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3.3.1.4. Dative alternation with bij-phrases (possessors)
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This section discusses the alternation of dative phrases with periphrastic bij-PPs; cf. Van den Toorn (1971). In constructions like these the indirect object functions as an inalienable possessor of some other noun phrase in the clause (the possessee). The possessee normally occurs as the complement of some complementive locational PP. Typical examples are given in (367a&b), in which the dative and the bij-PP function as possessors of the nominal part of the PP headed by the preposition op. Example (367c) further shows that the indirect objects can readily be omitted, in which case the intended possessive meaning can simply be expressed by means of an NP-internal possessor in the form of a genitive noun phrase, a possessive pronoun or (not shown) a postnominal van-PP.

Example 367
a. Marie zet Peter/hem het kind op de knie.
possessive dative
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the child  onto the knee
b. Marie zet het kind bij Peter/hem op de knie.
possessive bij-PP
  Marie puts  the child  with Peter/him  on the knee
c. Marie zet het kind op Peters/zijn knie.
NP-internal possessor
  Marie puts  the child  onto Peterʼs/his knee
  'Marie puts the child on Peterʼs/his knee.'

Although standard speakers normally accept all forms in (367), they may differ in their actual preference. The main division line seems to be between the (a&b)-examples and the (c)-example; the latter is acceptable to all speakers whereas the former are sometimes considered marked. It further seems that speakers vary with respect to the question as to whether the (a)-example with a dative noun phrase is to be preferred over the (b)-example with a bij-phrase, or vice versa. Finally, speakers’ judgments may vary from construction to construction. In what follows we will abstract away from these issues, which we leave for future research.
      It is important to note that the possessive dative/ bij-PP and the NP-internal possessor are normally not mutually exclusive in Standard Dutch: example (368) shows that they can be simultaneously expressed despite the fact that this seems to introduce a certain amount of redundancy.

Example 368
a. Marie zet Peter/hem het kind op zijn knie.
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the child  on his knee
b. Marie zet het kind bij Peter/hem op zijn knie.
  Marie puts  the child  with Peter/him  on his knee
  'Marie puts the child on Peterʼs/his knee.'

In the discussion that follows, we will ignore this remarkable fact, which has led Janssen (1976) to the conclusion that there is in fact no category of possessive dative; he claims that we are simply dealing with recipients and that their possessive interpretation is due to extra-linguistic factors. We will not follow this suggestion given that there is no independent evidence for claiming that the verb zetten'to put' in the examples above selects a recipient, whereas there is evidence that the dative/ bij-PP is licensed by virtue of its relationship with the possessee; see also Van Bree (1981) and Schermer-Vermeer (1991/1996). The examples in (369), for instance, show that the verb zetten cannot be combined with a dative when the complementive does not contain a noun phrase that can be inalienably possessed. See Subsection IV for more extensive discussion.

Example 369
a. Marie zet (*Peter/*hem) het kind op de tafel.
  Marie puts    Peter/him  the child  on the table
b. Marie zet (*Peter/*hem) het kind hier.
  Marie puts     Peter/him  the child  here

      Although the following subsections will focus on constructions with a possessive dative/ bij-PP, we will occasionally also discuss the corresponding constructions with an NP-internal possessor. Subsections I and II start with a discussion of a number of characteristic properties of the dative and the periphrastic bij-PP. Section III continues with a discussion of the locational PP that contains the possessee. Subsection IV focuses more specifically on the relation between the possessive bij-phrase and the locational PP and will show that the two form a constituent. Subsection V provides a discussion of the verb types that allow the dative/PP alternation. Although the nominal possessor is normally assigned dative case, Subsection VI shows that there are some special cases in which an accusative or nominative possessor can be used; this subsection also discusses a number of cases which only seemingly involve a nominative possessor.

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[+]  I.  The dative possessor

This subsection discusses a number of characteristic properties of the dative possessor and contrasts these with the properties of the periphrastic bij-phrase and the NP-internal possessor.

[+]  A.  The possessive dative requires the presence of a predicative locational PP

The distribution of the Standard Dutch possessive dative construction is quite restricted and normally requires the possessee to be embedded in a complementive locational PP, as in (367); if the locational PP has an adverbial function, as in (370), the possessive dative is excluded. This does not hold for the corresponding possessive bij-phrase or the NP-internal possessor, which are perfectly acceptable in such cases.

Example 370
a. * Het kind sliep Peter/hem in de armen.
possessive dative
  the child  slept  Peter/him  in the arms
b. Het kind sliep bij Peter/hem in de armen.
possessive bij-PP
  the child  slept  with Peter/him  in the arms
c. Het kind sliep in Peters/zijn armen.
NP-internal possessor
  the child  slept  in Peterʼs/his arms
  'The child slept in Peterʼs/his arms.'

Double object constructions such as (371a), in which the indirect object functions as the possessor of a direct object, are normally excluded in Standard Dutch as well; since the same thing holds for the possessive bij-phrase in (371b), the normal way of expressing the intended meaning is by using an NP-internal possessor, as in (371c). The percentage sign in (371a) is used to indicate that this state of affairs does not hold for all varieties of Dutch–possessive dative constructions such as (371a) are common in many southern and eastern dialects of Dutch; we refer the reader to Van Bree (1981) and Cornips (1994) for a description of the dialect data and also to Barbiers et al. (2005:78) who describe the distribution of this possessive construction with a reflexive indirect object. The number sign in example (371b) indicates that it is marginally acceptable if the bij-phrase functions as an adverbial locational phrase (under this reading, the example is fully acceptable with the direct object zijn handen'his hands'); see Subsection II for a discussion of this adverbial use of the bij-phrase.

Example 371
a. % Hij wast Peter de handen.
possessive dative
  he washes  Peter  the hands
b. # Hij wast bij Peter de handen.
possessive bij-PP
  he washes  with Peter  the hands
c. Hij wast Peters handen.
NP-internal possessor
  he  washes  Peterʼs  hands
  'Heʼs washing Peterʼs hands.'

There are exceptions to the general rule that an indirect object cannot function as the inalienable possessor of a direct object; the examples in (372), for instance, show that possessive constructions of the type in (371a) are possible in certain idiomatic expressions. Possessive datives in examples of this type normally do not alternate with a possessive bij-PP.

Example 372
a. Jan waste Marie de oren.
  Jan washed  Marie  the ears
  'Jan told Marie the truth/gave Marie a piece of his mind.'
b. Marie drukte/schudde Peter de hand.
  Marie pressed/shook  Peter the hand
  'Marie shook Peterʼs hand.'
c. De graaf kuste de gravin de hand.
  the count  kissed  the countess  the hand
  'The count kissed the countesshand.'

In other cases, the possessive relation between the indirect and the direct object may be triggered by our knowledge of the world. In (373a), the dative phrase functions as the syntactically encoded possessor of the nominal part of the predicative locational PP op de rug, but the fact that the dative phrase is also construed as the possessor of the direct object de handen is related to our knowledge of the world; see also Schermer-Vermeer (1991:205ff) for a more general discussion. Knowledge of the world may also be relevant for example (373b) with an optional adverbial PP; this example is given as a case of (inalienable) possession in Janssen (1976:43), but we believe that the hotel context evoked by the noun piccolo'bellhop' simply favors the interpretation that the room in question is the room rented by Karel.

Example 373
a. De agent bond de verdachte de handen op de rug.
  the cop  bound  the suspect  the hands  on the back
  'The cop bound the suspectʼs hands on his back.'
b. De piccolo bracht Karel de krant (op de kamer).
  the bellhop  brought  Karel the newspaper   on the room
  'The bellhop brought Karel the newspaper in his room.'
[+]  B.  The dative phrase expresses inalienable possession

Standard Dutch possessive datives are associated with entities that are inalienably possessed, like body parts or certain pieces of clothing (provided they are actually worn during the event time); the primeless examples in (374) illustrate that the use of possessive datives results in degraded sentences if the possessee is not inalienably possessed. The primed and doubly-primed examples show that possessive datives crucially differ in this respect from periphrastic bij-PPs and NP-internal possessors. The percentage signs in the primeless examples again indicate that these examples are fully acceptable in some southern and eastern varieties of Dutch; cf. Cornips (1994:153).

