• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents Pre-determiner bare heel

This section presents a survey of the distribution of pre-determiner bare heel inside the noun phrase. We first discuss in Subsection I the noun phrase types that may contain this pre-determiner. This is followed in Subsection II by a discussion of the restrictions heel imposes on other elements within the noun phrase.

[+]  I.  Bare heel and noun phrase types

Pre-determiner bare heel occurs in singular neuter and non-neuter, but not in plural count noun phrases. If we compare the distribution of bare heel, shown in Table 10, to that of bare al, given in Table 1 in Section, we observe that the two are each otherʼs opposites in this respect.

Table 10: Bare heel in noun phrases headed by a count noun
  singular [±neuter] plural [±neuter]
definite articles heel de stad/het huis
all the town/the house
*heel de steden/huizen
all the towns/houses
demonstrative pronouns (?)heel die stad/dat huis
all that town/that house
*heel die steden/huizen
all those towns/houses
  ?heel deze stad/dit huis
all this town/this house
*heel deze steden/huizen
all these towns/houses
possessive pronouns heel mijn stad/huis
all my town/house
*heel mijn steden/huizen
all my towns/houses

Systematic exceptions to the ban on pre-determiner heel construed with plural noun phrases are formed by pluralia tantum and formal plurals that denote a conventionally fixed unit; cf. the examples in (228), two of which were given earlier as (167b&c) in Section Despite the fact that the plurals in (228) behave syntactically like regular plurals (they trigger plural finite verb agreement, for example), they are compatible with pre-determiner bare heel because they denote single structured units, which are moreover exhaustively partitionable; cf. the discussion of the core meaning of bare heel in Section, sub I.

Example 228
a. Heel de hersenen zijn aangetast door de tumor.
  all  the brains  are  affected  by the tumor
b. El Niño heeft het klimaat in heel de tropen aangetast.
  El Niño has  the climate  in all the tropics  affected
c. Ik heb heel de Verenigde Staten doorgereisd.
  have  all  the United States  traveled.through
d. Hij is de bekendste politicus van heel de Antillen.
  he  is  the best-known politician  of  all  the Antilles

      To a certain extent, the complementary distribution of heel and al also holds for their distribution in noun phrases headed by a non-count noun, as will become clear by comparing Table 11 with Table 2 in Section

Table 11: Bare heel in noun phrases headed by a non-count noun
  substance nouns [±neuter] mass nouns
definite articles *heel de wijn/het water
all the wine/the water
*?heel het vee
all the cattle
demonstrative pronouns *heel die wijn/dat water
all that wine/that water
*?heel dat vee
all that cattle
  *heel deze wijn/dit water
all this wine/this water
*?heel dit vee
all this cattle
possessive pronouns *heel mijn wijn/water
all my wine/water
*?heel mijn vee
all my cattle

Table 11 shows that, unlike pre-determiner al, heel normally cannot occur in noun phrases headed by substance nouns. Examples like heel de wijn/het water become marginally acceptable, however, in contexts in which wijn and water are conceived of as countable bodies/units of liquid. An example such as (229a) is marginally acceptable with an interpretation of rode wijn as a fixed quantity of red wine, for example, a collection of bottles in the cellar. Similarly, example (229b), found on the internet, refers to a contextually determined body of water, which is apparently divided into a number of subparts, that each hosts a number of the people referred to by the pronoun we. The fact that the examples in (229) trigger an interpretation that involves structured units follows naturally from the semantic characterization of the quantificational semantics of pre-determiner bare heel given in, sub I.

Example 229
a. ?? Heel de rode wijn is op.
  all  the red wine  is  up
  'All the red wine is finished.'
b. We vissen [...] verspreid over heel het water.
  we  fish  scattered  over  all  the water
  'Weʼre fishing scattered across the water.'

      With noun phrases headed by a mass noun, the complementarity in distribution between heel and al also seems to hold; the examples in (230a&b) are at best marginally possible. In (230c), al and heel seem to be equally acceptable, although a Google search (12/1/2015) revealed that the string [ al het verkeer] occurs about four times as often as the string [ heel het verkeer]; these strings resulting 317 and 82 hits, respectively.

