. Like wat, hetgeen only accepts +neuter and singular antecedents. Some examples of relative clauses introduced by the pronoun hetgeen that were judged acceptable by our informants are given in (181).

Example 181
a. Hij deed mij [een prachtig aanbod]i, hetgeeni ik niet kon weigeren.
  he  did  me   a splendid offer  which  not  could  refuse
  'He made me a splendid offer, which I couldnʼt refuse.'
b. Hij kwam met [een prachtig idee]i, hetgeeni we nu uit gaan werken.
  he  came  with  a great idea  which  we  now  prt.  go  develop
  'He came up with a great idea, which we are now going to develop further.'

It is also possible to use hetgeen with concrete antecedents, provided it has nonspecific reference. As soon as the relative pronoun refers to a specific object, use of dat or wat seems preferred, although it should be noted that some of our informants did accept example (182b) with hetgeen.

Example 182
a. Wij gaven hem een horloge, wat/hetgeen/%dat hij nu dagelijks draagt.
  we  gave  him  a watch  which he  now  daily  wears
  'We gave him a watch, which he now wears every day.'
b. Wij gaven hem vaders horloge, dat/wat/%hetgeen hij nu dagelijks draagt.
  we  gave  him  daddyʼs watch  which  he  now  daily  wears
  'We gave him daddyʼs watch, which he now wears every day.'

Some informants also accepted an animate antecedent for hetgeen; the only thing that was categorically rejected for hetgeen was a +human antecedent.

Example 183
a. % Ik keek naar zijn paard, hetgeen erg ziek was.
  looked  at his horse  which  very ill  was
  'I looked at his horse, which was very ill.'
b. * Ik ontmoette het meisje van hiernaast, hetgeen in Leiden studeert.
  met  the girl from next.door  which  in Leiden studies
  'I met the girl next door, who is studying in Leiden.'

It seems therefore that, in non-restrictive relative clauses, hetgeen has more or lesss the same distribution as wat. The latter is, however, preferred to the former, which only occurs in very formal contexts.

[+]  2.  Quantified antecedents

The relative pronoun hetgeen commonly seems to be used with al; this is clear from the fact that a Google search on the string [ al hetgeen] resulted in over 500 hits. The examples in (184), which are slightly adapted versions of examples found on the internet, can be found as subject, object, and the complement of a preposition.

Example 184
a. Al hetgeen ik hier neerschrijf is pure fictie.
  all  which  here  write.down  is pure fiction
  'All that Iʼm writing here is pure fiction.'
b. Al hetgeen hij hier zegt kan hij staven met bewijsstukken.
  all  which  he  here  says  can  he  substantiate  with proofs
  'All that he claims here, he can substantiate with proofs.'
c. Ik dank Jan voor al hetgeen hij van het jaar heeft gedaan.
  thank  Jan  for all which  he  last year  has done
  'I would like to thank Jan for all that he has done last year.'

Examples involving quantified antecedents like alles'all', iets'something', or niets'nothing' feel severely degraded (although a few examples can be found on the internet). This suggests that we are actually not dealing in (184) with constructions in which hetgeen functions as a relative pronoun but in which the phrase al hetgeen functions as the antecedent of a relative clause with a phonetically empty relative pronoun. An argument in favor of this suggestion is that besides the examples in (184), we can find examples such as (185), in which dat/wat seems to act as a relative pronoun that takes al hetgeen as its antecedent. Constructions of the form in (185) are less common, but still common enough to be taken seriously (the strings [ al hetgeen dat] and [ al hetgeen wat] resulted in about 5,500 hits).

Example 185
a. Al hetgeen dat/wat ik hier neerschrijf is pure fictie.
  all  that  which  here  write.down  is pure fiction
  'All Iʼm writing here is pure fiction.'
b. Al hetgeen dat/wat hij hier zegt kan hij staven met bewijsstukken.
  all  that  which  he  here  says  can  he  substantiate  with proofs
  'All that he claims here, he can substantiate with proofs.'
c. Ik dank Jan voor al hetgeen wat/dat hij van het jaar heeft gedaan.
  thank  Jan  for all that  which  he  last year  has done
  'I would like to thank Jan for all that he has done last year.'

