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2.2.1. General restrictions on complementives
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This section discusses some general properties of complementives. We will start by reviewing the construction types that contain a complementive in Subsection I. This is followed in Subsection II by a discussion of the categories that the complementives may have, subsection III continues with the positions that the complementives may occupy within the sentence, that is, whether they can be scrambled, topicalized, etc, subsection IV concludes with a discussion of the co-occurrence restrictions between complementives.

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[+]  I.  Construction types

There are three constructions in which complementives are found. The first is the copular construction, illustrated by (160a), in which the complementive is predicated of the subject of the clause. The second is the so-called vinden-construction, illustrated by (160b), in which the complementive is predicated of the accusative argument of the clause: this construction conveys a subjective evaluation of the object by the subject of the clause. The third construction is the resultative construction: if this construction contains an accusative object, as in (160c), it is this object that the complementive is predicated of; if the construction does not contain an accusative noun phrase, as in (160c'), the complementive is predicated of the subject of the clause.

Example 160
a. Jan is aardig.
copular construction
  Jan is nice
b. Ik vind Jan aardig.
vinden-construction
  consider  Jan nice
c. Jan slaat Peter dood.
resultative construction
  Jan hits  Peter dead
c'. Jan valt dood.
resultative construction
  Jan falls  dead
[+]  II.  The category of the complementive

The examples in (160) all involve a complementive AP. The complementive can, however, also be a PP or a noun phrase. This is illustrated in (161) for the copular construction. Note that traditional grammar strongly opposes the idea that the PP in (161b) is a complementive, and analyzes this PP as an adverbial phrase. We will see in Subsection III, however, that PPs of this type have all the distributional properties of a complementive.

Example 161
Copular construction
a. Jan is ziek.
AP-complementive
  Jan is ill
b. Jan is naar Utrecht.
PP-complementive
  Jan is to Utrecht
c. Jan is een schurk.
NP-complementive
  Jan is a villain

Example (162a) shows that so-called modal infinitives can also be used as complementives: such infinitives, which behave like adjectival complementives in the relevant respects, are more extensively discussed in A9. The (b)-examples in (162) show that we occasionally also find om + te-infinitives; such infinitival clause often receive an idiomatic interpretation.

Example 162
a. Dat boek is gemakkelijk te lezen.
  that book  is  easy  to read
  'That book is easy to read.'
b. De wedstrijd is niet [om over naar huis te schrijven].
  the game  is not  comp  to home  to write
  'The game was disappointing.'
b'. De baby was [om op te vreten].
  the baby was comp  down  to gobble
  'The baby was lovely.'
b''. Het geluid is [om gek van te worden].
  the sound  is comp  crazy  of  to become
  'The sound is driving me crazy.'

The examples in (163) and (164) show that the same types of complementives may occur in the vinden-construction.

Example 163
Vinden-construction
a. Marie vindt Jan aardig.
AP-complementive
  Marie considers  Jan nice
b. $ Marie vindt Jan onder de maat.
PP-complementive
  Marie  considers  Jan under the measure
  'Marie considers Jan not up to the mark/inadequate.'
c. Marie vindt Jan een schurk.
NP-complementive
  Marie considers  Jan a villain
Example 164
a. Ik vind dat boek gemakkelijk te lezen.
  consider  that book  easy  to read
  'I consider that book easy to read.'
b. Ik vind de wedstrijd niet [om over naar huis te schrijven].
  I consider  the game  not  comp  to home  to write
  'I consider the game disappointing.'

It should be noted, however, that vinden-constructions with a complementive PP are rare and often more or lesss idiomatic in nature. Examples such as (165a) are possible but not under the intended reading: the verb vinden is instead construed with the meaning "to find", and the PP functions as an adverbial phrase of place: the garden is the place in which Marie found the golden coin. Examples with a directional PP are outright ungrammatical.

Example 165
a. # Marie vond de gouden munt in de tuin.
  Marie found  the golden coin  in the garden
b. $Marie vindt Jan naar Utrecht.
  Marie considers  Jan to Utrecht

The reason for the unacceptability of the vinden-constructions in (165) does not seem to be syntactic in nature. We noted earlier that the vinden-construction expresses a subjective evaluation of the accusative noun phrase by the subject of the clause, and as a result of this, the complementive must be evaluative in nature: if it denotes a property that can be objectively established, the result is semantically anomalous. The restriction accounts, for example, for the unacceptability of an example such as (166a) and for the fact that (166) is only possible if construed with an added evaluative meaning aspect. Given that the PPs in the examples in (165) also lack the required subjective contents, the unacceptability of these examples under the intended reading does not come as a surprise.