Example 230
a. Al/*?Heel het vee van boer Harms leed aan BSE.
  all the cattle of farmer Harms  suffered  from BSE
b. Al/*?Heel het fruit in de krat was beschimmeld.
  all the fruit in the crate  was moldy
c. Al/Heel het verkeer stond vast.
  all the traffic  stood  fast
  'All the traffic was jammed.'

      The complementary distribution between heel and al also seems to break down in noun phrases headed by abstract non-count nouns; both al and heel seem to be possible in this case, with heel preceding noun phrases headed by a neuter noun being somewhat marked. As in the case of al, the constructions in (231) seem to prefer a postnominal modifier or relative clause to be present. There is essentially no difference in meaning between the constructions with heel and al; example (231a), for instance, is semantically near-equivalent to al de ellende van de wereld.

Example 231
a. heel de ellende ?(van de wereld)
  all the misery    of the world
  'all the misery in the world'
b. ? heel het verdriet dat ik heb meegemaakt
  all the sorrow  that  have  prt.-made
  'all the sorrow that Iʼve been through'

It should be noted, however, that the constructions with al are again much more frequent than those with heel, which is clear from a Google search (12/1/2015): the string [ al de ellende] resulted in 296 hits, whereas [ heel de ellende] resulted in no more than 55 cases. The contrast was even bigger with [ al het verdriet] and [ heel het verdriet], which resulted in, respectively, 377 and 7 hits.
      In the case of deverbal nouns, the complementarity in distribution again seems to break down. Table 12 shows that, although heel can at best marginally be combined with noun phrases headed by a nominal infinitive or ge-nominalization, heel can be combined with noun phrases headed by a bare stem; see Table 3 in Section for the corresponding examples with al.

Table 12: Bare heel in noun phrases headed by a deverbal noun
  bare stem nominal infinitive ge-nominalization
definite articles heel het werk
all the work
*?heel het werken
all the working
*heel het gewerk
all the working
demonstrative pronouns heel dat werk
all that work
*?heel dat werken
all that working
*heel dat gewerk
all that working
  heel dit werk
all this work
*heel dit werken
all this working
*heel dit gewerk
all this working
possessive pronouns heel mijn werk
all this work
*heel mijn werken
all this working
*heel mijn gewerk
all this working

It should be noted, that, just as in the cases with al, bare stems with heel only give rise to an acceptable result if they receive an eventive interpretation (and not if they have a result reading). Consider the contrast between the primeless and primed examples in (232).

Example 232
a. * heel de aankomst/aanvang
cf. *al de aankomst/aanvang
  all  the arrival/beginning
a'. heel de aankomst van Sinterklaas
  all  the arrival of Santa Claus
b. * heel het begin/vertrek
cf. *al het begin/vertrek
  all  the beginning/departure
b'. heel het begin van de film
  all  the beginning of the movie

This contrast is one of result versus state-of-affairs nouns, that is, one of the absence or presence of temporal extension. While an arrival is normally conceived of as momentaneous or punctual, in a context like that given in (232a') it is not: the arrival of Sinterklaas (a benefactor of children who, in accordance with the Dutch tradition, arrives by boat from Spain around a fortnight before his birthday on the 5th of December) is an event with significant temporal extension. Similarly, while a beginning of something is usually a momentary, point-like event on a temporal scale, the beginning of a movie (that is, the set of scenes which together constitute the opening of the movie) has a temporal extension. This temporal extension is responsible for the acceptability of heel in the primed examples. Note that the role played by temporal extension in deverbal noun phrases headed by nouns like aankomst'arrival' or begin'beginning' confirms the characterization of the semantics of pre-determiner bare heel as an exhaustive partitioner. While point-like events are not partitionable on a temporal scale, events that have temporal extension are; hence the latter are compatible with bare heel whereas the former are not.

