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2.4. AP-complements

APs selected by a verb are normally predicative complements and occur in copula, vinden- and resultative constructions. These constructions, which are exemplified in (404), are extensively discussed in Section 2.2 and Section A6.2, and we will therefore not discuss them here.

Example 404
a. Jan is aardig.
copular construction
  Jan is nice
b. Ik vind Jan aardig.
  consider  Jan kind
c. Jan slaat Peter dood.
resultative construction
  Jan hits  Peter dead

Non-predicative AP-complements may not exist at all, and, if they do, they are probably extremely rare. The following subsections will discuss some potential cases involving measure verbs, the verbs hebben'to have' and krijgen'to get', and the verb wonen'to live'; however, but we will see that there is insufficient evidence to establish beyond a doubt that we are dealing with complementives in these cases.

[+]  I.  Measure verbs

A first set of potentially non-predicative AP-complements are APs selected by measure verbs like duren'to last', wegen'to weigh', and kosten'to cost' in (405); cf. Klooster (1972). The judgments on these examples vary among speakers and from case to case: whereas lang duren'to last long' in (405a) is accepted by everyone, the collocation zwaar wegen'to weigh heavy' in examples such as (405b) is generally given as unacceptable in the normative literature (cf. onzetaal.nl/taaladvies/advies/zwaar-wegen-veel-wegen) and duur kosten'to cost expensive' in (405c) is considered as unacceptable by many speakers (see onzetaal.nl/taaladvies/advies/duur-kosten). Observe that all examples in (405) are fully acceptable for all speakers if the AP is replaced by a nominal measure phrase.

Example 405
a. Het concert duurde lang/drie uur.
  the concert  lasted  long/three hour
b. Jan weegt ?zwaar/zestig kilo.
  Jan  weighs   heavy/sixty kilo
c. Dat boek kost ??duur/vijftig euro.
  that book  costs    expensive/fifty euro

It seems reasonable, however, to assume that these examples are all grammatical given that they can be heard frequently and improve much if the adjective is modified by, e.g., te'too' or genoeg'enough', as in (406b). Example (405c) also improves, but may still be rejected by some speakers; see the (c)-examples in (406).

Example 406
a. Het concert duurde te lang.
  the concert  lasted  too long
a'. Het concert duurt lang genoeg.
  the concert  lasted  long enough
b. Jan weegt te zwaar.
  Jan  weighs  too heavy
b'. Jan weegt zwaar genoeg.
  Jan  weighs  heavy  enough
c. (?) Dat boek kost te duur.
  that book  costs  too expensive
c'. (?) Dat boek kost duur genoeg.
  that book  costs  expensive  enough

Note, however, that not all verbs that may take a nominal measure phrase can be combined with an AP, which is clear from examples like De totale prijs bedraagt vijftig euro/*duur'the total price amounts to fifty euro/*expensive'.
      The resistance that the usage of the adjectives in (405b&c) meets may be related to the fact that the intended assertion can readily be expressed by making use of a copula; this is illustrated in (407). The fact that the nominal measure phrases in these examples are degraded compared to those in (405) may provide further credibility to the idea that these examples somehow compete.

Example 407
a. Het concert is (?)lang/*drie uur.
  the concert  is long/three hour
b. Jan is zwaar/?zestig kilo.
  Jan  is heavy/sixty kilo
c. Dat boek is duur/(?)vijftig euro.
  that book  is expensive/fifty euro

Another argument in favor of assuming that the judgments on the examples in (405) are due to competition with the examples in (407) is provided by the contrast in acceptability between the two verbs in the examples in (408), in which the adjective zwaar is used in a metaphorical sense; since the copular in the primed examples is unacceptable, we correctly predict the primeless examples to be acceptable for all speakers.

Example 408
a. Dit argument woog zwaar bij onze beslissing.
  this argument  weighs  heavy  with our decision
  'This argument played an important role in our decision.'
a'. * Dit argument was zwaar.
  this argument  was  heavy
b. Dat schuldgevoel weegt zwaar.
  that sense.of.guilt  weighs  heavy
  'That sense of guilt is a burden.'
b'. * Dat schuldgevoel is zwaar.
  that sense.of.guilt is heavy

      The idea that the examples in (405) and (407) compete may lead to the claim that the adjectives in (405) are actually used as complementives, just like the adjectives in (407), and this, in turn, may lead to the idea that the verbs duren'to last', wegen'to weigh' and kosten'to cost' are semi-copular verbs. The fact that these verbs cannot be passivized if they take a nominal measure phrase is sometimes given as evidence in favor of this claim, but it should be noted that this may also be due to the inanimate/non-agentive nature of the subject of the clause.

Example 409
a. * Drie uur wordt (door het concert) geduurd.
  three hour  is   by the concert  lasted
b. * Zestig kilo wordt (door Jan) gewogen.
  sixty kilo  is   by Jan  weighed
c. * Vijftig euro wordt (door dat boek) gekost.
  fifty euro  is   by that book  cost

A somewhat better argument in favor of the claim that (adjectival) complements of measure verbs are complementives is that they must precede the verb(s) in clause-final position. This will become clear by inspecting the word orders of the embedded counterparts in (410) of the examples in (405).

Example 410
a. dat het concert <lang > duurde <*lang >.
  that  the concert    long  lasted
b. dat Jan <%zwaar> weegt <*zwaar>.
  that  Jan      heavy  weighs
c. dat dat boek <%duur> kost <*duur>.
  that  that book  expensive  costs
[+]  II.  The verbs hebben/krijgen

The verbs hebben'to have' and krijgen'to get' can also be combined with an AP, as is illustrated in (411). Section A6.2.1, sub II, shows, however, that in cases like these we are also dealing with a predicative complement, and the verbs hebben and krijgen can be considered semi-copular verbs.

Example 411
a. Jan heeft het raam graag open.
  Jan has  the window  gladly  open
  'Jan likes to have the window open.'
b. Jan krijgt het raam niet open.
  Jan gets  the window  not  open
  'Jan doesnʼt get the window open.'
[+]  III.  The verb wonen'to live'

The final case of a verb that may potentially select a non-predicative AP is the verb wonen'to live'. As is shown in (412a), this verb must be combined either with an AP or a locational PP. There are other verbs from the same semantic group that obligatorily take a PP but are not able to take an AP; two examples are given in (412b&c).

Example 412
a. Jan woont erg mooi/in Groningen.
  Jan lives  very beautiful/in Groningen
b. We verblijven in dure hotels/*erg mooi.
  we  stay  in expensive hotels/very beautiful
c. Marie verblijft al jaren in het buitenland/*erg mooi.
  Marie stays  already years  in the abroad/very beautiful

The main reason for assuming that we are not dealing with a predicatively used AP in (412a) is that the clause does not contain an argument of which the AP could be predicated. The subject is certainly not a candidate; example (412a), for instance, does not express that Jan is beautiful. Nevertheless, some implicit predication relation seems to be implied: it is the surroundings in which Jan lives that are claimed to be beautiful. The semantic relations between the constituents in the examples in (412) are still much of a mystery, as is the overall structure of these sentences.

[+]  IV.  Conclusion

The previous subsections have considered three cases that could potentially involve non-predicative AP-complements. We have seen that the first two cases are perhaps apparent counterexamples to the claim that there are no non-predicative AP-complements. The most recalcitrant counterexample is the AP-complement of the verb wonen. For the moment, we will leave this problem for future research and simply conclude that APs normally cannot be used as non-predicative complements.

  • Klooster, Wim1972The structure underlying measure phrase sentencesDordrechtReidel
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