Example 374
a. % Marie zette Peter het kind in de auto.
  Marie put  Peter  the child  into the car
a'. Marie zette het kind bij Peter in de auto.
  Marie puts  the child  with Peter  into the car
a''. Marie zette het kind in Peters auto.
  Marie put  the child  into Peterʼs car
  'Marie put the child into Peterʼs car.'
b. % Ze hebben Peter een agent voor de deur gezet.
  they  have  Peter  a cop  in.front.of  the door  put
b'. Ze hebben een agent bij Peter voor de deur gezet.
  they  have  a cop  with Peter  in.front.of  the door  put
b'. Ze hebben een agent voor Peters deur gezet.
  they  have  a cop  in.front.of  Peterʼs door  put
  'The have put a cop in front of Peterʼs door.'

Some Standard Dutch examples that may be on the borderline between alienable and inalienable possession are given in (375), in which the possessed entity is a location that is in a sense inherently associated with the possessor.

Example 375
a. We bezorgen <u> de boodschappen <bij u> thuis.
  we deliver  you  the shopping  with you  home
  'We deliver your shopping at your home.'
b. Jan bracht <Peter> het boek <bij Peter> op het werk.
  Jan brought    Peter  the book   with Peter  at the work
  'Jan brought the book at Peterʼs office.'

Note in passing that it has been claimed that dative objects cannot be interpreted as inalienable possessors if the possessed noun phrase is modified by a non-restrictive modifier; cf. Vergnaud & Zubizarreta (1992:603) and references cited there. The examples in (376) show, however, that this does not hold for Dutch: the dative phrase can be interpreted as the possessor, regardless of whether the modifier of the possessee is restrictive or non-restrictive.

Example 376
a. Marie zette Peter het kind op de gewonde knie.
restrictive
  Marie put  Peter  the child  onto the wounded knee
  'Marie put the child on Peterʼs wounded knee.'
b. Marie trok Jan een haar uit de grijze baard
non-restrictive
  Marie pulled  Jan a hair  out.of  the grey beard
  'Peter pulled a hair out of Janʼs grey beard.'
[+]  C.  The dative possessor is animate

The examples in (377) show that dative possessors differ from their corresponding possessive bij-phrases and NP-internal possessors in that they must be animate.

Example 377
a. Marie zet Peter/hem de kinderen op de knie.
possessive dative
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the children  onto the knee
a'. Marie zet de kinderen bij Peter/hem op de knie.
possessive bij-PP
  Marie puts  the children  with Peter/him  on the knee
a''. Marie zet de kinderen op Peters/zijn knie.
NP-internal possessor
  Marie put  the children  onto Peterʼs/his knee
  'Marie puts the children on Peterʼs/his knee.'
b. * Jan zette het huis een antenne op het dak.
possessive dative
  Jan put  the house  an antenna  on the roof
b'. Jan zette een antenne bij het huis op het dak.
possessive bij-PP
  Jan put  an antenna  with the house  on the roof
b''. Jan zette een antenne op het dak van het huis.
NP-internal possessor
  Jan put an antenna  on the roof of the house

The set of examples in (378) simply illustrates the same point.

Example 378
a. Peter plakte Marie een briefje op het voorhoofd.
possessive dative
  Peter stuck  Marie  a note  on the forehead
a'. Peter plakte een briefje bij Marie op het voorhoofd.
possessive bij-PP
  Peter stuck  a note  with Marie  on the forehead
a''. Peter plakte een briefje op het voorhoofd van Marie.
NP-internal poss.
  Peter stuck  a note  on the forehead of Marie
b. * Peter plakte de auto een briefje op de voorruit.
possessive dative
  Peter stuck  the car  a note  on the windscreen
b'. Peter plakte een briefje bij de auto op de voorruit.
possessive bij-PP
  Peter stuck  a note  with the car  on the windscreen
b''. Peter plakte een briefje op de voorruit van de auto.
NP-internal poss.
  Peter stuck  a note  on the windscreen of the car
[+]  II.  The possessive bij-phrase

Subsection I has already shown that possessive bij-phrases differ from possessive datives in three ways: they can also be used (i) if the possessee is part of an adverbial phrase, (ii) in contexts that do not involve inalienable possession, and (iii) if they are inanimate. This subsection therefore confines itself to showing how the possessive bij-phrase can be distinguished from bij-phrases with other syntactic functions.
      The examples in (379) show that bij-phrases are not only used to express possession but can also be used as locational adverbial phrases or complementives. The actual function of the bij-phrase will often be clear from its locational or possessive meaning, but can sometimes also be made visible by replacing the bij-phrase by an adverbial pro-form like hier'here' or daar'there'; this is possible with adverbial phrases and complementives, but not with possessive bij-phrases.

Example 379
a. Jan speelt vandaag bij zijn tante/daar.
adverbial bij-PP
  Jan plays  today  at his aunt/there
  'Jan is playing today at his auntʼs place.'
b. Jan zet de theepot bij zijn tante/daar.
complementive bij-PP
  Jan puts  the tea pot  near his aunt/there
  'Jan put the tea pot close to his aunt.'
c. Jan legde de baby bij zijn tante/*daar in de armen.
possessive bij-PP
  Jan put  the baby  with his aunt/there  in the arms
  'Jan put the baby in his auntʼs arms.'

Example (380a) shows that the fact that bij-phrases can have these three functions may lead to a three-way ambiguity. The first reading of this example expresses that Jan put the baby to bed when he was at his aunt’s place; on this reading the bij-phrase functions as an adverbial phrase of place as is also clear from the fact that it can be omitted or replaced by the pro-form daar'there', as in (380b). The second reading expresses that Jan put the baby with his aunt (who happened to be in bed); in this case the bij-phrase functions as the (obligatory) complementive of the locational verb zetten'to put' and the PP in the bed functions as some kind of modifier, which can be omitted or be replaced by the pro-form daar, as in (380b'). The third reading is the possessive one, which requires both PPs to be present and to be realized in their non-pronominalized form, as in (380b'').

Example 380
a. Jan stopte de baby bij zijn tante in bed.
  Jan put the baby  at/with his aunt  in bed
  'Jan put his baby in his auntʼs bed.'
b. Jan stopte de baby (daar) in bed.
adverbial bij-PP
  Jan put  the baby   there  to bed
  'Jan put the baby to bed (there).'
b'. Jan stopte de baby bij zijn tante ( daar).
complementive bij-PP
  Jan put  the baby  with his aunt   there
  'Jan put the baby with his aunt (over there).'
b''. Jan stopte de baby bij zijn tante/#daar/#Ø in bed/#daar/#Ø.
poss. bij-PP
  Jan put  the baby  with his aunt/there/Ø  in bed/there/Ø
  'Jan put the baby in his auntʼs bed.'

      The adverbial reading of the bij-phrase can often be eliminated by adding an additional locational adverbial phrase like the pro-form daar in example (381a); as a result, the bij-phrase can only be interpreted as a complementive or a possessor. Example (381b) shows that the first option gives rise to a somewhat marked result, which may be due to the fact that, like spatial adverbial phrases, prepositional complementives can also be replaced by an adverbial pro-form; that the bij-phrase allows a possessive interpretation is clear from the fact illustrated in (381b') that it can be dropped (with the concomitant effect of losing the possessive reading) or replaced by a possessive pronoun.

Example 381
a. Jan legde de baby daar bij zijn tante in bed.
  Jan put  the baby  there  with his aunt  in bed
  'Jan put his baby in his auntʼs bed.'
b. (?) Jan legde de baby daar bij zijn tante.
  Jan  put  the baby  there  with his aunt
b'. Jan legde de baby daar in (haar) bed.
  Jan put  the baby  there  in her bed

It is normally not so easy to block the complementive reading of the bij-phrase. Nevertheless, in examples like (382a&b) it is immediately clear that we are not dealing with a complementive given that the primed examples show that the complementive cannot be headed by the preposition bij in the given context. This leaves open, however, the possibility that the bij-phrase has an adverbial function in these cases.