An argument against this suggestion is that there is no independent evidence for the existence of the phonetically empty relative pronoun that must be postulated. We will therefore not speculate on the constructions in (184) and (185) any further, and leave the issue for future research.

[+]  3.  (Semi-)free relative constructions

Hetgeen does not seem to be used in semi-free relatives, but a Google search on the string [ hetgeen hij] suggests that it is frequently found in free relative constructions, that is, without an overt antecedent. Some (adapted) examples are given in (186).

Example 186
a. Hetgeen hij daar zegt klopt niet.
  which  he  there  says  is.right  not
  'What heʼs saying there isnʼt right.'
b. Hij doet hetgeen hij geleerd heeft.
  he  does  which he learned  has
  'He does what he has been taught.'
c. Hij wees mij op hetgeen er in de kleine lettertjes stond.
  he  pointed  me  on that  there  in the little print  stood
  'He drew my attention to what it said in the fine print.'

However, it should be noted that the examples in (186) alternate with those in (187), in which hetgeen functions as the antecedent of the relative pronouns wat and dat: a Google search (12/1/2015) on the strings [ hetgeen wat/dat hij] resulted in more than 600 (291/245) hits, most of which instantiated the relevant construction.

Example 187
a. Hetgeen wat hij daar zegt klopt niet.
  that  which  he  there  says  is.right  not
  'What heʼs saying there isnʼt right.'
b. Hij doet hetgeen wat hij geleerd heeft.
  he  does  that  which  he  learned  has
  'He does what he has been taught.'
c. ?? Hij wees mij op hetgeen wat er in de kleine lettertjes stond.
  he  pointed  me  on that  which  there  in the little print  stood
  'He drew my attention to what it said in the fine print.'

This suggests that, just like in the case with quantified antecedents, hetgeen does not function as a relative pronoun in (186), but as the antecedent of a phonetically empty relative pronoun. Note that this would also immediately account for the fact noted earlier that hetgeen does not seem to enter semi-free relative constructions, that is, it cannot take a semantically light antecedent; this would then be due to the fact that it is hetgeen itself that functions as such an antecedent, and not as a relative pronoun. Given that there is no independent evidence for the existence of the phonetically empty relative pronoun that must be postulated, we will not speculate on the constructions in (186) and (187) any further, and again leave this issue for future research.

[+]  4.  Syntactic function of the pronoun

Since the pronoun hetgeen has non-human, abstract reference, it occurs most naturally as the direct object of the relative clause. An example can be found in (188a). It can, however, also function as the subject of the relative clause when we are dealing with a passive or unaccusative construction, as in (188b&c).

Example 188
a. Jan deed [een voorstel]i, hetgeeni we unaniem hebben aangenomen.
  Jan did   a proposal  which  we unanimously  have  accepted
  'Jan made a proposal, which we accepted unanimously.'
b. Jan deed [een voorstel] i, hetgeeni unaniem werd aangenomen.
  Jan did   a proposal  which  unanimously  was  accepted
  'Jan made a proposal, which was accepted unanimously.'
c. De eigenaar vroeg [duizend euro]i, hetgeeni ons budget te boven ging.
  the owner  asked  a thousand euros  which  our budget  exceeded
  'The owner asked a thousand euros, which exceeded our budget.'

The relative pronoun hetgeen can also function as a nominal indirect object provided that the referent is -human, as in (189a). Example (189b) shows, however, that it cannot occur in a prepositional indirect object (or any other PP), which is in accordance with the general observation that prepositions do not accept -human pronouns as their complement; (189c) shows that in cases like these, a (split or unsplit) pronominal PP must be used; cf. Subsection III.

