• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
7.2.2.2.2. Quantificational heel
quickinfo

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

readmore
[+]  I.  Quantificational inflectible heel and noun phrase types

Table 14 shows that quantificational heel can be placed to the right of a determiner in neuter and non-neuter singular count noun phrases. It is difficult, however, to add quantificational heel to the right of a determiner in plural noun phrases.

Table 14: Post-determiner +Q heel in noun phrases headed by definite count nouns
  singular plural
  [-neuter] [+neuter]  
definite
articles
de hele stad
the whole town
het hele huis
the whole house
*de hele steden/huizen
the whole towns/houses
demonstrative
pronouns
die hele stad
that whole town
dat hele huis
that whole house
?die hele steden/huizen
those whole towns/houses
  deze hele stad
this whole town
dit hele huis
this whole house
*?deze hele steden/huizen
these whole towns/houses
possessive
pronouns
mijn hele stad
my whole town
mijn hele huis
my whole house
*mijn hele steden/huizen
my whole towns/houses

The grammaticality judgments on the plural noun phrases seem determined by the semantics of heel. Section 7.2.1.2.2 has shown that post-determiner heel has a variety of quantificational interpretations; totality, degree and negative polarity are the three main instantiations. The core quantificational semantics of totality is the most salient component of the interpretation of singular examples. In the plural examples, on the other hand, the totality reading is unavailable, or at least very hard to get, which accounts for the unacceptability of most of these cases. The plural examples involving the distal demonstrative die (and perhaps to a lesser degree also those with the proximate demonstrative deze) are reasonably felicitous due to the fact that they allow a negative polarity reading. Degree interpretations are typically reserved for determiner-less plurals like (250).

Example 250
∅ Hele steden/huizen werden verwoest.
  ∅ entire towns  were  destroyed

Since pluralia tantum and group-denoting plurals preceded by the definite article refer to a unit, they are eligible for a totality interpretation of hele, in contrast to the regular plurals in Table 14.

Example 251
a. de hele hersenen
  the  whole  brains
c. de hele Verenigde Staten
  the  whole  United States
b. de hele tropen
  the  whole  tropics
d. de hele Antillen
  the  whole  Antilles

      Quantificational hele can also be construed with abstract non-count nouns, although adding hele to a substance noun is difficult if at all possible: in Table 15, we only show this for -neuter nouns. Adding post-determiner heel to noun phrases headed by mass nouns gives rise to a degraded result. Post-determiner heel matches pre-determiner bare heel perfectly in this regard. Note that the examples with the distal demonstratives die/dat are perfectly acceptable on a negative polarity reading.

Table 15: Post-determiner +Q heel in noun phrases headed by a non-count noun
  substance nouns abstract nouns mass nouns
definite
articles
*de hele wijn
the whole wine
de hele ellende
the whole misery
??het hele vee
the whole cattle
demonstrative
pronouns
*die hele wijn
that whole wine
die hele ellende
that whole misery
??dat hele vee
that whole cattle
  *deze hele wijn
this whole wine
deze hele ellende
this whole misery
??dit hele vee
this whole cattle
possessive
pronouns
*mijn hele wijn
my whole wine
zijn hele ellende
his whole misery
??mijn hele vee
my whole cattle

      The parallel between hele and heel extends further. The examples in (252) show that, as in the case of bare pre-determiner heel in (229), contexts in which wijn and water are conceived of units/bodies of liquid are at least marginally possible; example (252b) is again taken from the internet. Furthermore, as in the case of pre-determiner heel in (230), examples such as (253c) are well-formed. The totality semantics of post-determiner heel is responsible for this contrast; the discussion in Section 7.2.2.1, sub I, therefore largely carries over to the present examples.

Example 252
a. ? De hele rode wijn is op.
  the whole red wine  is up
  'The red wine is completely finished.'
b. Verspreid het voer zoveel mogelijk over het hele water.
  scatter  the feed  as.much.as possible  over the whole water
  'Scatter the feed as much as possible across the water.'
Example 253
a. ?? Het hele vee van boer Harms leed aan BSE.
  the whole cattle of farmer Harms  suffered  from BSE
b. ?? Het hele fruit in de krat was beschimmeld.
  the whole fruit in the crate  was moldy
c. Het hele verkeer stond vast.
  the whole traffic  stood  fast [≈ was jammed]

      Post-determiner heel is also possible with deverbal bare stem nouns, just like pre-determiner heel in Table 12. The examples involving nominal infinitives and ge-nominalizations are perhaps somewhat better than in the case of pre-determiner heel, but still distinctly odd.