Example 166
a. * Marie vindt Jan dood.
  Marie considers  Jan dead
b. Marie vindt Jan een man.
  Marie considers  Jan  a man
  'Marie considers Jan a true/prototypical/... man.'

      In (167), finally, we give some examples of the resultative construction. Example (167c) shows that, for some unclear reason, complementives cannot be nominal in this construction; see Section 2.2.3, sub IA.

Example 167
Resultative construction
a. Marie slaat Jan dood.
AP-complementive
  Marie beats  Jan dead
b. Marie gooit Jan uit de trein.
PP-complementive
  Marie throws  Jan out.of the train
c. * Marie slaat Jan een invalide.
NP-complementive
  Marie beats  Jan an invalid

Although noun phrases cannot be used as a complementive in the resultative construction, it is often possible to express the intended meaning by making use of an adpositional phrase introduced by tot; example (168a) expresses that the spinach changes into a pulp as a result of the cutting event and (168b) expresses that Jan is becoming a knight as the result of the action of the king. This construction is discussed more extensively in Section P4.2.1.2, sub II.

Example 168
a. Jan hakt de spinazie tot moes.
  Jan cuts  the spinach  to pulp
b. De koning slaat Jan tot ridder.
  the king  hits  Jan to knight
  'The king raises Jan to the peerage.'

It is often claimed that verbal particles are also complementives; cf. Den Dikken (1995). These particles are then analyzed as intransitive adpositions, that is, instances of PP-complementives. Some examples with the particle weg'away' are given in (169). As expected on the basis of the findings in (165), the particle weg cannot be used in the vinden-construction: again this is due to the lack of subjective content. Since we will not extensively discuss verbal particles here, we refer the reader to Section P1.2.4 for a more detailed discussion.

Example 169
a. Jan is weg.
  Jan is away
b. $ Marie vindt Jan weg.
  Marie considers  Jan away
c. Marie stuurt Jan weg.
  Marie sends  Jan away
[+]  III.  The position of the complementive

Although Dutch has a relatively free word order, this subsection shows that the position of the complementive is relatively fixed; complementives occur left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position, unless they are topicalized or wh-moved.

[+]  A.  Position relative to the verb(s) in clause-final position

The examples in (170) show that complementives normally occupy a position to the left of the verb(s) in clause-final position; placement of the complement in postverbal position leads to ungrammaticality. Recall from Subsection II that traditional grammar strongly opposes the idea that the PP in (170b) is a complementive, and analyzes it as an adverbial phrase. The fact that it must precede the clause-final verb shows, however, that it behaves as a complementive; see e.g Van den Berg (1978) and Mulder and Wehrmann (1989).

Example 170
a. dat Marie Jan waarschijnlijk <dood> slaat <*dood>.
  that  Marie Jan probably   dead  beat
  'that Marie probably hits Jan to death.'
b. dat Peter de hond met de auto <naar Utrecht> brengt <*?naar Utrecht>.
  that  Peter  the dog  with the car     to Utrecht brings
  'that Peter brings the dog to Utrecht by car.'
c. dat Marie Peter nog steeds <een schurk> vindt <*een schurk>.
  that  Marie Peter prt  still    a villain  considers
  'that Marie still considers Peter a villain.'

The examples in (171) show that something similar holds for embedded clauses with two (or more) verbs. The complementive is normally placed to the left of the clause-final verb cluster, although the percentage signs indicate that some speakers also allow the complementive to permeate the verb cluster. Placement of the complementive after the verb cluster is unacceptable for all speakers.

Example 171
a. dat Marie Jan waarschijnlijk <dood> zal <%dood> slaan <*dood>.
  that  Marie Jan probably     dead  will  beat
b. dat P. de hond met de auto <naar Utrecht> zal <%naar U> brengen <*naar U>.
  that P. the dog with the car   to Utrecht  will bring
c. dat M. P. altijd <een schurk> heeft <%een schurk > gevonden <*een schurk>.
  that M. P. always a villain  has  considered

Permeation of the verb cluster is especially common for speakers of various southern varieties of Dutch, although this is also a marginally acceptable option for some northern speakers if the complementive consists of a single word; such speakers do allow (171a) while rejecting (171b&c). If the complementive is a verbal particle like weg, all speakers allow the complementive in between the verbs.