Example 382
a. Jan hing de ketting bij Marie om de hals.
  Jan hung the necklace  with Marie  around the neck
  'Jan hung the necklace around Marieʼs neck.'
a'. Jan hing de ketting om de/Maries hals.
a''. * Jan hing de ketting bij Marie.
b. De arts stak de naald bij Marie in de arm.
  the doctor  put  the needle with Marie  into the arm
  'The doctor put the needle into Marieʼs arm.'
b'. De arts stak de naald in de/Maries arm.
b''. * De arts stak de naald bij Marie.

The discussion above has shown that bij-phrases can be used in at least three different ways, which may cause ambiguity. We will do our best to avoid such ambiguities in the examples below, but where it does arise we will normally ignore it unless we consider it relevant for our discussion.

[+]  III.  The predicative locational PP

The complementives in the examples discussed so far are all prepositional phrases. The reason is that the examples in (383) show that the use of possessive datives/ bij-phrases is impossible if the complementive is postpositional: it seems that in such cases possession can only be expressed by means of an NP-internal possessor.

Example 383
a. * Marie duwde Peter het kind de armen in.
  Marie  pushed  Peter  the child  the arms  into
b. ?? Marie duwde het kind bij Peter de armen in.
  Marie  pushed  the child  with Peter  the arms  into
c. Marie duwde het kind Peters armen in.
  Marie  pushed  the child  Peterʼs arms  into

The same thing might be illustrated by means of the examples in (384) although the case is somewhat obscured by the fact that (384b), which is the postpositional counterpart of example (380a) from Subsection II, does allow an adverbial reading of the bij-phrase; the complementive reading of the bij-PP is also marginally possible if there is a comma intonation between the two PPs, that is, if the postpositional phrase functions as an apposition to the bij-phrase.

Example 384
a. * Jan stopte zijn tante de baby het bed in.
  Jan put his aunt  the baby  the bed into
b. Jan stopte de baby bij zijn tante het bed in.
  Jan put the baby  at/with his aunt  the bed into
  'At his auntʼs place, Jan put the baby into the bed.'
  'Jan put the baby with his aunt, into the bed.'
  Impossible reading: 'Jan put the baby into his auntʼs bed.'

Providing reliable judgments may also prove difficult in other cases. The postpositional counterpart of example (382b) in (385b), for instance, is acceptable despite the fact that Subsection II has shown that a complementive reading of the bij-phrase is not possible. It is not clear, however, whether we are dealing with a possessive bij-phrase in this case given that this possessive reading seems less prominent than in other cases: the bij-phrase instead seems to act as a restrictor on the assertion expressed by the remainder of the clause and we may therefore be dealing with a restrictive adverbial phrase. This suggestion seems to be supported by the fact illustrated in (385a) that the bij-phrase does not alternate with the possessive dative.

Example 385
a. * De arts stak Marie de naald de arm in.
  the doctor  put  Marie the needle  the arm  into
b. # De arts stak de naald bij Marie de arm in.
  the doctor  put  the needle  with Marie  the arm  into
  Intended reading: 'The doctor put the needle into Marieʼs arm.'

The discussion of the examples in (384) and (385) shows that we should be careful not to jump to conclusions. Another reason to be careful is that postpositional phrases are possible, and in fact obligatory, in idiomatic constructions like (386a&b). Note in passing that these constructions are unaccusative and that we are thus dealing with nom-dat constructions; see Subsection V for more examples of this type.

Example 386
a. Dat gezeur hangt Peter/hem de keel uit.
  that nagging  hangs  Peter/him  the throat  out.of
  'Heʼs fed up with that nagging.'
a'. * Dat gezeur hangt bij Peter/hem de keel uit.
a''. * Dat gezeur hangt Peters/zijn keel uit.
b. Dat gevlei komt Peter/hem de neus uit.
  the flattery  comes  Peter/him  the nose out.of
  'Peter is fed up with that flattery.'
b'. * Dat gevlei komt bij Peter/hem de neus uit.
b''. * Dat gevlei komt Peters/zijn neus uit.

Setting these idiomatic examples aside, the discussion above nevertheless suggests that possessive datives/ bij-phrases cannot be used if the complementive is a postpositional phrase. Since such PPs are always directional, this may lead to the expectation that directional phrases are categorically blocked. The (a)-examples in (387) show that this expectation is not completely borne out: although naar-phrases are inherently directional, it is nevertheless possible to use a possessive dative; constructions with a possessive bij-phrase, on the other hand, are indeed marked.

Example 387
a. Jan gooide Marie een schoen naar het hoofd.
  Jan threw  Marie a shoe  to the head
b. ?? Jan gooide een schoen bij Marie naar het hoofd.
  Jan threw  a shoe  with Marie  to the head
c. Jan gooide een schoen naar Maries hoofd.
  Jan threw  a shoe  to Marieʼs head
  'Jan threw a shoe at Marieʼs head.'
[+]  IV.  The syntactic structure of possessive bij-phrase constructions

This subsection discusses the syntactic structure of constructions with a possessive bij-phrase. The fact that possessive bij-phrases are normally optional suggests that analyses according to which the possessive bij-phrase is an internal argument of the verb are not the most obvious ones to pursue: it seems that possessive bij-phrases are instead licensed by being in some relation with the possessee, that is, the nominal part of the locational phrase. Subsection A will support the intuition that possessive bij-phrases are not internal arguments of verbs by showing that they form a constituent with the locational PP: [PP bij-PP loc-PP]. Subsection B continues by investigating the internal organization of this structure and will provisionally conclude that the bij-phrase functions as a(n optional) modifier of the locational PP. Subsection C discusses some potential problems for this proposal and slightly revises the proposal from Subsection B to overcome at least some of them; this revision will also enable us to formally express the aforementioned intuition that the possessive bij-phrase must be licensed by being in a relation with the possessee. We will not discuss the revised proposal in any detail given that it would carry us too far into the domain of theory-internal argumentation; for the same reason we will not discuss the syntactic structure of the possessive dative construction but simply assume that it is derived from the structure proposed in Subsection C (or B) by means of mechanisms similar to those discussed in Section 3.3.1.2, sub III.

[+]  A.  The possessive bij-phrase and the locational PP form a constituent

Corver (1990/1992) has shown by means of a large number of tests that the possessive bij-PP and the locational PP containing the possessee constitute a constituent. The first argument is based on the standard constituency test, according to which the position preceding the finite verb in main clauses can be occupied by a single constituent only. Consider the examples in (388), in which the possessive bij-phrases are construed with the nominal parts of the adverbial phrases in de tuin and op de schouder. The fact illustrated in the singly-primed examples that these bij-phrases can be pied-piped by topicalization of the locational PPs establishes immediately that the bij-phrases can be part of the adverbial phrases. The fact illustrated in the doubly-primed examples that pied piping is in fact obligatory suggests that we can even say that the possessive bij-phrases must be part of the adverbial phrases; note that some speakers may marginally accept the doubly-primed examples with a contrastive (adverbial) reading of the bij-phrases.

Example 388
a. Zijn zoontjes speelden verstoppertje bij Marie in de tuin.
  his sons  played  hide.and.seek  with Marie  in the garden
  'His sons played hide-and-seek in Marieʼs garden.'
a'. Bij Marie in de tuin speelde zijn zoontjes verstoppertje.
a''. * In de tuin speelde zijn zoontjes verstoppertje bij Marie.
b. Ik zag een grote moedervlek bij Peter op de schouder.
  I saw  a large birthmark with Peter  on the shoulder
  'I saw a large birthmark on Peterʼs shoulder.'
b'. Bij Peter op de schouder zag ik een grote moedervlek.
b''. * Op de schouder zag ik een grote moedervlek bij Peter.

A second constituency test that shows that we are dealing with constituents is pronominalization: example (380) in Subsection II has already shown that whereas adverbial phrases and complementive bij-phrases can be pronominalized by an adverbial pro-form, possessive bij-phrases cannot. It is possible, however, to pronominalize the string consisting of both the locational PP and the possessive bij-phrase. We illustrate this by means of the question-answer pairs in (389); the complex [ bij-PP loc-PP] phrase is given as an answer and thus clearly has the same syntactic function as the interrogative pronoun waar'where'. Other tests that give rise to a similar result involve clefting and pseudo-clefting but will not be illustrated here; see Corver (1990/1992) for examples.