Example 189
a. Jan deed [een voorstel]i, hetgeeni we onze volle steun hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  which  we our  full support  have  given
  'Jan made a proposal, which we gave our full support.'
b. * Jan deed een voorstel, aan hetgeen we onze volle steun hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  to which  we our full support  have  given
c. Jan deed een voorstel, waaraan we onze volle steun hebben gegeven.
  Jan did  a proposal  to.which  we our full support  have  given

      In addition, the pronoun hetgeen can be used as the predicate of a non-restrictive relative clause. In this respect, hetgeen again behaves like wat, so that we can refer to the discussion of the examples in (162) and (163); just note that the (a)-examples in (190) show that the antecedent of predicative hetgeen can be a plural, non-neuter or +human antecedent, and that the examples in (190b&b') show that antecedent and pronoun need not agree in number.

Example 190
a. Ze zoeken een ervaren manager, hetgeen ik niet ben.
  they  search  an experienced manager  which  not  am
  'They are looking for an experienced manager, which Iʼm not.'
a'. Ze zoeken ervaren managers, hetgeen wij niet zijn.
  they  search  experienced managers  which  we  not  are
  'They are looking for experienced managers, which we are not.'
b. Ze zoeken een ervaren manager, hetgeen wij niet zijn.
  they  search  an experienced manager  which  we  not  are
  'They are looking for an experienced manager, which we are not.'
b'. ?? Ze zoeken ervaren managers, hetgeen ik niet ben.
  they  search  experienced managers  which  not  am
  'They are looking for experienced managers, which Iʼm not.'
[+]  II.  Possessive relative pronouns

Dutch has two possessive relative pronouns: the genitive forms wiens and wier. Constructions containing one of these forms can be represented as in (191). The indices indicate the relations within this structure. The index i indicates that the full DP is moved from the position of the trace into the initial position of the relative clause. The index j indicates that the noun (phrase) modified by the relative clause acts as the antecedent of the possessive relative pronoun.

Example 191
a. Restr. rel. clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]j [RC [DPwiens/wierj NP]i ... [DPti ] ...]]]
[DP de [NP jongenj [RC [DP wiensj hond]i [DPti ] is overreden]]]
  the  boy  whose dog  is run.over
  'the boy whose dog has been overrun'
b. Non-restr. rel. clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]j , [RC [DPwiens/wierj NP]i... [DPti ] ...]]
[DP de [NP jongen]j , [RC [DP wiensj hond]i [DPti ] is overreden]]
  the  boy  whose dog  is run.over
  'the boy, whose dog has been overrun'

Being possessive forms, wiens and wier are always embedded within a larger noun phrase. The two forms combine with +human antecedents only (and perhaps nouns referring to certain domesticated animals). The examples in (192) show that wiens is used for singular masculine referents, whereas wier is used for singular feminine referents as well as for all plural referents.

Example 192
a. Dat is de studentmasc wiens werk niet in orde was.
  that  is the student  whose work  not  in order  was
  'That is the student whose work wasnʼt all right.'
b. Dat is de studentefem wier werk niet in orde was.
  that  is the student  whose work  not  in order  was
  'That is the female student whose work wasnʼt all right.'
c. Dat zijn de studentenpl. wier werk niet in orde was.
  that  are  the students  whose work  not  in order  was
  'Those are the students whose work was not all right.'

If the antecedent is neuter, it is normally the pronoun wiens that is used. However, if the referent is female, it is not uncommon to find the pronoun wier. A Google search (1/12/2008) for the strings [ meisje wiens] and [ meisje wier] resulted in, respectively, 408 and 342 hits. A similar search for the neuter noun wijf'woman' resulted in, respectively, 49 and 31 cases (which include cases from older literature). We may therefore conclude that for some speakers the choice is determined by grammatical gender, and for some by sex.

Example 193
a. Dat is de jongen/het jongetje wiens hond is overreden.
  that  is the boy/the boydim  whose dog  is run.over
  'That is the boy whose dog has been run over.'
b. Dat is het meisje wiens/wier vader minister is.
  that  is the girl  whose father  minister is
  'That is the girl whose father is a minister.'

