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6.2.1. Perfect auxiliaries
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Since many aspects of the semantic function of the perfect-tense constructions are dealt with in Section 1.5, we can be relatively brief here, subsection I briefly indicates the function of the perfect auxiliaries, while Subsection II discusses the principal factors that determine whether hebben or zijn is used, subsections III and IV continue with a discussion of the form of the verb immediately governed (selected by) the auxiliary in verb clusters consisting of, respectively, two and three verbs, as well as the order of the verbs in such verb clusters, subsection V argues that perfect-tense constructions typically exhibit monoclausal behavior and that they demonstrate this by showing that the main verb and its argument can be separated by the perfect auxiliary, subsection VI summarizes the discussion by formulating a number of descriptive generalizations capturing the facts discussed in Subsections I through V, subsection VII concludes the discussion of perfect auxiliaries by showing that the perfect auxiliaries hebben and zijn can sometimes be mixed up with the (semi-)copulas hebben and zijn, and discusses how they can be kept apart.

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[+]  I.  The function of the auxiliaries hebben and zijn

The perfect auxiliaries hebben and zijn are used to form perfect tenses: whereas the simple present in the primeless examples in (13) presents the eventualities of Marie walking on the moor and Jan reading a book as ongoing events in the present-tense interval, the present perfect in the primed examples presents the same eventualities as discrete units that are bounded within the present-tense interval. There are reasons, however, not to hold the auxiliary but the past participle responsible for the expression of this perfective meaning aspect; we refer the reader to Section 6.2.4 for the motivation of this claim, and to Section 1.5.1 for a more detailed discussion of the semantic interpretation of the present/past perfect tenses.

Example 13
a. Marie wandelt op de hei.
  Marie walks  on the moor
  'Marie is walking on the moor.'
a'. Marie heeft op de hei gewandeld.
  Marie has  on the moor  walked
  'Marie has walked on the moor.'
b. Jan leest een boek.
  Jan reads  a book
  'Jan is reading a book.'
b'. Jan heeft een boek gelezen.
  Jan has  a book  read
  'Jan has read a book.'
[+]  II.  The choice between hebben and zijn

The choice between the perfect auxiliaries hebben and zijn is related to the status of the verb that they select: zijn'to be' is used with telic unaccusative verbs, whereas hebben is used in all other cases; see Table 3 in Section 2.1.2, sub V, and Table 5 in Section 2.1.3, sub IIH. In order not to have to repeat the detailed discussion of unaccusativity and its relevance for auxiliary selection in Section 2.1, we will illustrate the role of unaccusativity here by means of the monadic verbs lachen'to laugh' and vallen'to fall' only. The verb lachen is not unaccusative as is clear from the fact that it allows impersonal passivization; it therefore takes hebben as its perfect auxiliary. The verb vallen is an unaccusative verb as is clear from the fact that the participle can be used as an attributive modifier of a noun that corresponds to the subject of the corresponding active sentence; it therefore takes zijn as its perfect auxiliary.

Example 14
a. Jan heeft gelachen.
  Jan has  laughed
  'Jan has laughed.'
a'. Er wordt gelachen.
  there  is  laughed
a''. * de gelachen man
  the laughed man
b. Jan is gevallen.
  Jan is fallen
  'Jan has fallen.'
b'. * Er wordt gevallen.
  there  is  fallen
b''. de gevallen man
  the  fallen  man

The role of telicity can be demonstrated by means of the examples in (15). The unaccusative verbs drijven'to float' and bloeden'to bleed' are atelic and therefore take hebben as their perfect auxiliary. However, when we add the complementives weg'away' and dood'dead', the constructions as a whole become telic and, as a result, the verbs take the perfect auxiliary zijn. For a more detailed and systematic discussion of unaccusativity and telicity, as well as their relevance for auxiliary selection, we refer the reader to Section 2.1.

Example 15
a. De bal drijft (weg).
  the ball  floats  away
  'The ball is floating (away).'
a'. Jan bloedt (dood).
  Jan bleeds   dead
  'Jan is bleeding (to death).'
b. De bal heeft/*is gedreven.
  the ball  has/is  floated
b'. Jan heeft/*is gebloed.
  Jan has/is  bled
c. De bal is/*heeft weg gedreven.
  the ball  is/has  away  floated
c'. Jan is/*heeft dood gebloed.
  Jan is/has  dead  bled

Another factor that needs mentioning is that for some (especially Flemish) speakers the choice between hebben and zijn is not necessarily determined by the verb that it immediately governs but may also be determined by some more deeply embedded verb. In (16), the verb moeten selects the auxiliary hebben but nevertheless some speakers allow or even prefer zijn because the more deeply embedded unaccusative verbs komen'to come' and gaan'to go' select zijn; example (16a) is taken from Haeseryn et al. (1997:81) and example (16b) is provided by one of our own Flemish informants.