Example 389
a. Waar speelden zijn zoontjes verstoppertje? Bij Marie in de tuin.
  where  played  his sons  hide.and.seek  with Marie  in the garden
  'Where did his sons play hide-and-seek? In Marieʼs garden.'
b. Waar zag je de grootste moedervlek? Bij Peter op de schouder.
  where  saw  you  the largest birthmark  with Peter  on the shoulder
  'Where did you see the largest birthmark? On Peterʼs shoulder.'

The examples in (390) also support the claim that the string [ bij-PP loc-PP] functions as a constituent; conjuncts of a coordination structure always constitute phrases.

Example 390
a. [Zowel [bij Marie in de tuin] als [bij Peter op zolder]] spelen zijn zoontjes graag verstoppertje.
  both  with Marie in the garden  and  with Peter at.the.attic  play his sons  gladly  hide-and-seek
  'His sons like to play hide-and-seek both in Marieʼs garden and in Peterʼs attic.'
b. [Zowel [bij Peter op de schouder] als [bij Marie op de knie]] zag ik een grote moedervlek.
  both  with Peter  on the shoulder  and  with Marie on the knee saw  a large birthmark
  'I saw a large birthmark both on Peterʼs shoulder and on Marieʼs knee.'

The examples in (391) provide two other cases in which the string [ bij -PP loc -PP] is found in a position where we normally find a single constituent. In (391a) the string functions as a postnominal modifier and in (391b) as a PP-complement of the preposition tot'until'.

Example 391
a. [DP de eikenboom [bij Marie in de tuin]]
  the oak.tree  with Marie in the garden
  'the oak tree in Marieʼs garden'
b. Je kunt de kinderen horen [PP tot [bij Marie in de tuin]].
  one  can  the children  hear  up.to  with Marie in the garden
  'One can even hear the children as far as Marieʼs garden.'

The final and perhaps most impressive and interesting evidence in favor of the claim that the string [ bij -PP loc-PP] forms a constituent is that the bij-phrase can intervene between the locational PP and its modifiers. This is illustrated in the examples in (392), in which the modifiers of the locational PPs are in italics; see section P3 for an extensive discussion of this kind of modification.

Example 392
a. De dokter stak de naald [diep bij Peter in de ader].
  the doctor  stuck  the needle   deep  with Peter  into the vein
  'The doctor stuck the needle deep into Peterʼs vein.'
b. [Pal bij Marie boven het hoofd] hing een spin.
  just  with Marie  above the head  hung  a spider
  'A spider hung just above Marieʼs head.'
[+]  B.  The internal structure of string [ bij-PP loc-PP]

Since the previous subsection has established that the string [ bij -PP loc-PP] forms a constituent, we have to consider the question of what the internal structure of this constituent is. In principle we can assume the four structures in (393), in which the prepositional head of the construction is indicated by italics and the functions of the substrings are indicated by subscripts in small caps; cf. Corver (1990/1992) and references cited there.

Example 393
a. [PP bij [DP het meisje [in de tuin]MOD ]]
  with  the girl  in the garden
b. [PPbij [[DP het meisje]SUBJ [PP in de tuin]PRED ]]
c. [PP [bij het meisje] [PP in de tuin]MOD ]
d. [PP [PP bij het meisje]MOD [in de tuin]]

The first three structures are all characterized by the fact that the preposition bij constitutes the head of the full string, We have already seen in Subsection II that such structures are less plausible given that there are cases in which the verb selects the preposition of the locational PP; this is clear from the fact that whereas the possessive bij-phrase is optional in examples such as (394a), the locational PP cannot be omitted.

Example 394
a. Jan hing de ketting bij Marie om de hals.
  Jan hung the necklace  with Marie  around the neck
  'Jan hung the necklace around Marieʼs neck.'
b. Jan hing de ketting om de/Maries hals.
b'. * Jan hing de ketting bij Marie.

The structure in (393a) can further be dismissed on semantic grounds; given that the locational PP modifies the noun meisje, we wrongly expect the interpretation "with the girl who is in the garden" instead of "in the girl’s garden".
      Structures such as (393b) are typically found in absolute met-constructions such as (395). An analysis of this sort again provides the wrong interpretation. Given that the locational PP is predicated of the noun phrase, the absolute met-construction in (395) expresses that the referent of the noun phrase Peter is located in a certain place. This interpretation is not found in the possessive construction, which is especially clear from examples such as (394), in which the interpretation that Marie is around the neck would, of course, be incoherent.

Example 395
We winnen zeker [met [DP Peter]SUBJ [PP in het doel]PRED ].
  we  win  certainly  with  Peter  in the goal
'Weʼll certainly win with Peter in the goal.'

      The structure in (393c) leads to a kind of appositional interpretation, in which the locational PP further specifies the bij-phrase; this again runs afoul of the fact that in examples such as (394) the presumed modifier, that is, the locational PP cannot be omitted.
      This leaves us with the fourth option in which the bij-phrase functions as a modifier of the locational PP; evidence in favor of this analysis is that the possessive bij-PP can readily be omitted (with the concomitant loss of the possessive reading). Another virtue of analyzing the bij-phrase as a modifier of the locational PP is that this accounts for the extraction facts in (396), which show that adjectival measure phrases like diep'deep' and possessive bij-phrases are alike in that they can both be extracted from the locational PP by means of wh-movement (or topicalization). This similarity in behavior follows immediately if they are both analyzed as modifiers of the locational PP.

Example 396
a. De dokter stak de naald [PP diepMOD [bij Peter]MOD [in de arm]].
  the doctor  put  the needle  deep  with Peter   in the arm
  'The doctor put the needle deep in Peters arm.'
b. Hoe diepi stak de dokter de naald [PPti [bij Peter] [in de arm]]?
  how deep  put  the doctor  the needle  with Peter   in the arm
c. [Bij wie]i stak de dokter de naald [PP diep ti in de arm]]?
  with whom  put  the doctor  the needle  deep  in the arm
[+]  C.  R-extraction from the PPs

Consider again the analysis in (393d) proposed by Corver (1990/1992), according to which the bij-phrase functions as a modifier of the locational PP: [PP [PP bij DP]MOD [P DP]]. This structure makes a number of predictions concerning R-extraction. Consider the examples in (397), which show that modifiers such as vlak'just' and direct'directly' do not hamper R-extraction from the locational phrase.

Example 397
a. Het schilderij hangt [PP vlak [boven het kastje]].
  the painting  hangs  just  above the cupboard
  'The painting is hanging just above the cupboard.'
a'. [Het kastje waari het schilderij [vlak boven ti] hangt] is erg oud.
  the cupboard  where  the painting   just  above  hangs  is very old
  'The cupboard that the painting is hanging just above is very old.'
b. [De supermarkt [direct tegenover de kerk]] gaat sluiten.
  the supermarket  directly  opposite the church  goes  close
  'The supermarket immediately opposite the church will close down.'
b'. [De supermarkt [<eri> direct <eri> tegenover ti]] gaat sluiten.
  the supermarket   there  directly  opposite  goes  close
  'The supermarket immediately opposite it will close down.'

If possessive bij-phrases are also modifiers of the locational phrase we would expect to see the same thing in examples such as (398). The status of (398b) is, however, somewhat obscure: examples like these are given as grammatical in Corver (1990/1992) but rejected in Broekhuis & Cornips (1997). Observe that it is crucial that the bij-phrase follows the modifier diep; if it precedes it, the result is fully acceptable, but then the bij-phrase probably functions as an adverbial phrase modifying the entire clause.

Example 398
a. De arts stak de naald [PP diep bij Peter [in de arm]].
  the doctor  put  the needle  deep  with Peter   in the arm
  'The doctor put the needle deep in Peterʼs arm.'
b. % [De arm waari de doktor de naald [PP diep bij Peter [in ti] stak]] bloedde.
  the arm where  the doctor the needle  deep with Peter   in  put  bled
  'The arm of Peter that the doctor put the needle deep into bled.'