Table 16: Post-determiner +Q heel in noun phrases headed by a deverbal noun
  bare stem nominal infinitive ge-nominalization
definite
articles
het hele werk
the whole work
*?het hele werken
the whole working
*?het hele gewerk
the whole working
demonstrative
pronouns
dat hele werk
that whole work
??dat hele werken
that whole working
??dat hele gewerk
that whole working
  dit hele werk
this whole work
??dit hele werken
this whole working
??dit hele gewerk
this whole working
possessive
pronouns
mijn hele werk
this whole work
??mijn hele werken
this whole working
??mijn hele gewerk
this whole working

It should be noted, however, that hele felicitously combines with a nominal infinitive in the idiom in (254a). That we are dealing with a nominal infinitive here is evident from the fact that eten takes an NP-complement to its left; see Section 2.2.3.2 for the structure of such nominal infinitives. As is shown in (254b), the ge-nominalization gedoe'fuss' can also be preceded by hele.

Example 254
a. Dat is het hele eieren eten.
  that  is  the whole eggs  eat
  'That is all there is to it.'
b. Ik ben het/dat hele gedoe zat.
  am  the/that  whole fuss  fed.up
  'Iʼm fed up with the/that whole fuss.'

      The extent to which deverbal nouns like -neuter aankomst'arrival' and aanvang'beginning' or +neuter begin'beginning' and vertrek'departure' are compatible with post-determiner heel depends on the interpretation of the nominalization; the examples in (255) have more or less the same status as examples with pre-determiner bare heel in (232), and the discussion of the latter examples in Section 7.2.2.1, sub I, carries over seamlessly to the present examples with post-determiner heel.

Example 255
a. # de hele aankomst/aanvang
  the  whole  arrival/beginning
a'. de hele aankomst van Sinterklaas
  the  whole  arrival  of Santa Claus
b. # het hele begin/vertrek
  the whole  beginning/departure
b'. het hele begin van de film
  the  whole beginning  of the movie

The primeless examples in (255) are marked with a number sign because, although they are unacceptable on the intended quantificational reading of totality, they are possible with a negative polarity interpretation. This reading is brought to the fore by the context given in (256).

Example 256
Toen ging ineens de hele aankomst/het hele vertrek niet door.
  then  went  suddenly  the whole arrival/the whole departure  not  through
'Then all of a sudden the whole arrival/departure was cancelled.'
[+]  II.  Restrictions on accompanying determiners and quantificational elements

This subsection investigates the restrictions that heel poses on the presence of determiners and quantificational elements. The internal syntax of noun phrases is not affected by the presence of post-determiner inflectible heel: whereas Section 7.2.2.1, sub II, found that the extent to which noun phrases are fit to be quantified by pre-determiner bare heel is in part determined by the presence or absence of attributive modifiers of the head noun, there are no such interrelations between inflectible heel and attributive adjectives. Post-determiner heel readily combines with noun phrases containing attributively used adjectives.

Example 257
a. die <hele> boze/prachtige <*hele> wereld
  that  whole  angry/beautiful  world
b. de <hele> lekkere <hele> taart
  the  whole  nice  cake

Example (257a) illustrates that heel surfaces to the left of the attributive adjective on its quantificational interpretations (totality, degree or negative polarity). On its purely adjectival reading in (257b), on the other hand, heel can be placed on either side of attributive adjectives, the choice depending on contextualization; see Section A5.5, sub III for the relative ordering of stacked adjectives. Note in passing that in (257b) hele can also be interpreted as an intensifier of the adjective lekkere if it precedes it.

[+]  A.  Determiners

Table 14 has shown that the distribution of post-determiner quantificational heel is tightly connected to the nature of the definite determiner that heads the noun phrase in which heel occurs. Here, we repeat the main findings. First, the determiners of the singular noun phrases in Table 14 deliver a totality reading of heel. Second, the determiners of the plural noun phrases obstruct a totality reading of heel, and, as a result, plural examples such as de hele steden are not well-formed. Finally, the distal demonstrative die'that/those' can give rise to a negative polarity interpretation of post-determiner heel, which accounts for the fact that the plural noun phrase die hele steden is more or lesss well-formed.
      The distal and proximate demonstratives can receive contrastive accent in the presence of post-determiner heel, as illustrated by (258). backward conjunction reduction and NP-ellipsis are possible in these examples, but only if hele is stripped along with the rest of the noun phrase; leaving hele behind in these examples is very marginal in the conjunction-reduction cases and quite impossible in the NP-ellipsis ones. In this regard, post-determiner hele behaves like beide, as discussed in Section 7.1.2.2, sub IB.