Example 172
dat Marie Jan <weg> heeft <weg> gestuurd <*weg>.
  that  Marie Jan   away  has  sent
'that Marie has sent away Jan.'
[+]  B.  Scrambling

The examples in (170) have shown that complementives normally precede the verb(s) in clause-final position. The examples in (173) show that this statement must be made more precise: the complementive must normally be immediately left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position. In other words, complementives cannot be scrambled across the adverbial phrases in the middle field of the clause.

Example 173
a. dat Marie Jan <*dood> waarschijnlijk <dood> slaat.
  that  Marie Jan     dead  probably  beats
  'that Marie probably hits Jan to death.'
b. dat Peter de hond <*naar Utrecht> met de auto <naar Utrecht> brengt.
  that  Peter  the dog      to Utrecht  with the car  brings
  'that Peter brings the dog to Utrecht by car.'
c. dat Marie Peter <*een schurk> nog steeds <een schurk> vindt.
  that  Marie Peter     a villain  prt  still  considers
  'that Marie still considers Peter a villain.'

When the complementive competes with some other element for the position left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position, however, a limited amount of word order variation may arise. This especially holds for resultative constructions like (174a&b), in which the complementive is in competition with a stranded preposition, which normally also occupies the position left-adjacent to the verb(s); we refer the reader to Section A6.2.2, sub III for a more extensive discussion of some factors that may affect the outcome of this competition. Note that we have not been able to construct examples with a nominal complementive, which is due to the fact that these do not appear in the resultative construction. Example (174c) shows that particles behave like full PPs.

Example 174
a. dat Marie Jan met een knuppel dood slaat.
  that  Marie Jan with a bat  dead  beats
  'that Marie is beating Jan to death with a bat.'
a'. dat Marie er Jan <mee> dood <mee> slaat.
b. dat Peter de hond met de auto naar Utrecht brengt.
  that  Peter  the dog  with the car  to Utrecht  brings
  'that Peter brings the dog to Utrecht by car.'
b'. dat Jan er de hond <mee> naar Utrecht <mee> brengt.
c. dat Marie Jan met een knuppel weg jaagde.
  that  Marie Jan with a bat  away  chased
  'that Marie chased Jan away with a bat.'
c'. dat Marie er Jan <mee> weg <mee> jaagde.
[+]  C.  Topicalization and wh-movement

Although complementives are normally placed left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position, they can also occur in sentence-initial position as the result of topicalization or w h-movement. Some examples are given in (175) and (176).

Example 175
a. Doodi heeft Marie hem ti geslagen.
  dead  has  Marie him  beaten
b. [Naar Utrecht]i heeft Jan de hond ti gebracht.
  to Utrecht  has  Jan the dog  brought
c. [Een schurk]i vindt Marie Peter nog steeds ti.
  a villain  considers  Marie  Peter prt  still
Example 176
a. [Hoe aardig]i vindt Marie hem ti?
  how kind  considers  Marie  him
b. [In welke la]i heeft Jan het mes gelegd ti?
  into which drawer  has  Jan the knife  put
  'Into which drawer did Jan put the knife?'
c. [Wat voor type mens]i vind je Peter ti?
  what kind of person  consider  you  Peter
  'What kind of person do you think Peter is?'
[+]  IV.  Co-occurrence restrictions on complementives

Examples (177a&b) show that the verb zetten'to put' can take either an adjectival or an adpositional complementive. Example (177c) cannot, however, be interpreted in such a way that both op straatand klaar act as complementives; it is only the adjective that is interpreted in that way. The PP op straat must be interpreted as a locational adverbial phrase, which can be made clear by means of the adverbial en doet dat test: the fact that (177b) cannot be paraphrased by means of (177b') shows that the PP op straat does not function as an adverbial phrase in contrast to what is the case with the same PP in (177c).

Example 177
a. Jan zet de vuilnisemmer klaar.
  Jan puts  the garbage can  ready
b. Jan zet de vuilnisemmer op straat.
  Jan  puts  the garbage can  in the.street
b'. * Jan zet de vuilnisemmer en hij doet dat op straat.
  Jan puts  the garbage can  and  he  does  that  in the.street
c. # Jan zet de vuilnisemmer op straat klaar.
c'. Jan zet de vuilnisemmer klaar en hij doet dat op straat.