The judgments on the examples in (399), on the other hand, are crystal clear; the possessive bij-phrase blocks R-pronominalization of the locational PP. It is crucial, of course, to note that (399b) is fully acceptable if the bij-phrase is omitted.

Example 399
a. [De koffievlek [bij Peter op de jas]] is erg groot.
  the coffee. blotch  with Peter  on the coat  is very large
  'The coffee blotch on Peterʼs coat is very large.'
b. * [De koffievlek [<er> bij Peter <er> op]] is erg groot.
  the coffee.blotch  there  with Peter  there  on  is very large
  'The coffee blotch on it is very large.'

If we let the clear case in (399) decide, we can conclude that the possessive bij-phrase does block R-pronominalization and, hence, R-extraction from the locational phrase. This potentially poses a problem for the hypothesis that the bij-phrase functions as a modifier of the locational PP. Another potential problem is that R-extraction is easily possible from the bij-phrase, as shown in (400), which is perhaps unexpected if the bij-phrase is an adverbial modifier of the locational PP. Corver answers this objection by pointing out that R-extraction is possible from various adverbial phrases, but such phrases are always modifiers of the verbalprojection; it still remains to be established whether modifiers of other phrases likewise allow R-extraction.

Example 400
a. de jongen waari de dokter de naald [PP diep [bij ti] in de arm] stak
  the boy  where  the doctor  the needle  deep with  in the arm  put
  'the boy deep into whose arm the doctor put the needle'
b. het meisje waari de spin [PP pal [bij ti] boven het hoofd] hing
  the girl  where  the spider  just  with  above the head  hung
  'the girl just above whose head hung a spider'

Broekhuis & Cornips (1997) tried to account for the fact that possessive bij-phrases block R-extraction from locational PPs by assuming that the former are actually not base-generated as a modifier of the latter; possessive bij-phrases are claimed to originate within the locational PPs. Following a suggestion in Teun Hoekstra’s (2004) Categories and Arguments, they assume that the possessive meaning is syntactically encoded by placing the possessor and the possessee in a local relationship; more specifically, they propose that the preposition bij is a two-place predicate that expresses possession, as in (401a). The structure proposed by Corver is subsequently derived by extraction of the bij-phrase to some higher PP-internal position, as in (401b).

Example 401
a. [PP in [de tuinpossessee [bij het meisjepossessor]]PRED]
b. [PP [bij het meisjepossessor]i in [de tuinpossesseeti]PRED ]

This derivation makes it possible to account for the fact that R-extraction of the possessee, as in the (b)-examples in (398) and (399), is excluded by appealing to the more general fact that it is normally not possible to extract more than one constituent from a single phrase (here: the locational PP headed by in). Since this proposal still needs to be developed in detail, we leave it to future research.

[+]  V.  The verb

Subsection III has shown that Standard Dutch possessive datives require the possessee to be the nominal part of a complementive locational PP. This immediately narrows down the set of verbs exhibiting the possessive dative/ bij-PP alternation to verbs that are compatible with such predicative PPs. The subsections below will consider a number of verb types that exhibit this property.

[+]  A.  Transitive verbs denoting a change of location

A first group of verbs selecting a locational PP-complementive are transitive verbs denoting a change of location. The primeless and singly-primed examples in (402) illustrate for the verbs zetten'to put' and trekken'to pull' that such verbs indeed allow the possessive dative/ bij-PP alternation. The doubly-primed examples are added to show that the possessive dative/ bij-PP is optional and can be replaced by an NP-internal possessor.

Example 402
a. Marie zet Peter/hem de kinderen op de knie.
possessive dative
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the children  onto the knee
a'. Marie zet de kinderen bij Peter/hem op de knie.
possessive bij-PP
  Marie puts  the children  with Peter/him  on the knee
a''. Marie zet de kinderen op Peters/zijn knie.
NP-internal possessor
  Marie puts  the children  onto Peterʼs/his knee
  'Marie is putting the children on Peterʼs/his knee.'
b. Marie trekt Jan/hem twee haren uit de baard.
possessive dative
  Marie pulls  Jan/him  two hairs  out.of  the beard
b'. Marie trekt twee haren bij Jan/hem uit de baard.
possessive bij-PP
  Marie pulls  two hairs  with Jan/him  out.of  the beard
b''. Marie trekt twee haren uit Jans/zijn baard.
NP-internal possessor
  Marie pulls  two hairs  out.of  Janʼs/his beard
  'Marie is pulling two hairs out of Janʼs/his beard.'

Although verbs like zetten and trekken are normally used as monotransitive verbs, as in the doubly-primed examples in (402), the primeless examples behave in all respects like ditransitive verbs. The (a)-examples in (403), for instance, show that the direct object is promoted to subject in the regular passive, whereas the dative possessor is promoted to subject in the krijgen-passive. The (b)-examples are less suited to illustrate this, given that the dative possessor also functions as a source and Section 3.2.1.4 has shown that this blocks krijgen-passivization of ditransitive constructions.

Example 403
a. De kinderen worden Peter/hem op de knie gezet.
  the children are  Peter/him onto the knee  put
a'. Peter/Hij krijgt de kinderen op de knie gezet.
  Peter/he  gets  the children onto the knee  put
b. Er worden hem twee haren uit de baard getrokken.
  there  are  him  two hairs  out of the beard  pulled
b'. ?? Hij krijgt twee haren uit de baard getrokken.
  he gets  two hairs  out.of  the beard  pulled

It is interesting to note that the possessive alternation is blocked if a verbal particle like neer'down' is present, as in (404): in constructions like these possessive datives are excluded, whereas possessive bij-phrases and NP-internal possessors remain possible.

Example 404
a. * Marie zet Peter/hem de kinderen op de knie neer.
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the children  onto the knee  down
b. Marie zet de kinderen bij Peter/hem op de knie neer.
  Marie puts  the children  with Peter/him  on the knee  down
c. Marie zet de kinderen op Peters/zijn knie neer.
  Marie puts  the children  onto Peterʼs/his knee  down
  'Marie puts the children on Peterʼs/his knee.'

Note in passing that the fact that possessive datives can be promoted to subject under krijgen-passivization shows that nominal possessors can also be assigned nominative case. This leads to the expectation that nominative possessors may also occur with undative verbs, and Subsection VI will show that this expectation is indeed borne out.

[+]  B.  Motion verbs

Locational PP-complementives also occur with causative (transitive) motion verbs like rijden'to drive'. It not easy to construct semantically plausible examples, but the examples in (405), which are all pragmatically weird because of the implied purposefulness, show that we can find possessive datives/ bij-PPs with such verbs.

Example 405
Causative motion verbs
a. Jan reed Marie/haar de auto over de tenen.
  Jan drove  Marie/her  the car  over the toes
b. Jan reed de auto bij Marie/haar over de tenen.
  Jan drove  the car  with Marie/her  over the toes
c. Jan reed de auto over Maries/haar tenen.
  Jan drove  the car  over Marieʼs/her toes

The (a)-examples in (406) confirm this by showing that the unaccusative counterparts of the causative motion verbs in (405) readily allow the possessive dative/ bij-PP alternation. The (b)-examples show the same thing for change of location verbs like springen'to jump'.

Example 406
Unaccusative motion/change of location verbs
a. De auto reed Marie/haar over de tenen.
  the car  drove  Marie/her  over the toes
a'. De auto reed bij Marie/haar over de tenen.
  the car  drove  with Marie/her  over the toes
a''. De auto reed over Maries/haar tenen.
  the car  drove  over Marieʼs/her toes
  'The car drove over Marieʼs/her toes.'
b. De kleuter sprong Peter/hem in de armen.
  the toddler  jumped  Peter/him  into the arms
b'. De kleuter sprong bij Peter/hem in de armen.
  the toddler  jumped  with Peter/him  into the arms
b''. De kleuter sprong in Peters/zijn armen.
  the toddler  jumped  into Peterʼs/his arms
  'The toddler jumped into Peterʼs/his arms.'