[+]  II.  Restrictions on accompanying determiners and quantificational elements

This subsection investigates the restrictions that pre-determiner bare heel poses on the presence of determiners and other quantificational elements. A preliminary observation to be made is that the noun phrase following heel are more limited syntactically than the corresponding constructions without heel; with the former, attributive modifiers seem to be restricted to cases in which the adjective and the noun form more or lesss fixed collocations. The examples in (233) present three minimal pairs (judgments are ours, but confirmed by a small number of informants).

Example 233
a. heel die grote, boze/??prachtige wereld
  all  that  big angry/beautiful  world
b. heel de grote/*?drukke stad
  all  the big/busy  town
c. heel dat ?ondraaglijke/*?uitputtende lijden
  all  that  unbearable/exhausting  suffering

The acceptable examples all seem to involve a close semantic coherence between the adjective and the noun: de grote, boze wereld is an idiom (“the wretched world”), de grote stad almost functions like a compound (cf. German Großstadt'big-town'), and ondraaglijk is a stereotypical modifier of lijden. The markedness of non-collocational attributive modifiers in bare heel constructions could perhaps be related to the “exhaustive partitioning” semantics of bare heel; the presence of a regular, attributive modifier possibly obstructs the partitioning necessary for the interpretation of pre-determiner bare heel.

[+]  A.  Determiners

Table 10 has shown that pre-determiner bare heel can be used with all types of determiners, although it is not fully compatible with the distal and, especially, the proximate demonstrative pronouns. The relevant examples are repeated here as (234).

Example 234
a. heel de/(?)die/?deze/mijn stad
  all  the/that/this/my  town
b. heel het/(?)dat/?dit/mijn huis
  all  the/that/this/my  house

The proximate demonstrative examples improve up to the point of full acceptability, however, in contrastive contexts of the type in (235). Constructions of the type in (235a) can be normally be “simplified” by backward conjunction reduction and NP-ellipsis, butthey deliver robustly different results in the context of pre-determiner heel. While backward conjunction reduction in the primed examples gives rise to a perfectly grammatical result, the NP-ellipsis cases in the doubly-primed examples are unacceptable (and certainly considerably worse than the corresponding examples with pre-determiner bare al given in Section, sub II).

Example 235
a. Ik ken wel heel deze stad, maar niet heel die stad.
a'. Ik ken wel heel deze ∅, maar niet heel die stad.
a''. * Ik ken wel heel deze stad, maar niet heel die ∅.
  know  aff  all  this town  but  not  all  that town
b. Ik ken wel heel dit huis, maar niet heel dat huis.
b'. Ik ken wel heel dit ∅, maar niet heel dat huis.
b''. * Ik ken wel heel dit huis, maar niet heel dat ∅.
  know  aff  all  this house  but  not  all  that house

      The examples in (236a-c) show that bare heel can precede not only possessive pronouns, but also (semi-)genitival possessive phrases. The somewhat marked status of (236c) is probably due to the heaviness of the overall construction.

Example 236
a. heel mijn wereld
  all  my world
b. heel mijn vaders wereld
  all  my fatherʼs  world
c. ? heel mijn vader zʼn wereld
  all  my father  his world

Example (237b) shows that bare heel may also precede nominalized possessive pronouns. This supports the suggestion made in Section, sub II, that noun phrases like de jouwe do not involve ellipsis, since otherwise we would expect examples with strings heel de jouwe to be as bad as the doubly-primed examples in (235).

Example 237
a. Heel mijn fiets glimt, maar heel jouw fiets is roestig.
  all my bike  shines  but  all  your bike  is rusty
b. Heel mijn fiets glimt, maar heel de jouwe is roestig.
  all my bike  shines  but  all yours  is rusty

      Pre-determiner bare heel cannot be construed with noun phrases containing the indefinite article een: this is shown in (238a&b) for, respectively, +count and -count nouns. Pre-determiner bare heel cannot combine with bare noun phrases either: (238b&c) illustrate this for, respectively, bare singulars and bare pluralia tantum. Note that we diverge here from Zwarts (1992: 156), who assigns *heel een ijsje'all an ice-cream' a mere question mark; our informants generally agree that examples of this type are unacceptable.