The discussion of the examples in (177) suggests that a clause can contain at most one complementive. If the suggestion from Subsection II that particles of particle verbs like opbellen'to phone' are complementives is on the right track, this constraint on the number of complementives immediately accounts for the fact that particle verbs are incompatible with complementives.

Example 178
a. Jan belt zijn ouders op.
  Jan phones  his parents  prt.
  'Jan phones his parents.'
b. Jan belt zijn ouders arm.
  Jan phones  his parents  poor
  'Jan phones so much that he makes his parents poor.'
c. * Jan belt zijn ouders arm op/op arm.

Examples like those in (179) seem to be a problem for the claim that a clause can contain at most one complementive; examples (179a&b) show that the verb leggen'to put' can take either a particle or an adpositional phrase as a complementive, and example (179c) shows that both can appear simultaneously. It should be noted, however, that the prepositional phrases in (179a) and (179c) exhibit different behavior when it comes to their placement in the clause, subsection III has established that complementives can never follow the verb(s) in clause-final position, and example (179a) shows that the PP op de tafel is a well-behaved complementive in this respect. The PP in (179c), on the other hand, can readily follow the verb in clause-final position, and we should therefore conclude that it does not function as a complementive if the particle is present. This conclusion is also supported by the fact illustrated in (179d) that the PP can also scramble across the object if the particle is present. See Broekhuis (1992) and Den Dikken (1995) for two competing analyses of such examples.

Example 179
a. dat Jan het boek <op de tafel> legde <*op de tafel>.
  that  Jan the book    on the table  put
  'that Jan put the book on the table.'
b. dat Jan het boek neer legde.
  that  Jan the book  down  put
  'that Jan put the book down.'
c. dat Jan het boek <op de tafel> neer legde <op de tafel>.
  that  Jan the book   on the table  down  put
  'that Jan put the book down on the table.'
d. dat Jan op de tafel het boek ??(neer) legde.
  that  Jan  on the table  the book     down  put
  'that Jan put the book down on the table.'

The examples in (180) show that we can find a similar phenomenon with verbs prefixed with be-. The resultative example in (180a) shows that complementive tot-phrases normally precede the verb in clause-final position. However, if the tot-phrase is selected by a verb prefixed with be-, it can either precede or follow the verb. This suggests that prefixes like be-, ver-and ont- resemble particles like neer in (179) in that they also function syntactically as complementives; see Section 3.3.2, sub B, for a discussion of a proposal of this sort.

Example 180
a. dat de koning Jan <tot ridder> heeft geslagen <*tot ridder>.
  that  the king  Jan   to knight  has  hit
  'that the king made Jan a knight.'
b. dat de koning Jan <tot adviseur> heeft benoemd <tot adviseur>.
  that the king  Jan   to advisor  has  appointed
  'that the king has appointed Jan as advisor.'
[+]  V.  Conclusion

Subsection I has shown that there are three types of complementive constructions: the copula, vinden- and resultative constructions, subsection II has further shown that complementives can be adjectival, prepositional or nominal in nature, although it should be noted that nominal complementives are not possible in resultative constructions; their place is taken by tot-PPs, subsection III has shown that complementives are normally left-adjacent to the verb(s) in clause-final position, although speakers of certain southern varieties of Dutch also allow them in verb clusters; placement of the complementive after the verb cluster is always impossible. Scrambling of complementives is normally not possible but they can readily undergo wh-movement and topicalization, subsection IV, finally, has shown that a clause can contain at most one complementive.

References:
  • Berg, Evert van den1978Fokus presuppositie en NP-preposingDe Nieuwe Taalgids71212-222
  • Broekhuis, Hans1992Chain-government: issues in Dutch syntaxThe Hague, Holland Academic GraphicsUniversity of Amsterdam/HILThesis
  • Dikken, Marcel den1995Particles: on the syntax of verb-particle, triadic, and causative constructionsOxford studies in comparative syntaxNew York/OxfordOxford University Press
  • Dikken, Marcel den1995Particles: on the syntax of verb-particle, triadic, and causative constructionsOxford studies in comparative syntaxNew York/OxfordOxford University Press
  • Mulder, René & Wehrmann, Pim1989Locational verbs as unaccusativesBennis, Hans & Kemenade, Ans van (eds.)Linguistics in the Netherlands 1989Dordrecht111-122
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