Example 16
a. Ze hebben/%zijn niet kunnen komen.
  they  have/are  not  can  come
  'They havenʼt been able to come.'
b. Marie heeft/%is vanmorgen moeten gaan zwemmen.
  Marie has/is  this.morning  must  go  swim
  'Marie has had to go swimming this morning.'
[+]  III.  Form and placement of the governed verb in clusters of two verbs

The projection of the main verb is embedded under the finite auxiliary: the representation is [... Aux [... V[-finite] ...]]. We may therefore assume that the morphological form of the main verb is governed by the auxiliary (in the same way that a main verb may govern the case form of its nominal arguments in languages that have morphological case). The examples in the previous subsections have already shown that the non-finite main verb governed by the perfect auxiliary surfaces as a past participle if the verb cluster consists of no more that two verbs, that is, if the clause contains no other verbs than the perfect auxiliary and the main verb; if the verb surfaces as an infinitive, the resulting structure is unacceptable. This is illustrated in the examples in (17).

Example 17
a. Jan heeft dat boek gelezen/*lezen.
  Jan has  that book  readpart/readinf
  'Jan has read that book.'
b. Marie is naar Utrecht gewandeld/*wandelen.
  Marie is to Utrecht  walkedpart/walkinf
  'Marie has walked to Utrecht.'

A phenomenon that has attracted a great deal of attention in the syntactic descriptions of Dutch is that the auxiliary and the main verb do not have a fixed place with respect to each other in clause-final position: the examples in (18) show that past participles may either precede or follow the finite auxiliary.

Example 18
a. dat Jan dat boek <gelezen> heeft <%gelezen>.
  that  Jan that book    read  has
  'that Jan has read that book.'
b. dat Marie naar Utrecht <gewandeld> is <%gewandeld>.
  that  Marie to Utrecht    walked  is
  'that Marie has walked to Utrecht.'

When we consider the regional spread of the two word orders, it seems that the order aux–part is only found in a restricted part of the Dutch-speaking area, which happens to include the prestigious varieties of the standard language spoken in the west/middle region of this area; the maps in Pauwels (1953), Gerritsen (1991) and Barbiers et al. (2005) all show that this order is rare in the varieties of Dutch spoken in Flanders and the northern part of the Netherlands. For this reason we have marked this order with a percentage sign.
      Speakers who allow the order aux–part normally also allow the order part-aux. There is reason for assuming that the latter order (part-aux) is in fact the unmarked one for such speakers given that Barbiers et al. (2005) found that they rarely invert this order in reproduction tasks.
      It now seems generally accepted that the use of the aux–part order is characteristic for written Dutch and the more formal registers of spoken Dutch (despite that it frequently occurs in the more casual speech of many speakers); see Haeseryn (1990:ch.2) for a good review of the relevant literature on this issue. A corpus analysis by De Sutter (2005/2007) suggests that even in written Dutch the aux–part order is secondary since this order is mainly used in relatively simple sentences; there is a negative correlation between the complexity of utterances and the frequency of the aux–part order.
      The finding that the aux–part order is marked (perhaps even artificial) for most speakers of Dutch seems to be in line with the fact that this order was introduced in the 16th century and diligently promoted by normative grammarians, and that it still seems to be prescribed for journals and newspapers; see Coussé (2008:ch.10) and Van der Horst (2008:1984ff.). The attempt to promote this order has in fact been very successful since for most present-day speakers who allow this order, it simply functions as an alternative realization of the more widely accepted part-aux order.
      The factors favoring the selection of one order over the other are complex and have only been investigated for written language. The studies reviewed in Haeseryn (1990:46ff.), for example, provide evidence that the presence of a verbal particle or some other accent-bearing material preceding the verb cluster favors the use of the aux-part order, whereas the presence of material following the verb cluster disfavors it. De Sutter's (2005/2007) tested some of the more specific claims made in the literature on the basis of a more recent newspaper corpus, and found that:

Example 19
The aux-part order is favored by:
a. the presence of a verbal particle or some other element that forms a fixed collocation with the participle;
b. a more extensive middle field (> 2 words);
c. a high information value of the word preceding the clause-final verb cluster;
d. a non-complement (adjunct) in preverbal positions.

De Sutter further found that participles with a high frequency occur more often in the aux-part order than participles that are less common, and that there is a syntactic persistency effect: the word order of a verb cluster used earlier in the discourse is likely to be repeated. Contrary to the earlier studies, De Sutter did not find a significant effect of accent; he attributes this to the fact that his corpus consists of written sources, but the same thing holds for most of the other studies, One might therefore speculate that the difference is related to the fact that the earlier studies were based on literary texts (dating from the first half of the 20th century), whereas De Sutter's data is taken from a (Flemish) newspaper.