Example 238
a. * heel een stad/huis
  all  a town/house
b. * heel een/∅ ellende
  all  a/∅  misery
c. Die jongen heeft (*heel) ∅ hersens!
  that boy  has     all  brains

An exception to this ban on heel preceding indefinite determiners is when the latter combines with zo to form the indefinite demonstrative zoʼn'such a'; cf. Section, sub I. In order for heel to be acceptable, however, the head noun must be a count noun. Recall that the count/non-count distinction does not have the same influence on the distribution of pre-determiner heel in the case of a definite demonstrative; both heel die stad and heel die ellende are acceptable.

Example 239
a. heel zoʼn stad/huis
  all  such a  town/house
b. * heel zoʼn ellende
  all  such sorrow
[+]  B.  Indefinite determiner-like elements

Although pre-determiner bare heel can precede the indefinite demonstrative zoʼn'such a' in (239a), it cannot precede the indefinite determiner-like elements zulk/dergelijk/van die'such'. No doubt, this is related to the fact that these determiners are normally followed by plural count nouns, which are banned from this construction anyway. The fact that the constructions in (240), which involve non-count nouns, are also unacceptable patterns nicely with the fact that such examples are also impossible with zoʼn.

Example 240
a. * heel zulke/dergelijke/van die ellende
  all  such  misery
b. * heel zulke/dergelijke/van die wijn
  all  such  wine

      We may conclude from the data so far that heel must be linearly followed by a definite determiner or by zoʼn. We phrase this statement in linear terms in order to capture the difference in acceptability between zulk/dergelijk soort and their semantic equivalents dit/dat soort; (241a) shows that the latter are grammatical, which, we claim, is due to the fact that they themselves are introduced by a demonstrative which linearly follows heel in the output string. Example (241b) shows that the contrast in (241a) does not show up with pre-determiner bare al.

Example 241
a. heel dat/dit/*zulk soort gedoe
  all  that/this/such sort  fuss
b. al dat/dit/zulk soort gedoe
  all  that/this/such sort  fuss

Section, sub IIB, concluded that al in (241b) forms a constituent with dat/dit/zulk soort, on the basis of the fact that al dat/dit/zulk soort N may appear as a subject in existential er constructions. For heel, such a case cannot be made since it is impossible to establish on independent grounds whether heel is a strong or weak quantifier: addition of heel to a noun phrase does not affect the weak/strong status of that noun phrase. Nevertheless, a possible way of eliminating the reference to linearity in the characterization of the relationship between heel and the determiner following it is by analyzing heel dat/dit soort in (241a) as a constituent as well. Although this analysis seems structurally plausible, a potential semantic problem for it is that heel is construed with gedoe rather than with soort.

[+]  C.  Quantifiers and numerals

Pre-determiner bare heel cannot precede quantifiers like enige/sommige'some' and elk/ieder'every'.

Example 242
a. * heel enige ellende/verdriet
  all  some  misery/sorrow
b. * heel elke/iedere stad
  all  every  town
b'. * heel elk/ieder huis
  all  every  house

Since Table 10 has shown that bare heel does not combine with plural noun phrases, it will not come as a surprise that adding a numeral to the noun phrase to the right of heel is normally impossible. It seems, however, that example (243a) is acceptable (though marked) on the negative polarity reading of heel described in Section, sub II.

Example 243
# heel die twee steden
  all  those two towns

      In the discussion of bare al in Section, sub IIC, it was pointed out that adding an inflected quantifier like vele'much/many' or weinige'little/few' to the noun phrase following al is possible for some speakers, though always rather marginal. The relevant examples are reproduced here in (244a&a'). Examples (244b&b') show that adding pre-determiner bare heel to such constructions is impossible with weinige and gives rise to, at best, a degraded result with vele.