In some cases, verbs of sound transmission can also be used as unaccusative motion verbs with a locational complementive. This is illustrated for fluiten in example (407); we tend to think that there is a preference for the double object construction with such verbs, but the other two constructions can readily be found on the internet.

Example 407
a. De kogels floten Peter/hem om de oren.
  the bullets  whistled  Peter/him  around the ears
b. ? De kogels floten bij Peter/hem om de oren.
  the bullets  whistled  with Peter/him  around the ears
c. ? De kogels floten om zijn/Peters oren.
  the bullets  whistled  around his/Peterʼs ears
[+]  C.  Locational verbs

Locational verbs like zitten'to sit', staan'to stand', liggen'to lie', and hangen'to hang' are unaccusative as well and the examples in (408) show that the possessive dative/ bij-PP alternation is also possible with these verbs.

Example 408
a. Het zand zit Peter/hem tussen de tanden.
  the sand  sits  Peter/him  between the teeth
a'. Het zand zit bij Peter/hem tussen de tanden.
  the sand  sits  with Peter/him  between the teeth
a''. Het zand zit tussen Peters/zijn tanden.
  the sand  sits  between Peterʼs/his teeth
  'There was sand between his teeth.'
b. Marie stond Peter/hem op de tenen.
  Marie stood  Peter/him  on the toes
b'. Marie stond bij Peter/hem op de tenen.
  Marie stood  with Peter/him  on the toes
b''. Marie stond op Peters/zijn tenen.
  Marie stood on Peterʼs/his toes

There are, however, many restrictions that are not well understood. For example, whereas all examples in (408) are acceptable, the structurally parallel (a)-examples in (409) do not allow the possessive dative. The idiomatic (b)-examples, on the other hand, clearly prefer the possessive dative.

Example 409
a. * Het kind zit Peter/hem op de knie.
  the child  sits  Peter/him  on the knee
a'. Het kind zit bij Peter/hem op de knie.
  the child  sits  with Peter/him  on the knee
a''. Het kind zit op Peters/zijn knie.
  the child  sits  on Peterʼs/his knee
b. Het kind zit Peter/hem steeds op de lip.
  the child  sits  Peter/him  continuously  on the lip
b'. ? Het kind zit steeds bij Peter/hem op de lip.
  the child  sits  continuously  with Peter/him  on the lip
b''. ?? Het kind zit steeds op Peters/zijn lip.
  the child  sits  continuously  on Peterʼs/his lip
  'The child always sits very close to Peter.'

A similar contrast is found in (410); whereas the literal construction in the (a)-examples at least marginally allows all alternants, the metaphorical (b)-examples seem to require a possessive dative to be used.

Example 410
a. De maaltijd lag hem zwaar op de maag.
  the meal  lay  him  heavily  on the stomach
a'. ? De maaltijd lag zwaar bij hem op de maag.
  the meal  lay  heavily  with him  on the stomach
a''. ? De maaltijd lag zwaar op zijn maag.
  the meal  lay  heavily  on his stomach
b. Dat probleem lag hem zwaar op de maag.
  that problem  lay  him  heavily  on the stomach
b'. * Dat probleem lag zwaar bij hem op de maag.
  that problem  lay  heavily  with him  on the stomach
b''. ?? Dat probleem lag zwaar op zijn maag.
  that problem  lay  heavily  on his stomach
[+]  D.  Verbs with an optional prepositional complementive

Possessive indirect objects occur not only with verbs that normally select a PP-complementive, but also with verbs that optionally take such a PP; this is illustrated for the ditransitive verb geven'to give' in (411). These examples also show that the dative noun phrase, being a recipient, normally alternates with an aan-phrase, but that this alternation is blocked if the locational PP-complementive in de armen'into the arms' is present; the indirect object must then be realized as a dative noun phrase, which now also acts as an inalienable possessor, or as a possessive bij-PP.

Example 411
a. Marie gaf <hem> het kind eventjes <aan hem>.
  Marie gave    him  the child  for.a.moment     to him
b. Marie gaf <hem> het kind eventjes <bij/*aan hem> in de armen.
  Marie gave    him  the child  for.a.moment    with/to him  in the arms
  'Marie gave him the child in the arms.'

Observe that the unacceptability of the aan-PP immediately follows from the claim in Section 3.3.1.1, sub IV, that periphrastic recipients in fact function as complementives, given that clauses can contain at most one complementive; see Section 2.2.1, sub IV, for discussion.
      Another case is given in (412) with the unaccusative verb vallen. Example (412a) shows again that the locational PP is optional, and (412b) shows that the alternation is at least marginally possible if a locational PP is present; the percentage sign is used to indicate that our informants provide varying judgments concerning the acceptability of the bij-PP.

Example 412
a. De hamer viel (op zijn tenen).
  the hammer  fell  on his toes
b. De hamer viel hem/%bij hem op de tenen.
  the hammer  fell  him/with him  on the toes

There are many more or lesss idiomatic inalienable possession examples with unaccusative verbs of this type. These constructions often do not readily allow alternants with a possessive bij-PP or an NP-internal possessor. The judgments on the primed examples again vary from case to case and probably also from speaker to speaker.

Example 413
a. De problemen groeien Jan/hem boven het hoofd.
  the problems  grow  Jan/him  above the head
  'Jan/He canʼt cope with the problems anymore.'
a'. * De problemen groeien bij Jan/hem boven het hoofd.
  the problems  grow  with Jan/him  above the head
a''. * De problemen groeien boven Jans/zijn hoofd.
  the problems  grow  above Janʼs/his head
b. Die opmerking schoot Peter/hem in het verkeerde keelgat.
  that remark  shot  Peter/him  into the wrong gullet
  'That remark didnʼt go down very well with him.'
b'. ? Die opmerking schoot bij Peter/hem in het verkeerde keelgat.
  that remark  shot  with Peter/him  into the wrong gullet
b''. *? Die opmerking schoot in Peters/zijn verkeerde keelgat.
  that remark  shot  into Peterʼs/his wrong gullet
c. Het geld brandt Jan/hem in de zak.
  the money  burns  Jan/him  in the pocket
  'Money burns a hole in his pocket/Heʼs eager to spend his money.'
c'. ? Het geld brandt bij hem in de zak.
  the money  burns  with him  in the pocket
c''. Het geld brandt in zijn zak.
  the money  burns  in his pocket
[+]  VI.  Non-dative inalienable possessors

Although the previous subsection V actually concludes our discussion of the dative/ bij-PP alternation, this subsection briefly discusses a number of special cases in which the inalienable possessor is not a dative, but a nominative or accusative noun phrase; we will see that in all these cases the nominative/accusative possessor entertains a similar thematic relation with the verb as the dative possessor.
      That inalienable possession is normally expressed by means of a dative noun phrase can readily be illustrated by means of passivization: since regular passivization results in promotion to subject of the theme and krijgen-passivization results in promotion to subject of the possessor, we can safely conclude that the former functions as the direct (accusative) and the latter as the indirect (dative) object of the construction; cf. Section 3.2.1.

Example 414
a. Marie zet Peter/hem twee kinderen op de knie.
active
  Marie puts  Peter/him  two children  onto the knee
b. Er worden Peter/hem twee kinderen op de knie gezet.
regular passive
  there are  Peter/him  two children  onto the knee  put
c. Peter/Hij krijgt de kinderen op de knie gezet.
krijgen-passive
  Peter/he  gets  the children onto the knee  put

The examples in (415) further show that subjects of active constructions normally do not function as inalienable possessors in Standard Dutch. Whereas the indirect object Peter in (415a) can function as an inalienable possessor of the nominal part of the locational phrase, this is not possible for the subject Marie. Note that the latter reading is not blocked due to the presence of the indirect object Peter given that the subject Marie cannot function as inalienable possessor in example (415b) either; the example Marie zet de kinderen op de knie is perhaps marginally acceptable but then strongly suggests that the knee involved is not Marie’s.

Example 415
a. Marie zet Peter/hem de kinderen op de knie.
  Marie puts  Peter/him  the children  onto the knee
  'Marie is putting the children on Peterʼs knee.'
  Impossible reading: 'Marie is putting the children on her knee at Peterʼs place.'
b. Marie zet de kinderen op haar/#de knie.
  Marie puts  the children  onto the knee
  Intended reading: 'Marie is putting the children on her knee.'