Generally speaking, the use of wiens and, in particular, wier is rather formal and largely confined to written language. In speech, as well as in most written texts, the complex forms van wie and waarvan in (194) are used. In more informal, colloquial Dutch, a combination of the pronoun wie and the reduced form of a possessive pronoun, as in (195), can also be found.

Example 194
a. Dat is de jongen van wie/waarvan de hond is overreden.
  that  is the boy  of whom/of.whom  the dog  is run.over
b. Dat is het meisje van wie/waarvan de vader minister is.
  that  is the girl  of whom/of.whom the father  minister is
c. Dat zijn de studenten van wie/waarvan het werk niet in orde was.
  that  are  the students  of who/of.whom  the work  not  in order  was
Example 195
a. % Dat is de jongen wie zʼn hond is overreden.
  that  is  the boy  who his dog  is run.over
b. % Dat is het meisje wie dʼr vader minister is.
  that  is the girl  who her father  minister is
c. ?? Dat zijn de studenten wie hun werk niet in orde was.
  that  are  the students  who their work  not  in order  was

      Finally, note that besides the possessive forms wiens and wier, which take +human antecedents, there are two archaic forms that take a -human antecedent and that can occasionally be found in very formal samples of written language: welks and welker. The examples in (196) show that the pronoun welks is used for singular +masculine or +neuter antecedents, whereas welker is used for singular +feminine and plural referents.

Example 196
a. een briefmasc welks taal al te dreigend is
  a letter  whose language  all too threatening  is
  'a letter the language of which is too threatening'
b. het bedrijfneuter welks directeur hij van fraude beschuldigde
  the company  whose director  he  of fraud  accused
  'the company the director of which is accused of fraud'
c. de natiefem welker economische groei het groot is
  the nation  whose economic growth  the biggest  is
  'the nation whose economic growth is largest'
d. museumspl. welker collecties de meeste bezoekers trekken
  museums  whose collections  the most visitors  attract
  'museums whose collections attract the largest number of visitors'

The examples in (197) give the colloquial forms of the examples in (196), which involve extraction of the possessive pronominal PP waarvan'of which' from the noun phrase.

Example 197
a. een briefmasc waarvani [de taal ti ] al te dreigend is
  a letter  of.which  the language  all too threatening  is
b. het bedrijfneuter waarvani hij [de directeur ti ] van fraude beschuldigde
  the  company  of.which  he   the director  of fraud  accused
c. een natiefem waarvani [de economische groei ti ] het grootst is
  a nation  of.which   the economic growth  the biggest  is
d. museumspl. waarvani [de collecties ti ] de meeste bezoekers trekken
  museums  of.which  the collections  the most visitors  attract
[+]  III.  The relative pronominal PP waar + P

Relative pronominal PPs always have the form waar + P, but there are two slightly different patterns. The first is the so-called split pattern of the pronominal PP in (198), in which the R-pronoun waar is extracted from the PP, so that the preposition is stranded in the original position of the PP; see Chapter P5, from which we will adopt the convention of giving the discontinuous PP waar ... P in italics. The index i expresses both that the R-pronoun has been extracted from the PP and that the noun (phrase) modified by the relative clause acts as the antecedent of this R-pronoun.

Example 198
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]i [RCwaari ... [PP P ti ] ... ]]]
[DP de [NP treini [RC waari hij [PP meeti ] reist ]]]
  the  train  where  he  with  travels
  'the train heʼs traveling on'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]j , [RCwaari ... [PP P ti ] ... ]]
[DP deze [NP trein]i , [RC waari hij [PP meeti ] reist ]]
  this  train  where  he  with  travels
  'this train, which heʼs traveling on'

The second is the unsplit pattern of the pronominal PP, in which the preposition is pied-piped by the pronominal part waar into the initial position of the relative clause. In these examples, the index i indicates that the full PP has been moved from the position of the trace into the initial position of the relative clause, and the index j indicates that the noun (phrase) modified by the relative clause acts as the antecedent of the R-pronoun waar.