[+]  IV.  Form and placement of the governed verb in clusters of three or more verbs

In finite monoclausal structures containing three verbs, the perfect auxiliary may be the finite, that is, structurally highest verb or a non-finite, that is, a more deeply embedded verb. Examples illustrating this are given in (20), in which the subscripts indicate the type of verb we are dealing with. We will discuss the two constructions in separate subsections; we start in Subsection A with examples such as (20a) in which the perfect auxiliary is itself governed by a finite verb and Subsection B continues with examples such as (20b) in which the perfect auxiliary is finite.

Example 20
a. Jan moet dat boek hebben gelezen.
... Modal [... Aux [... V ...]]
  Jan mustmodal  that book  haveaux  readmain
  'Jan had to have read that book.'
b. Jan heeft dat boek moeten lezen.
... Aux [... Modal [... V ...]]
  Jan hasaux  that book  mustmodal  readmain
  'Jan has had to read that book.'
[+]  A.  Verb clusters of the form Vfinite - Auxnon-finite - Vmain

This subsection discusses finite monoclausal structures with three verbs in which the perfect auxiliary surfaces as a non-finite verb. At first sight, such structures do not seem very special: (i) the auxiliary governs the main verb, which surfaces as a past participle, and (ii) the past participle may either precede or follow the auxiliary (just as in embedded clauses with two verbs discussed in Subsection III). The first property, which implies that the main verb cannot be realized as an infinitive, is illustrated in the examples in (21).

Example 21
a. Jan moet dat boek hebben gelezen/*lezen.
  Jan must  that book  have  readpart/readinf
  'Jan must have read that book.'
b. Marie moet vroeg zijn vertrokken/*vertrekken.
  Marie must  early be  leftpart/leaveinf
  'Marie must have left early.'

With respect to the order of the auxiliary and the past participles, the same proviso must be made as in Subsection III, namely that the aux -part order is only found in a restricted part of the Dutch-speaking area, which happens to include the prestigious varieties of the standard language spoken in the west/middle region of this area. More generally, it seems that the part-aux order is the more common one in speech (although we should mention that, to our knowledge, the variation in word order of the clause-final verbs in main clauses with three verbs has not been systematically investigated). The subscripts in (22) are added for convenience, to indicate whether the verb in question is finite, an infinitive or a past participle.

Example 22
a. Jan moet dat boek <gelezen> hebben <%gelezen>.
  Jan mustfinite  that book    readpart  haveinf
  'Jan must have read that book.'
b. Marie moet vroeg <vertrokken> zijn <%vertrokken>.
  Marie mustfinite  early    leftpart  beinf
  'Marie must have left early.'

The examples in (23) show, however, that the placement options of the past participle in embedded clauses are somewhat surprising. Given that the participle is governed by the auxiliary we would expect these verbs to be adjacent, but as a matter of fact they can be separated by the finite modal verb.

Example 23
a. dat Jan dat boek <gelezen> moet <gelezen> hebben <%gelezen>.
  that  Jan that book    readpart  mustfinite   haveinf
  'that Jan must have read that book.'
b. dat Marie vroeg <vertrokken> moet <vertrokken> zijn <%vertrokken>.
  that Marie early     leftpart  mustfinite  beinf
  'that Marie must have left early.'

For many speakers, the three word orders can be seen as more or lesss free alternates, with the Vfinaux–part order moet hebben gelezenbeing the more marked one. That this order is the more marked one seems to be confirmed by the regional distribution of these orders given in Table (24) for the sequence moet hebben gemaakt'must have made'; whereas speakers regularly indicate that they only accept one of the orders in (24b-d), there is just one speaker who indicates that (s)he only accepts (24a). Speakers who report that they only allow (24b) are mainly found in Flanders, whereas speakers who report that they only allow (24c) are spread over the Netherlands. The low frequency of order (24d) is due to the fact that it is only found in the northern parts of the Netherlands, which, in turn, may be related to the fact that this is the order normally found in Frisian (as well as Standard German). The data in (24) are taken from Barbiers et al. (2008).