The fact illustrated in (414c) above that the possessive dative can be promoted to subject shows, however, that it is not necessary for nominal possessors to be assigned dative case. The acceptability of krijgen-passivization immediately gives rise to the expectation that nominative possessors is also possible with undative verbs like hebben'to have' and krijgen'to get', and Subsection A will show that this expectation is indeed borne out. Subsection B shows, however, that this does not exhaust the possibilities and that there are also a number of special cases in which the possessor seems to be assigned accusative case. Subsection C concludes with a discussion of a number of apparent cases of non-dative nominal possessors.

[+]  A.  Nominative inalienable possessors

The acceptability of the krijgen-passive in (414c) leads to the expectation that subjects of undative verbs may also function as inalienable possessors of the nominal part of a predicative locational PP. The acceptability of the examples in (416) show that this expectation is indeed borne out.

Example 416
a. Peter heeft een euro in de hand.
  Peter has  a euro  in the hand
  'Peter has a euro in his hand.'
b. Marie kreeg een tik op de vingers.
  Marie  got a  slap  on the fingers
  'Marie got a slap on her fingers.'

Section 2.1.4 in fact used the acceptability of the inalienable possession reading of examples such as (416) as an argument in favor of the existence of undative verbs: the subject is not external but an internal argument of the verb and thus able to act as inalienable possessor. In fact, we concluded on the basis of the fact that the examples in (417) also have an inalienable possession reading that verbs of cognition like kennen/weten'to know' also belong to the class of undative verbs.

Example 417
a. Jan kent het gedicht uit het/zijn hoofd.
  Jan knows  the poem  from the/his head
  'Jan knows the poem by heart.'
b. Jan weet het uit het/zijn hoofd.
  Jan knows  it  from the/his head
  'Jan knows it by heart.'

The possessive nominatives in examples like (416) and (417) never alternate with a possessive bij-phrase, which is of course due to the fact that PPs are normally not used as subjects of a clause; cf. *Bij Jan kent het gedicht uit zijn hoofd and *Bij Jan weet het uit zijn hoofd.

[+]  B.  Accusative inalienable possessors

Although nominal possessors are normally assigned dative case, there are a number of verbs that seem to take a direct/accusative object that may act as an inalienable possessor. These verbs seem to be characterized by the fact that they involve some form of bodily contact. A small sample of these verbs is given in (418); observe that most of these verbs can also be used as regular transitive verbs.

Example 418
Verbs with an accusative inalienable possessor: bijten'to bite', kietelen'to tickle', kloppen'to knock', knijpen'to pinch', krabben'to scratch', kussen'to kiss', porren'to poke', prikken'to pin', slaan'to hit', steken'to sting', stompen'to thumb', strelen'to caress', tikken'to tap', trappen'to kick'

Two examples of inalienable possession constructions with these verbs are given in (419). That the inalienable possessors are direct objects is clear from the primed examples, which show that they can be promoted to subject under regular passivization; krijgen-passivization, on the other hand, gives rise to a marked result. That the inalienable possessors of the verbs in (418) are direct objects is also shown by the fact illustrated in the doubly-primed examples that the possessor can be attributively modified by the past participle forms of the verbs in the corresponding active clauses; attributive modification requires the modified noun to be the internal theme argument of the input verb of the participle; see Section A9.2.

Example 419
a. Jan tikte Peter/hem (op de vingers).
  Jan  hit  Peter/him  on the fingers
  'Jan hit Peterʼs fingers.'
a'. Peter/Hij werd/*kreeg (door Jan) op de vingers getikt.
  Peter/he  was/got   by Jan  on the fingers  hit
a''. de (door Jan) op de vingers getikte man
  the   by Jan  on the fingers  hit  man
b. Peter kust Marie/haar (op de wang).
  Peter kisses  Marie/her  on the cheek
b'. Marie/Zij werd/*kreeg (door Peter) op de wang gekust.
  Marie/she  was/got    by Peter  on the cheek  kissed
b''. de (door Peter) op de wang gekuste vrouw
  the   by Peter  on the cheek  kissed  woman

The fact that the locational PP is optional may give rise to the idea that it is simply an adjunct and thus different from the predicative PPs in the possessive dative constructions we have discussed earlier. There are reasons, however, to assume that this is not the case and that we are in fact dealing with constructions that are very similar to these possessive dative constructions. A first reason for rejecting the idea that the locational PPs in (419) are adjuncts is that they do not pass the adverb test: the examples in (420) show that the PPs cannot be analyzed as VP-adverbs in view of the fact that the paraphrases with en hij doet dat ... clauses lead to semantically incoherent results.

Example 420
a. $ Jan tikte Peter/hem en hij deed dat op de vingers.
  Jan  hit  Peter/him  and  he  did  that  on the fingers
b. $ Peter kust Marie/haar en hij doet dat op de wang.
  Peter kisses  Marie/her  and  he  does  that  on the cheek

Second, the PPs behave like locational complementives in the sense that they seem to resist extraposition: it is strongly preferred that they precede the verb in clause-final position.

Example 421
a. Jan heeft Peter/hem <op de vingers> getikt <*op de vingers>.
  Jan  has  Peter/him    on the fingers  hit
b. Peter heeft Marie/haar <op de wang> gekust <??op de wang>.
  Peter has  Marie/her    on the cheek  kissed

Third, the examples in (422) show that the accusative noun phrases can at least marginally be replaced by possessive bij-phrases; such examples are normally used in contrastive contexts. The primed examples show that this alternation is completely excluded if the locational PP is not present.

Example 422
a. Jan tikte hem/?bij hem op de vingers.
  Jan hit  him/with him  on the fingers
a'. Jan tikte hem/*bij hem.
  Jan hit  him/with him
b. Jan kuste haar/?bij haar op de mond.
  Jan kissed  her/with her  on the mouth
b'. Jan kuste haar/*bij haar.
  Jan kissed  her/with her

      The fact established by (420) and (421) that the locational phrases in (419) do not behave as adjuncts but as complementives is quite remarkable given that the locational PPs do not seem to have an argument that they can be predicated of. This problem can be solved by following the assumption in Broekhuis et al. (1996) that, despite appearances, there actually is such an argument; this argument is, however, not realized as a noun phrase but has become a part of the verb; see also Bos (1972). The hypothesis is that verbs of bodily contact are derived from so-called light verbs, phonetically empty verbs with the meaning "to give", that have morphologically merged with their direct object; cf. the examples in (423).

Example 423
a. bijten 'to bite' een beet geven 'to give a bite'
b. kloppen 'to knock' een klop(je) geven 'to give a (gentle) blow'
c. kussen 'to kiss' een kus geven 'to give a kiss'
d. slaan'to blow' een slag geven 'to give a blow'
e. steken 'to sting' een steek geven 'to give a sting'
f. trappen 'to kick' een trap geven 'to give a kick'

Observe that for some verbs from this semantic field it is not readily possible to give a paraphrase: for example, the presumed input noun kietel for the verb kietelen'to tickle' is given in the Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal with the meaning dartele zinneprikkel'frolicsome stimulation of the senses', but will probably not be recognized by many speakers as part of the present-day Dutch vocabulary.
      The merging hypothesis means that an example such as (419a) has an underlying structure that comes quite close to the corresponding possessive double object construction with the lexical verb geven'to give' in (424a); the main difference is that (419a) involves syntactic incorporation of the direct object into the light verb, e.g. tikken'to hit' is the syntactically created morphological complex verb [V N-v], in which N stands for the incorporated Noun and v stands for the postulated light verb. Comparison of the (a)-examples of (420) to (422) with those in (424b-d) shows that this incorporation hypothesis accounts for most of the core data.

