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6.1.1.5. Special cases
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The previous sections focused on cardinal numerals in prenominal position. Although this is indeed the core use of the numerals, they can also be used in a variety of other constructions. Although we will not treat them extensively here, we at least want to briefly mention these cases before concluding this section. A first case worthy of mention involves numerals that are premodified by the quantifier alle'all'. In such cases the numeral does not follow the definite determiner, as is usually the case, but precedes it. These cases are more extensively discussed in Section 7.1.2.2.

Example 62
a. <alle vier> de <*alle vier> jongens
  all four  the  boys
b. <alle vier> die <*alle vier> boeken
  all four  those  books
c. <alle vier> mijn <*alle vier> broers
  all four  my  brothers

      Cardinal numerals expressing a cardinality larger than 1 can also occur as the complement of the preposition per: in cases like these the numeral is in a paradigm with bare nouns like stuk'piece' and paar'pair'; cf. Section 4.1.1.3, sub IIIC.

Example 63
Die batterijen worden alleen per stuk/paar/twee/vier verkocht.
  those batteries  are  only per piece/pair/two/four  sold
'Those batteries are only sold by the piece/in pairs/in lots of four.'

      Cardinal numerals can occasionally be used as postmodifiers of +human plural personal pronouns, in which case they indicate the cardinality of the group referred to, as in (64a). In this position, it is common to add the suffix -en to the numeral (which some speakers actually seem to prefer). This use of the numeral is in various respects similar to that of allen and beiden in (64b), which is more extensively discussed in Section 7.1.2.2, sub IIB4.

Example 64
a. Ik heb jullie drie/drieën gisteren gemist.
  have  you  three/three  yesterday  missed
b. Ik heb jullie allen/beiden gisteren gemist.
  have  you  all/both  yesterday  missed

The form derived by means of -en is also used in constructions such as (65a), which are more extensively discussed in Section 5.2.2.5, sub III. An alternative way of expressing the same meaning is by adding the diminutive suffix -tje to the numeral, in which case the resulting form clearly functions as a noun, witness the obligatory presence of the plural affix -s. Example (65c) shows that the diminutive suffix can also be used with the numeral één'one', although in this case the preposition in is used, not the preposition met (some speakers also allow op in this context).

Example 65
a. We komen met zijn/ons drieën/vieren.
  we  come  with  zijn/our  three-en/four-en
  'We will be/come with four.'
b. We komen met zijn/ons drietjes/viertjes.
  we  come  with  zijn/our  three-tjes/four-tjes
  'We will be/come with three/four.'
c. Ik kom in mijn eentje.
  come  in my one-tje
  'Iʼll come alone.'

Note, finally, that the constructions in (65a&b) also occur with quantifiers like allen and beiden (or diminutive beidjes); this is shown in (66).

Example 66
a. Wij/jullie/zij doen het met zʼn allen/beiden/beidjes.
  we/youpl/they  do  it  with his all/both/bothdim
  'We/you/they do it all/both together.'
b. Wij doen het met ons allen/beiden/beidjes.
  we  do  it  with our all/both/bothdim
  'We do it all/both together.'

For more discussion of examples such as (64) to (66), including their diachronic development, we refer to Booij (2010: Section 9.5) and the references cited there.

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References:
  • Booij, Geert2010Construction morphologyOxford/New YorkOxford University Press
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