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5.1.2. Direct object clauses
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This section investigates finite direct object clauses. Section 5.1.2.1 deals with a number of verb classes that may select such object clauses, as well as the semantic restrictions that may be imposed on them by the individual members of these classes; example (27) shows, for instance, that verbs like zeggen'to say' and vragen'to ask' differ in that the former selects declarative while the latter selects interrogative clauses.

Example 27
a. Jan zei [dat de bibliotheek gesloten was].
declarative
  Jan said   that  the library  closed  was
  'Jan said that the library was closed.'
b. Peter vroeg [of de bibliotheek open was].
interrogative
  Peter asked  whether  the library  open was
  'Peter asked whether the library was open.'

The unmarked position of object clauses is in clause-final position, but Section 5.1.2.2 will show that they may also occur in sentence-initial position. The only option blocked in clauses with a neutral intonation pattern is that they are placed in the middle field of the matrix clause (the order in (28c) improves when contrastive accent is placed on the adjective zwanger).

Example 28
a. Jan heeft daarnet nog beweerd [dat Marie zwanger is].
  Jan has  just.now  still  claimed  that Marie pregnant is
  'Jan has claimed only just now that Marie is pregnant.'
b. [Dat Marie zwanger is] heeft Jan daarnet nog beweerd.
c. *? Jan heeft [dat Marie zwanger is] daarnet nog beweerd.

Factive constructions, that is, constructions in which the truth of the embedded clause is presupposed by the speaker, are a systematic exception to this general rule, as shown in (29). Since factivity deserves closer attention, it will be investigated in greater detail in Section 5.1.2.3.

Example 29
a. Marie zal vanmiddag bekend maken [dat zij zwanger is].
  Marie will  this.afternoon  public  make  that she pregnant is
  'This afternoon, Marie will make public that sheʼs pregnant.'
b. [Dat zij zwanger is] zal Marie vanmiddag bekend maken.
c. Marie zal [dat zij zwanger is] vanmiddag bekend maken.

Section 5.1.2.4 concludes the discussion of finite direct object clauses by dealing with the three types of reported speech illustrated in (30). Contrary to what is frequently claimed, there are reasons for assuming that direct and semi-direct quotes do not necessarily function as direct object clauses of the matrix verbs.

Example 30
a. Marie zei [dat zij zwanger is].
indirect reported speech
  Marie said   that  she  pregnant  is
  'Marie said that sheʼs pregnant.'
b. Marie zei: "Ik ben zwanger."
direct reported speech
  Marie said    I  am  pregnant
c. Marie zei ze was zwanger.
semi-direct reported speech (erlebte rede)
  Marie said  she  was pregnant
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    A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.