Example 424
a. Jan gaf Peter/hem een tik (op de vingers).
  Jan  gave  Peter/him  a tap   on the fingers
  'Jan hit on Peterʼs/his fingers.'
b. $ Jan gaf Peter/hem een tik en hij deed dat op de vingers.
  Jan  gave  Peter/him  a tap  and  he  did  that  on the fingers
c. Jan heeft Peter/hem een tik <op de vingers> gegeven <*op de vingers>.
  Jan  has  Peter/him  a tap     on the fingers  given
d. Jan gaf een tik bij Peter/hem ?(*op de vingers).
  Jan gave  a tap  with Peter/him   on the fingers

What does not seem to follow from the incorporation approach yet are the passivization and attributive modification facts in the primed examples in (419). However, if Baker’s (1988: Section 3.4.1) claim is correct that incorporation of the direct object makes it unnecessary for the direct object to be assigned accusative case, these facts also fall into a more general pattern; see Schermer-Vermeer (1996:276) for essentially the same suggestion phrased in somewhat different terms. First, consider the examples in (425) with the ditransitive verb voeren'to feed', in which the noun phrase brood functions as direct object (theme) and the phrase (aan) de eendjes as indirect object (recipient).

Example 425
a. Jan voerde <de eendjesdat> broodacc <aan de eendjes>.
  Jan fed  the ducks  bread    to the ducks
b. Er werd de eendjesdat broodnom gevoerd <aan de eendjes>.
  there  was  the ducks  bread  fed     to the ducks
c. het (aan) de eendjes gevoerde brood
  the   to  the ducks  fed  bread

Example (426a) shows that the verb voeren is like the transitive verb eten'to eat' in that it takes a cognate direct object that can be left implicit. The acceptability of regular passivization in (426b) shows that this makes it possible for the verb to assign accusative case to the recipient; see Section 3.2.1.3, sub IIC, for more extensive discussion. The acceptability of (426b) therefore strongly suggests that the fact that the inalienable possessors in the primeless examples in (419) are assigned accusative case simply follows from Baker’s claim; because the incorporated direct object need not be assigned case, accusative case becomes available for the recipient. Example (426c) further shows that leaving the cognate object implicit also allows the past participle gevoerd to be used as an attributive modifier of a noun that corresponds to its recipient; cf. Section A9.2.1, sub I-i. The doubly-primed examples in (419) will follow if we assume that incorporation has an effect similar to suppression of a cognate object.

Example 426
a. Jan voerde de eendjes.
  Jan fed the  ducks
b. De eendjesnom werden/werd gevoerd.
  the ducks  were/was  fed
c. de gevoerde eendjes
  the  fed  ducks
[+]  C.  Apparent cases of nominative inalienable possessors

The examples in (427) show again that subjects of active constructions normally do not function as inalienable possessors in Standard Dutch: whereas the indirect object in (427a) can readily function as the inalienable possessor of the nominal part of the locational phrase, this is not possible for the subject in example (427b), which is acceptable but only if the beard involved is not Jan’s.

Example 427
a. Marie trekt Jan/hem een haar uit de baard.
  Marie pulls  Jan/him  a hair  out.of  the beard
b. # Jan/Hij trekt een haar uit de baard.
  Jan/he  pulls  a hair  out.of  the beard

There are, however, several ways to syntactically express that a subject must be construed as an inalienable possessor. The first way, illustrated in (428a), involves the addition of a reflexive dative object; the reflexive then functions as the actual possessor but since it is bound by the subject of the clause, the referent of the latter will be construed as the possessor by transitivity. In (428b), we find essentially the same thing due to the fact that the bij-phrase contains a reflexive bound by the subject of the clause. The use of a possessive pronoun in (428c) in principle leaves open whether the referent of the subject is the possessor, but this reading can be enforced by adding the modifier eigen'own'.

Example 428
a. Jan trekt zich/zichzelf een haar uit de baard.
  Jan pulls  refl/himself  a hair  out.of  the beard
b. Jan trekt een haar bij zich/zichzelf uit de baard.
  Jan pulls  a hair  with refl/himself  out.of  the beard
c. Jan/Hij trekt een haar uit zijn (eigen) baard.
  Jan/he pulls  a hair  out.of  his own beard

      We find essentially the same thing in the more special cases with accusative possessors discussed in Subsection B. Insofar as (429b) is acceptable at all, it certainly does not express that Peter is hitting his own fingers. The examples in (430) show that the desired reading can be forced in the same way as in (428), albeit that in this specific case the use of a reflexive bij-phrase leads to a somewhat marked result.

Example 429
a. Marie sloeg Peter op de vingers.
  Marie hit  Peter on the fingers
  'Marie hit Peterʼs fingers.'
b. # Peter sloeg op de vingers.
  Peter hit  on the fingers
  Intended reading: 'Peter hit his fingers.'
Example 430
a. Peter sloeg zich/zichzelf op de vingers.
  Peter hit  refl/himself  onto the fingers
b. ? Peter sloeg bij zich/zichzelf op de vingers.
  Peter hit  with refl/himself  onto the fingers
c. Peter sloeg op zijn (eigen) vingers.
  Peter hit  on his own fingers

Note in passing that the fact that the possessor in (430a) may appear in its weak form can perhaps be seen as support for our claim in Subsection B that accusative possessors are in fact identical to dative possessors in the corresponding constructions with the lexical "light" verb geven'to give': the examples in (431) show that regular direct objects can only appear as weak reflexives if they are construed as inalienable possessors.

Example 431
a. Jan sloeg zichzelf (op de vingers).
  Jan hit  himself  onto the fingers
b. Jan sloeg zich *(op de vingers).
  Jan hit  himself    onto the fingers

      Another set of examples that potentially involves nominative inalienable possessors is given in (432). Such examples must be carefully distinguished from the cases discussed above, as the possessive relation does not require the presence of a reflexive object; adding a reflexive object in fact results in unacceptability.

Example 432
a. Jan stak langzaam de/zijn hand op.
  Jan raised  slowly  the/his hand  prt.
b. Marie schudde het/haar hoofd.
  Marie shook  the/her head

It remains to be seen, however, whether we are dealing with syntactically encoded inalienable possession in these examples given that the structurally identical examples in (433) require a possessive pronoun in order to be able to express that the subject of the clause is the possessor of the hand.

Example 433
a. Peter betast voorzichtig zijn/#het hoofd.
  Peter feels  carefully  his/the head
b. Marie masseerde haar/#de hand.
  Marie massaged  her/the hand

The difference between the examples in (432) and (433) is that the verbs in the former denote activities that involve bodily motion. This suggests that the inalienable possession reading is forced upon us, not by syntax, but by our knowledge of the world. Empirical evidence in favor of this suggestion is provided by the examples in (434), in which the subject is interpreted as the possessor of the nominal complement of a met-PP; dative phrases normally do not function as inalienable possessors of such noun phrases.

Example 434
a. Jan zwaaide met de/zijn armen.
  Jan waved  with the/his arms
  'Jan waved with his arms.'
b. Els knipperde met de/haar ogen.
  Els blinked  with the/her eyes
  'Els blinked.'
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  • Hoekstra, Teun2004Arguments and structure. Studies on the architecture of the sentenceBerlin/New YorkMouton de Gruyter
  • Janssen, Theo1976<i>Hebben</i>-konstrukties en indirekt-objektkonstructiesNijmegenUniversity of NijmegenThesis
  • Janssen, Theo1976<i>Hebben</i>-konstrukties en indirekt-objektkonstructiesNijmegenUniversity of NijmegenThesis
  • Schermer-Vermeer, E.C1991Substantiële versus formele taalbeschrijving: het indirect object in het NederlandsAmsterdamUniversiteit van AmsterdamThesis
  • Schermer-Vermeer, E.C1991Substantiële versus formele taalbeschrijving: het indirect object in het NederlandsAmsterdamUniversiteit van AmsterdamThesis
  • Schermer-Vermeer, Ina1996De beschrijving van de possessieve datiefNederlandse Taalkunde1265-279
  • Schermer-Vermeer, Ina1996De beschrijving van de possessieve datiefNederlandse Taalkunde1265-279
  • Toorn, M.C. van den1971Enkele opmerkingen over het indirect objectLevende Talen 27432-71
  • Vergnaud, Jean-Roger & Zubizarreta, Maria Louisa1992The definite determiner and the inalienable constructions in French and EnglishLinguistic Inquiry23592-652
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