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4.1.1. Quantificational constructions: een paar boeken'a couple of books'

This section discusses quantificational binominal constructions, that is, noun phrases in which the quantificational part of the noun phrase is expressed by means of another noun phrase. An example is given in (1a). The first noun phrase een paar'a couple' expresses the quantity of the set of objects denoted by the second noun phrase voorbeelden'examples'. In other words, the string een paar is comparable to the cardinal numeral twee'two' or the quantifier enkele'some' in (1b). Since English features the preposition of in the renderings of examples such as (1a), we will include this preposition in the glosses in square brackets for convenience.

Example 1
a. een paar voorbeelden
  a couple [of]  examples
  'a couple of examples'
b. twee/enkele voorbeelden
  two/some  examples

The quantificational binominal construction in (1a), which will from now on be referred to as QC, is remarkable in that the two noun phrases seem to be juxtaposed: unlike in English, no preposition, such as van'of', is used. For convenience, we will distinguish the two nouns by appealing to linear order: the first noun in a QC will be referred to as N1 and the second one as N2. Thus, in example (1a) the noun paar is an N1, and voorbeelden is an N2.
      This section is organized as follows. Section starts by giving a brief characterization of the types of N1 and N2 that can be used. Section continues by showing that there exist at least three types of QC, depending on whether N1 or N2 acts as the syntactic/semantic head of the construction. Sections and will go more deeply into the properties of N1 and N2, respectively. Subsequently, Section will discuss various aspects of modification of the nouns in QCs. Finally, Section concludes by providing a discussion of two related constructions, which we will refer to as the partitive and pseudo-partitive construction.

    This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
    A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.