Example 199
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]j [RC [PPwaarj-P]i ... ti ] ... ]]
[DP de [NP treinj [RC [PP waarj-mee]i hij ti reist]]]
  the  train where-with  he  travels
  'the train heʼs traveling on'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]j , [RC [PPwaarj-P]i ... ti ... ]]]
[DP deze [NP trein]j , [RC [PP waarj-mee]i hij ti reist]]
  this  train  where-with  he  travels
  'this train, which heʼs traveling on'
[+]  A.  Features of the antecedent

Subsection IB, has shown that if the antecedent is +human and the relative pronoun is part of a prepositional phrase in the relative clause, the pronoun wie can be used, as in (200b). However, this construction alternates with those in (200c&c'), where the pronominal PP waar + P is used.

Example 200
a. Ik ben al jaren met die jongen bevriend.
  am  already years  with that boy  friendly
  'Iʼve been friends with that boy for years.'
b. Dit is de jongen met wie ik al jaren bevriend ben.
  this  is the boy  with whom  already years  friendly  am
  'This is the boy with whom Iʼve been friends for years.'
c. Dit is de jongen waar ik al jaren mee bevriend ben.
  this  is  the boy  where  already years  with  friendly  am
  'This is the boy Iʼve been friends with for years.'
c'. Dit is de jongen waarmee ik al jaren bevriend ben.
  this  is the boy  where-with  already years  friendly  am

There seems to be a mild normative pressure that favors the use of the form P + wie (cf. http://taaladvies.net/taal/advies/vraag/887), which may be due to the fact that pronominal PPs are normally not used to refer to +human entities in other contexts. However, the actual use of relative pronominal PP does not seem to be less frequent than that of the relative form P + wie. This will be clear from the fact that a Google search (12/1/2015) on the strings [jongen met wie]and[jongen waarmee]resulted in, respectively, 261 and 341 hits. In fact, the relative pronominal PP waar + P may turn out to be more popular than the numbers above suggest, given that the pronominal PP also occurs in the split pattern: a search on the combination of [jongen waar] and [ mee] gave an additional 298 hits, a substantial part of which instantiated the split pattern in (200c).
      The examples in (201b) show that the R-pronoun waar is not sensitive to the gender of the antecedent. Neither is it sensitive to the number of the antecedent, as is shown by (201c).

Example 201
a. Hij werkt al jaren met dit systeemneuter/deze softwarenon-neuter.
  he  works  already years  with this system/this software
  'He has been working with this system/software for years.'
b. Dat is het systeem/de software waar<mee> hij al jaren <mee> werkt.
  that  is the system/the software  where-with  he  already years  works
  'That is the system/software he has been working with for years.'
c. Dat zijn de systemen waar<mee> hij al jaren <mee> werkt.
  these are  the systems  where-with  he  already years  works
  'These are the systems he has been working with for years.'
[+]  B.  Syntactic function of the pronoun

The examples in (202) show that the relative R-pronoun waar in (201b) cannot be replaced by the relative pronouns die or dat. Observe that we do not give the counterpart of the split pattern in (201), since preposition stranding is only possible with R-pronouns.

Example 202
a. * Dat is het systeemi met dati hij al jaren werkt.
  that  is the system  with that  he  already years  works
b. * Dat is de softwarei met diei hij al jaren werkt.
  that  is the software  with that  he  already years  works

The examples in (202) and (201b) show that the relative pronouns die and dat resemble the pronoun het in requiring R-pronominalization to take place (see Chapter P5); the relative pronoun wie, on the other hand, does not undergo this process. Descriptively speaking, we have the rules in (203). After R-pronominalization has taken place the pronominal PP can be put in the initial position of the relative clause, or be split so that only the R-pronoun is placed in clause-initial position.

Example 203
a. P + het ⇒ er + P
  'with it'
a'. * met het
a''. ermee
b. P + die/dat ⇒ waar+P
  'with which'
b'. * met die
b''. waarmee
c. P + wie
  'with whom'
c'. met wie
c''. n.a.