Example 258
a. Ik ken wel deze hele stad, maar niet die hele stad.
a'. Ik ken wel deze (??hele) ∅, maar niet die hele stad.
BCR
a''. Ik ken wel deze hele stad, maar niet die (*hele) ∅.
NP-ellipsis
  know  aff  this whole town  but  not  that whole town
b. Ik ken wel dit hele huis, maar niet dat hele huis.
b'. Ik ken wel dit (??hele) ∅, maar niet dat hele huis.
BCR
b''. Ik ken wel dit hele huis, maar niet dat (*hele) ∅.
NP-ellipsis
  know  aff  this whole house  but  not  that whole house

      In singular noun phrases, post-determiner inflectible heel readily follows possessives of all kinds, pronominal, genitive and semi-genitival possessives alike. In all examples in (259), heel has the quantificational semantics of totality; no degree or negative polarity readings are available for heel embedded in possessed noun phrases.

Example 259
a. mijn hele vermogen/bezit
  my  whole  fortune/estate
b. mijn vaders hele vermogen/bezit
  my fatherʼs  whole  fortune/estate
c. mijn vader zʼn hele vermogen/bezit
  my father  his  whole  fortune/estate

      Table 17 shows that post-determiner heel may also occur in indefinite singular noun phrases, provided that a determiner is present: the ungrammaticality of the determiner-less examples indicates that, unlike quantifiers like elk'every' or ieder'each' (cf. Section 6.2), heel cannot perform the role of a determiner or determiner-substitute of singular noun phrases. Table 17 also shows that heel inflects with schwa depending on the gender of the head noun, just like attributive adjectives in noun phrases with the singular, indefinite article een (cf. Section 3.2, sub I); neuter head nouns feature heel, non-neuter ones hele.

Table 17: Post-determiner +Q heel in noun phrases headed by indefinite count nouns
  count nouns non-count nouns
  [-neuter] [+neuter] [-neuter] [+neuter]
indefinite
article een
een hele stad
a whole town
een heel huis
a whole house
een hele ellende
a whole misery
een heel verdriet
a whole sorrow
indefinite
article
*hele stad
∅ whole town
* heel huis
whole house
* hele ellende
whole misery
* heel verdriet
whole sorrow

Although the non-count and count nouns examples are syntactically similar, they are semantically distinct. With the count nouns, post-determiner heel contributes a totality interpretation whereas with the non-count nouns heel receives a degree reading; an example such as een hele ellende is best rendered as quite a misery. Finally, note that post-determiner heel is excluded in plural noun phrases containing exclamatives of the type een (*hele) boeken dat hij heeft!

[+]  B.  Indefinite determiner-like elements

The examples in (260a&b) show that post-determiner heel can follow not only the indefinite article een but also indefinite determiners like zoʼn'such a' in (260), where heel receives a totality interpretation. Note that (260c) is ungrammatical; hele apparently cannot express a “quite” degree if it is preceded by zoʼn.

Example 260
a. zoʼn hele stad
  such a  whole  town
b. zoʼn heel dorp
  such a  whole  village
c. * zoʼn hele ellende
  such a  whole  misery

It is impossible for post-determiner heel to combine with een dergelijk(e)'such a' with heel standing to the left of dergelijk(e). With heel to the right of dergelijk(e) the result is grammatical, but only on the adjectival reading “whole, intact”. Since this reading is not compatible with the nouns stad and ellende, the examples in (261c&d) are degraded under all readings.

Example 261
a. een <*hele> dergelijke <#hele> taart
    whole  such  cake
b. een <*hele> dergelijke <#hele> appel
    whole  such  apple
c. * een <hele> dergelijke <hele> stad
    whole  such  town
d. * een <hele> dergelijke <hele> ellende
    whole  such  misery

The examples in (262) also show that inflectible heel cannot precede the indefinite determiner-like elements dat/dit/zulk soort and zulke/dergelijke/van die'such' either. The unacceptability of the examples in (262a&b) on the intended reading is, of course, not surprising given that quantificational heel normally cannot be used in plural noun phrases; these examples allow only adjectival heel. The unacceptability of (262c&d) with heel shows, however, that the indefinite determiner-like elements under discussion are not compatible with quantificational heel; the adjectival interpretation of post-determiner is also excluded due to the previously mentioned incompatibility of the meaning of adjectival heel and the noun ellende.