Example 244
a. de (vele/weinige) mensen in de zaal
  the   many/few  people  in the room
a'. al de (?vele/??weinige) mensen in de zaal
  all  the     many/few  people  in the room
b. het (vele/weinige) lijden in de wereld
  the   much/little  suffering  in the world
b'. heel het (??vele/*weinige) lijden in de wereld
  all  the      much/little  suffering  in the world

      For completeness’ sake, note that heel can precede the quantifiers veel and weinig, if it acts as a modifier of the quantifiers; cf. Section 6.2.5. That heel in (245) is a premodifier of the quantifier, and not of the noun phrase as a whole (as a pre-determiner of the zero indefinite article), is evident from the fact that the plural count nouns and substance noun wijn normally cannot co-occur with pre-determiner bare heel; cf. Table 10 and Table 11.

Example 245
a. [(heel) veel] boeken
  very  many  books
b. [(heel) weinig] wijn
  very  little  wine
[+]  D.  Personal pronouns and proper nouns

We can be brief about the combination of pre-determiner bare heel and personal pronouns; heel is unable to combine with pronouns, regardless of whether it is placed to the left or to the right of the pronoun. Example (246) only shows this for heel preceding the pronoun.

Example 246
Bare heel and personal pronouns
  singular plural
1st person *heel ik/me/mij *heel wij/ons *heel
2nd person regular *heel jij/je/jou *heel jullie
  polite *heel u
3rd person masculine *heel hij/’m/hem *heel zij/hen/hun
  feminine *heel zij/’r/haar  
  neuter *heel het/’t  

      As was pointed out in Section, bare heel can combine with proper nouns that comply with the semantic constraint imposed by heel that the noun phrase it is construed with denotes a structured unit. We refer the reader to Section, sub I, for a more extensive discussion, and to Section, sub IID, for comparison with similar examples with al.

Example 247
a. heel Europa/Duitsland/Hongarije/Italië/Amsterdam
  all  Europe/Germany/Hungary/Italy/Amsterdam
b. * heel Jan
  all Jan

      Finally, we can note that, unlike bare al (cf. Section, sub IID), heel cannot precede the wh-word wat in free relatives, but it can form a constituent with wat in the guise of a quantified pronoun. Note that, while indefinite wat normally alternates with iets'something', replacement of wat by iets is impossible in (248b).

Example 248
a. al/*heel wat ik hoor
  all  what  hear
b. Ik heb heel/*al wat gehoord.
  have  all  what  heard
  'Iʼve heard quite a lot.'
  • Zwarts, Joost1992X'-syntax - X'-semantics: on the interpretation of functional and lexical headsUniversity of UtrechtThesis
Suggestions for further reading ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • In prenominal position
    [84%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
  • Quantifiers
    [84%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
  • Cardinal numbers
    [83%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
  • -s
    [83%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Adverbial suffixes > Noun as base
  • Weak verbs
    [83%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Verbs
Show more ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • Quantificational heel
    [93%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 7 Pre-determiners > 7.2. The pre-determiner heel 'all/whole' > 7.2.2. Distribution of heel and its alternants inside the noun phrase > Pre-determiner bare heel
  • Pre-determiner bare heel
    [92%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 7 Pre-determiners > 7.2. The pre-determiner heel 'all/whole' > 7.2.1. Semantics of heel 'all/whole'
  • Post-determiner quantificational heel
    [92%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 7 Pre-determiners > 7.2. The pre-determiner heel 'all/whole' > 7.2.1. Semantics of heel 'all/whole' > Post-determiner inflectible heel
  • Inflected alle ''all''
    [89%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 7 Pre-determiners > 7.1. The universal quantifier al 'all' and its alternants > 7.1.2. Distribution of al and alle inside the noun phrase
  • Pre-determiner bare al ''all''
    [89%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 7 Pre-determiners > 7.1. The universal quantifier al 'all' and its alternants > 7.1.2. Distribution of al and alle inside the noun phrase
Show more ▼
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.