In the following two subsections we will show that the relative pronominal PP waarmee may function as an argument or a complement of the relative clause. In the third subsection we will discuss a complicating factor in describing the distribution of relative waarmee.

[+]  1.  Extractability

Normally, the relative pronominal PP waar + P can only be used if the PP can undergo R-pronominalization in other contexts as well. An example is given in (204): example (204b) shows that the locational PP op een stoel in (204a) can be readily pronominalized, and correspondingly, the pronominal PP waarop can also be used in (204c), either in its split or unsplit form.

Example 204
a. Ik zit op een stoel.
  sit  on a chair
  'Iʼm sitting on a chair.'
b. Ik zit erop.
  sit  there-on
  'Iʼm sitting on it.'
c. De stoel waar<op> ik <op> zit is erg oud.
  the chair  where-on  sit  is very old
  'The chair Iʼm sitting on is very old.'

The examples in (205) are, however, exceptional: example (205b) shows that R-pronominalization of temporal PPs is normally not possible, whereas example (205c) shows that the relative pronominal PP waarop can have a temporal function. The main difference with the examples in (204) is that the temporal PP cannot be split. More examples of relative adverbial phrases that behave in this way will be given in Subsection IV on relative adverbs.

Example 205
a. Ik trouwde op de dag dat ...
  married  on the day that ...
  'I got married on that day.'
b. *? Ik trouwde erop.
  married  there-on
c. De dag waar <op> ik <*op> trouwde vergeet ik nooit.
  the day  where-on  married  forget  never
  'The day I got married Iʼll never forget.'
[+]  2.  Complements and adjuncts

The examples below show that the relative pronominal PP waar + P can be used for both complements and adjunct PPs: the examples in (206) contain the PP-complement op een walvis'on a whale' and the examples in (207) contain the PP-adjunct met de trein'with the train'. In both cases waar can be used, either together with the preposition or with the preposition stranded.

Example 206
a. Hij jaagt op een witte walvis.
  he  hunts  on  a white whale
  'Heʼs hunting a white whale.'
b. De walvis waar <op> hij <op> jaagt is wit.
  the whale  where    on  he  hunts  is white
  'The whale he is hunting is white.'
Example 207
a. Hij komt met de trein.
  he  comes  with the train
  'Heʼs coming by train.'
b. De trein waar <mee> hij <mee> reist is vertraagd.
  the train  where  with  he  travels  is delayed
  'The train heʼs traveling on has been delayed.'

A caveat is perhaps in order here. The examples in (208) show that, as expected, the relative pronoun die cannot replace waar in the (b)-examples. It should be noted, however, that (208a) is acceptable if the adposition and the verb are interpreted as the particle verb opjagen'to rout'; in that case, the relative pronoun die is an accusative noun phrase, not the complement of the adposition op. The two cases differ not only in meaning but also in intonation pattern: the particle op normally bears stress (dat we de walvis op jagen'that we rout the whale'), whereas stress is normally assigned to the verb (or some other element) if we are dealing with a stranded preposition ( dat we er al tijden op jagen'that we have hunted it for ages').

Example 208
a. # De walvis die hij op jaagt is wit.
  the whale  that  he  on hunts  is white
b. * De trein die hij mee reist is vertraagd.
  the train  that  he  with  travels  is delayed
[+]  3.  A problematic case

Describing the distributional properties of the relative pronominal PP is complicated by the fact that some adpositions can be used either as a preposition or as a postposition, and in these cases die/dat and waar seem to alternate. In order to set the stage for the discussion, first consider example (209), in which we find the stranded preposition mee. The relevant observation is that this stranded preposition mee must precede the clause-final verbal sequence, and cannot permeate it; cf. Van Riemsdijk (1978: 162/163).

Example 209
a. Dat is de software waar hij jaren mee heeft gewerkt.
  that  is the software  where  he  years  with  has  worked
  'That is the software he has been working with for years.'
b. * Dat is de software waar hij jaren heeft mee gewerkt.

