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2.2.2. Non-resultative constructions

This section gives some examples of two non-resultative constructions involving a complementive: the copular construction and the vinden-construction. The discussion will be brief, as these two constructions are more extensively discussed in Section A6.2.1 and Section A6.2.3, respectively.

[+]  I.  The regular copular construction

The prototypical construction with a complementive is the regular copular construction, some examples of which are given in (181). In all these examples, it is expressed that the set denoted by de jongens'the boys' is a subset of the set denoted by the adjective; see Section A1.3.2.1 for an extensive discussion of the set-theoretic treatment of copular constructions. The copular verbs may add some meaning aspect to the core meaning. This meaning aspect may be aspectual in nature: the copula zijn'to be' is neutral in this respect and expresses a purely "N is A" relation, while the copula worden'to become' adds an inchoative aspect and the copula blijven'to stay' indicates that some state remains the same.

Example 181
a. De jongens zijn groot.
  the boys  are  big
b. De jongens werden kwaad.
  the boys  became  angry
c. De jongens bleven kwaad.
  the boys  stayed  angry

Other meaning aspects are possible as well: the copulas lijken'to appear' and schijnen'to seem', for example, indicate that the assertion is based on the subjective perception of the speaker, whereas the copula blijken'to turn out' suggests that the assertion can be objectively established.

Example 182
a. De jongens leken/schenen moe.
  the boys  appeared/seemed  tired
  'The boys seemed to be tired.'
b. De jongens bleken moe.
  the boys  turned.out  tired
  'The boys turned out to be tired.'

The complementive need not be an AP, but may have another categorial status as well. The examples in (183) provide cases with a noun phrase, a PP, a particle and an adjectival participle in (183d). These examples show that the "N is A" relation can be extended to an "N is PRED" relation.

Example 183
a. Marie is dokter.
  Marie  is  doctor
b. Deze borden zijn van koper.
  these plates  are  of copper
  'These plates are made of copper.'
c. Het werk is af.
  the work  is  prt.
  'The work is done.'
d. Jan is (on)getrouwd/woedend.
adjectival past/present participle
  Jan is (un)married/furious
  'Jan is (un)married/furious.'

Pronouns occasionally also occur as predicates in copular constructions, when these express (lack of) identity. Case marking on the predicatively used pronoun is complicated in such cases. In examples such as (184a) it seems that use of the nominative is much preferred; the object form is considered unacceptable by most speakers. In examples such as (184b), on the other hand, it is the object form that is preferred, although the nominative form jij is regularly used on the internet (hence the percentage sign).

Example 184
a. omdat ik nu eenmaal ik/*mij ben.
  because  nu eenmaal  I/me am
  'because Iʼm simply me.'
b. omdat ik nu eenmaal jouacc/%jijnom niet ben.
  because  nu eenmaal  you/you not am
  'because Iʼm simply not you.'

This predicative use of first person pronouns is very restricted, as will be clear from the examples in (185), in which the demonstrative is used as a resumptive pronoun referring to the left-dislocated noun phrase die jongen op de foto. The (a)-examples show that the nominative pronoun must precede the resumptive pronoun in the middle field of the clause, from which we may conclude that the former functions as subject and the latter as predicate. The (b)-example with an object pronoun is accepted by some speakers but judged as marked compared to example (185a) by others.

Example 185
Die jongen op de foto, ...
  that boy  on the picture
a. ... ik denk dat ik dat ben/is.
ik = subject
  I think  that  that  am/is
a'. * ... ik denk dat dat ik ben/is.
ik = predicate
  I think  that  that  am/is
b. % ... ik denk dat dat mij is.
mij =predicate
  I think  that  that  me is

Second person pronouns like jij/jou'you/you' exhibit more or lesss the same behavior as the first person pronouns in (185), but judgments on third person pronouns are different: example (186b) is fully acceptable if the pronoun refers to some previously mentioned individual, e.g., the one who is identified by the speaker as the person in the picture. The difference is plausibly related to the fact that first/second person pronouns cannot refer to individuals in the discourse domain that are not fully identified.

Example 186
Die jongen op de foto, ...
  that boy  on the picture
a. ... ik denk dat hij dat is.
hij = subject
  I think  that  he  that  is
a'. * ... ik denk dat dat hij is.
hij = predicate
  I think  that  that  he  is
b. ... ik denk dat dat ʼm is.
ʼ m =predicate
  I think  that  that  him  is
[+]  II.  The vinden-construction

A second type of complementive construction, in which the adjective is predicated of an accusative object, is the vinden-construction in (187): verbs occurring in this construction are vinden'to consider', achten'to consider' and noemen'to call'. The constructions in (187a&b) express that the subject of the clause has a subjective opinion about the accusative object; Marie is of the opinion that the proposition "Jan is unfit for that job" is true. The example in (187c) asserts that Marie has expressed this opinion.

Example 187
V inden-construction
a. Marie vindt Jan ongeschikt voor die baan.
  Marie considers  Jan unfit  for that job
b. Marie acht Jan ongeschikt voor die baan.
  Marie considers  Jan unfit  for that job
c. Marie noemt Jan ongeschikt voor die baan.
  Marie calls  Jan unfit  for that job

That these verbs take some kind of proposition as their complement is very clear in the case of the verb vinden; example (187a), for instance, can be paraphrased as in (188a), in which the noun phrase Jan and the adjective are part of a subordinate clause. This paraphrase also shows that the noun phrase Jan is thematically dependent on the adjective only. The examples in (188b&c) show, however, that similar paraphrases are not possible in the case of achten and noemen.

Example 188
a. Marie vindt dat Jan aardig is.
  Marie believes  that  Jan nice  is
b. * Marie acht dat Jan ongeschikt is.
  Marie considers  that  Jan unsuitable  is
c. * Marie noemt dat Jan aardig is.
  Marie calls  that  Jan nice  is

This shows that not all verbs occurring in the vinden-construction can take a propositional object. Similarly, it is not the case that all verbs taking a finite propositional object can occur in the vinden-construction. Verbs of saying such as zeggen'to say' and beweren'to claim' are excluded from this construction. This is illustrated in (189).

Example 189
a. Marie zegt dat Jan aardig is.
  Marie says  that  Jan nice  is
a'. * Marie zegt Jan aardig.
  Marie says  Jan nice
b. Marie beweert dat Jan aardig is.
  Marie claims  that  Jan nice  is
b'. * Marie beweert Jan aardig.
  Marie claims  Jan nice

      In contrast to the resultative construction, the vinden-construction requires two arguments to be present in the structure. But what they have in common is that the accusative argument, i.e. the subject of the adjective, may take the form of either a complex or a simplex reflexive. This is illustrated in (190), in which the reflexive could in principle be replaced by a regular referential noun phrase, just as in (187b).

Example 190
a. Marie vindt zichzelf/zich ongeschikt voor die baan.
  Marie considers  herself/refl  unsuitable  for that job
b. Marie acht zichzelf/zich te goed voor dat werk.
  Marie considers  herself/refl  too good  for that work
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