Example 262
a. <*hele> dat/dit/zulk soort <#hele> taarten
  whole  that/this/such sort  cakes
b. <*hele> zulke/dergelijke/van die <#hele> taarten
  whole  such  cakes
c. <*hele> dat/dit/zulk soort <*hele> ellende
  whole  that/this/such sort  whole  misery
d. <*hele> zulke/dergelijke/van die <*hele> ellende
  whole  such   whole  misery
[+]  C.  Quantifiers and numerals

It seems that post-determiner inflectible heel cannot be combined with other quantifiers on its quantificational reading. It is possible for heel to follow the quantifiers enige and sommige, but then it will be construed as purely adjectival, meaning “whole, intact”. The same thing holds if heel follows the quantifiers veel and weinig.

Example 263
a. enige/sommige (#hele) appels
  some    whole  apples
a'. veel/weinig (#hele) appels
  many/few  whole  apples
b. * enige/sommige (hele) ellende
  some  whole  misery
b'. veel/weinig (*hele) ellende
  much/little   whole  misery

Of course, three of the four examples in (263) are excluded for independent reasons: the (a)-examples are excluded because quantificational heel normally cannot be used in plural noun phrases, and (263b) is excluded because enige and sommige must be followed by a count noun. This leaves (263b') as evidence for the claim that quantificational heel cannot be combined with other quantifiers. However, this claim is also supported by the fact that the syntactically singular noun phrases in (264) give rise to a degraded result on the intended reading: these examples are only acceptable with a purely adjectival interpretation of heel.

Example 264
a. elke/iedere (#hele) appel
  every   whole  apple
b. elk/ieder (#heel) huis
  every   whole  house
c. elke/iedere (#hele) stad
  every  whole  town

      Quantificational post-determiner heel is not compatible with attributively used quantifiers either; example (265a), in which heel occurs to the right of the quantifiers in question, is only acceptable on the adjectival reading of heel; the noun lijden in (265b) does not readily allow the adjectival reading, and its unacceptability therefore shows that a totality reading is unavailable in such cases. The examples in (266) show that a negative polarity reading for heel is also impossible in this context. For completeness’ sake, note that (265b) and (266a) do allow an interpretation in which hele vele is construed as a phrase meaning “very much/many”.

Example 265
a. die <*hele> vele/weinige/twee <hele> appels
  those    whole  many/few/two  apples
b. * het <hele> vele/weinige <hele> lijden dat zij gedragen heeft
  the  whole  much/little  suffering  that she borne has
Example 266
a. * Ik ken die <hele> vele/weinige/twee <hele> mensen niet.
  know  those  whole  many/few/two  people  not
b. * Ik ken die <hele> ene <hele> vent niet.
  know  that  whole  one  guy  not
[+]  D.  Personal pronouns and proper nouns

Like bare heel, inflectible heel is unable to combine with pronouns, regardless of whether it is placed to their left or their right; Example (267) only illustrates this for the former case. Apparent exceptions are cases such as mijn hele ik'my whole self' where the proper noun ik'I' is used as a common noun.

Example 267
Inflectible heel and personal pronouns
  singular plural
1st person *hele ik/me/mij *hele wij/ons
2nd person regular *hele jij/je/jou *hele jullie
  polite *hele u
3rd person masculine *hele hij/’m/hem *hele zij/hen/hun
  feminine *hele zij/’r/haar  
  neuter *hele het/’t  

      Generally speaking, inflectible heel cannot be combined with proper nouns either. However, if the proper noun is modified, as in (268a'), and can hence be preceded by a determiner, inflectible heel becomes possible. Heel as a negative polarity item contributing condescension on the part of the speaker, as in (268b'), is possible also; in that case the distal demonstrative die is also present.

Example 268
a. * hele Europa
  whole  Europe
a'. het (hele) Europa *(van voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog)
  the whole Europe     from before the Second World War
b. * hele Jan
  whole  Jan
b'. Ik ken die hele Jan niet.
  know  that whole Jan  not

Another exception involves proper nouns preceded by a definite determiner. Some examples are given in (269).

Example 269
a. Ik ben de hele Antillen doorgereisd.
  am  the whole Antilles  traveled.through
  'Iʼve traveled through all the Antilles.'
b. Ze hebben de hele Westertoren gerestaureerd.
  they  have  the complete Westertoren  restored
  'They have restored the complete Westertoren.'
References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    • In prenominal position
      [84%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    • Weak verbs
      [83%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Verbs
    • Cardinal numbers
      [83%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
    • -s
      [82%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Adverbial suffixes > Noun as base
    • Ellipsis
      [82%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print
    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.