Postpositions behave differently in this respect: the examples in (210) show that postpositions can readily permeate the clause-final verb cluster. From the data in (209) and (210), we may conclude that, whenever we find an adposition within the verb cluster, we are dealing with a postposition (or a particle), not with a stranded preposition.

Example 210
a. omdat hij die boom <in> is <in> geklommen.
  because  he  that tree  into  is  climbed
  'because he has climbed into that tree.'
b. omdat de kapitein/boot de haven <in> is <in> gevaren.
  because  the captain/boat  the harbor  into  is  sailed
  'because the captain/boat has sailed into the harbor.'

Now, consider the primeless examples in (211), in which the complement of the adposition in can be realized either as the relative pronoun die or as the R-pronoun waar. Given that the adposition in can permeate the verb cluster, we conclude that we are dealing with a postposition in both cases. These examples therefore suggest that the complement of a postposition can be realized either as a regular relative pronoun or as the relative R-pronoun waar.

Example 211
a. de boom die/waar hij <in> is <in> geklommen
  the tree  that/where  he  into  is  climbed
  'the tree he has climbed into'
b. de haven die/waar de kapitein/boot <in> is <in> gevaren
  the harbor  that/where  the captain/boat  into  is  sailed
  'the harbor the captain has sailed into'

This conclusion seems to be contradicted by example (212b); in this example the complement of the postposition in cannot be realized as the relative pronoun die, but must be realized as an R-pronoun (although even this option does not seem to be fully acceptable).

Example 212
a. omdat de kapitein het schip de haven <in> heeft <in> gevaren.
  because  the captain  the ship  the harbor  into  has  sailed
  'because the captain has sailed the ship into the harbor.'
b. de haven ?waar/*die de kapitein het schip <in> heeft <in> gevaren
  the harbor   where/that  the captain  the ship  into  has  sailed

The crucial difference between the examples in (211b) and (212) seems to be related to the status of the verb varen'to sail': it acts as an unaccusative verb in (211), and the logical subject of the directional PP ( de kapitein/het schip'the captain/ship') surfaces as the subject of the clause; the verb in (212), on the other hand, is not unaccusative, so that the external argument of the PP ( het schip'the ship') surfaces as an object. It will be clear that this problem merits more discussion, which will be given in Section P5.2.2 (where we will actually not reach a definite conclusion either).

[+]  IV.  Relative adverbial phrases

Dutch has a number of pronominal relative elements, which may function as a specific type of prepositional complement or adverbial phrase in the relative clause. For short, we will refer to these elements as relative adverbs; relative clauses with these adverbs can be given the structural representation in (213). The relative adverb may take various forms, depending on the semantic function (location, reason, manner, time, type) of the prepositional adjunct in question. We will discuss the various forms in the following subsections.

Example 213
a. Restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP [... N ...]i [RC [adverb]i...[PPti ] ... ]]]
[DP de [NP dagi [RC waaropi ik geboren [PPti ] ben]]]
  the  day  where-on  born  am
  'the day I was born'
b. Non-restrictive relative clauses: [DP D [NP ... N ...]i, [RC [adverb]i... [PPti ] ... ]]
[DP deze [NP dag]i , [RC waaropi ik geboren [PPti ] ben]]
  this  day  where-on  born  am
  'this day, when I was born'
[+]  A.  The R-pronoun waar

The relative adverb waar corresponds to a locational PP, just like the demonstrative R-pronouns daar'there' or hier'here'. In (214) it functions as an adverbial phrase, and in (215) as the obligatory complement of the verb wonen'to live'. As shown in (214b&c), relative clauses introduced by waar can be either restrictive or non-restrictive.

Example 214
a. Ik ben geboren in dat huis/daar.
  am  born  in that house/there
  'I was born in this house.'
b. Dat is het huisi waari ik geboren ben.
  that  is the house  where  born  am
  'That is the house where I was born.'
c. Dit huis, waar ik geboren ben, wordt binnenkort afgebroken.
  this house  where  born  am  is  soon  demolished
  'This house, where I was born, will soon be demolished.'
Example 215
a. Ik woon in deze stad/hier.
  live  in this city
b. Dit is de stadi waari ik woon.
  this  is the city  where  live

Note that the categorial status of the relative adverb waar differs from the categorial status of its antecedent: the (a)-examples show that waar is a pro-form of a locational PP, whereas the antecedent is an NP (in the case of a restrictive relative clause) or a DP (in the case of a non-restrictive relative clause). This poses a problem for the assumption adopted earlier, according to which the relative pronoun is referentially dependent on its antecedent. This problem can be solved by assuming that pro-forms like daar/hier'there/here' and waar are actually PPs containing a covert preposition (cf., e.g., Van Bart et al. 1998): the analysis of examples in (214b&c) and (215b) would then be completely on a par with relative constructions in which the relative pronoun pied-pipes a preposition. Here, we will not discuss whether such an analysis is tenable, but leave this to others to decide.
      Relative clauses introduced by waar can also be used as free relatives, in which the head is not overtly expressed (cf. de plaats waar hij woont'the place where he lives'). Examples can be found in (216).

Example 216
a. Waar hij woont, is niet bekend.
  where  he  lives  is not  known
  'Where he lives is unknown.'
b. Ik weet niet waar ik geboren ben.
  know  not  where  born  am
  'I donʼt know where I was born.'

Although the more or lesss idiomatic construction in (217a) can possibly also be regarded as a free relative, it is different in a number of ways. First, the particle ook is obligatorily present, which seems to add a concessive meaning to the construction (no matter where you come ...). Second, (217b) shows that it is impossible for the waar-construction to take an antecedent.

Example 217
a. Waar je ook komt, ze kennen hem.
  where  you  prt  come  they  know  him
  'Wherever you come, they know him.'
b. * (Op) de plaats waar je ook komt, ze kennen hem.
  at  the place  where  you  prt  come  they  know  him

Finally, the waar-phrase does not act as an argument or adjunct in the main clause, but is external to it. Given that Dutch is a verb-second language, the finite verb in declarative main clauses is preceded by a single constituent. Given that the subject occupies this position in (217a), the waar-phrase must be clause-external. This conclusion is also supported by the fact illustrated by (218a) that the waar-phrase cannot occupy the first position of the clause itself. In this respect it differs from constituents of the clause, as is shown by the minimally different example in (218b), in which the relative adverb waar takes as its antecedent the universally quantified overal'everywhere', which functions as a spatial adverbial phrase.

Example 218
a. * Waar je ook komt kennen ze hem.
  where  you  prt  come  know  they  him
b. Overal waar je komt, kennen ze hem.
  everywhere  where  you  come  know  they  him
  'Wherever you come they know him.'
[+]  B.  waar + P (temporal/manner adverbs)

This subsection discusses two relative adverbs that have the form of a pronominal PP, like waarop and waarin. These pronominal PPs do not have a non-relative counterpart and cannot be split, that is, the preposition must be pied-piped to the initial position of the relative clause, contrary to what is the case with other types of pronominal PPs. This has already been illustrated for waarop in (205). The relative adverb waarop can be used in two ways: its antecedent may be an NP with a temporal referent (denoting a relatively short period of time) or an NP with a manner referent. In the relative clause, this relative adverb functions as a prepositional adjunct of time and manner, respectively. Examples can be found in (219).

Example 219
a. Dit was het momenti [RC waaropi hij besloot in te grijpen].
time
  this  was the moment  where-on  he  decided  prt.  to intervene
  'This was the moment he decided to intervene.'
a'. Zaterdag is de dagi [RC waaropi ik uitga].
time
  Saturday  is the day  where-on  go.out
  'Saturday is the day I go out.'
b. Dat is de manieri [RC waaropi ik het zou hebben gedaan].
manner
  that <