Example 24
Order of verbs in the sequence V finite–Aux–Part
  order of verbs Total # Total # as only order
a. Vfinite–Aux–Part (moet hebben gemaakt) 91 1
b. Vfinite–Part–Aux (moet gemaakt hebben) 163 48 (Flanders)
c. Part–Vfinite–Aux (gemaakt moet hebben) 186 28 (Netherlands)
d. Part–Vfinite–Aux (gemaakt hebben moet) 48 30 (Northern Netherlands)

The literature reviewed in Haeseryn (1990:54ff.) further suggests that the order Vfin–part–aux order is especially popular in the varieties of Dutch spoken in Flanders, whereas speakers from the Netherlands generally prefer the order part–Vfin–aux; see also Stroop (2009) for the same finding on the basis of the Corpus Gesproken Nederlands. The order Vfin–aux–part is again characteristic for (but not restricted to) written and formal Dutch.
      Clusters of more than three verbs are possible but less frequent in colloquial speech. If the auxiliary immediately governs the (most deeply embedded) main verb, the principles underlying the form of the main verb and the order of the verbs are the same as in the case of three verbs: the main verb surfaces as a past participle, which may occur as the last verb of the verb cluster but may also occur more to the left. This is illustrated in (25) for the cluster zou kunnen hebben gezien'might have seen'.

Example 25
a. dat Jan die film zou kunnen hebben gezien.
  that  Jan that movie   wouldmodal  maymodal  haveaux  seenmain
  'that Jan might have seen that movie.'
b. dat Jan die film zou kunnen gezien hebben.
c. dat Jan die film zou gezien kunnen hebben.
d. dat Jan die film gezien zou kunnen hebben.

To our knowledge, not much information is available about the spread of the orders in (25). The literature reviewed in Haeseryn (1990:70ff.) suggests that the orders in (25a&d) are the ones commonly found in the northern varieties of Standard Dutch, and that the order (25c) is more favored than (25b). In the varieties of Standard Dutch spoken in Belgium, on the other hand, the order in (25b) seems to be a common one.
      The discussion above has shown for the northern varieties of Standard Dutch that in perfect-tense constructions of the kind under discussion the past participle of the main verb may follow or precede the complete verb cluster or be placed in between any two verbs in the verb cluster. This is illustrated in (26), in which Vn stands for zero or more verbs in the verb cluster besides the auxiliary and the main verb; the angled brackets indicate the alternative placements of the participle.

Example 26
Order in verb sequences of the form Vn - Aux perfect - V main
a. dat ..... <Part> auxfinite <Part>
b. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> auxinf <Part>
c. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf <Part>
d. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf <Part>
e. etc.

Although Barbiers et al. (2005) show that other orders can be found in certain dialects of Dutch, the orders in (26) exhaust the possibilities for the vast majority of Dutch speakers. Most speakers will in fact use only a subset of the word order possibilities in (26). Recall that clusters of more than three verbs are rare in everyday speech, and even in formal speech and complex written language the number of verbs will normally be limited to a maximum 4 of 5.

[+]  B.  Verb clusters of the form auxfinite - Vnon-finite - Vmain

This subsection discusses finite monoclausal structures with three verbs in which the perfect auxiliary surfaces as the finite verb. Such structures arise not only if the auxiliary governs a non-main verb like the (semi-)aspectual verbs gaan and zitten in (27a&b), but also if it governs a main verb that selects a transparent infinitival clause, like the deontic modal verb moeten'be obliged' in (27c) or the perception verb zien'to see' in (27d).

Example 27
a. Marie is vanmorgen gaan zwemmen.
  Marie isaux  this.morning  goaspectual  swimmain
  'Marie went for a swim this morning.'
b. Jan heeft een boek zitten lezen.
  Jan hasaux  a book  sitsemi-aspectual  readmain
  'Jan has been reading a book.'
c. Jan heeft dit boek moeten lezen.
  Jan hasaux  this book  mustmodal  readmain
  'Jan has had to read this book.'
d. Jan heeft Peter dat boek zien lezen.
  Jan hasaux  Peter that book  seeperception  readmain
  'Jan has seen Peter read that book.'

The most conspicuous phenomenon in examples such as (27) is the so-called infinitivus-pro-participio (IPP) effect, that is, that the non-finite verb governed by the auxiliary does not surface as a past participle but as an infinitive: the examples in (28) illustrate this by showing that substituting a past participle for the relevant infinitival verbs in (27) leads to ungrammaticality.

Example 28
a. Marie is vanmorgen gaan/*gegaan zwemmen.
  Marie is this.morning  goinf/gonepart  swim
b. Jan heeft een boek zitten/*gezeten lezen.
  Jan has  a book  sitinf/satpart  read
c. Jan heeft dit boek moeten/*gemoeten lezen.
  Jan hasaux  this book  mustinf/mustpart  read
d. Jan heeft Peter dat boek zien/*gezien lezen.
  Jan hasaux  Peter that book  seeinf/seenprt  readmain

Another property is that the word order of the verb cluster is very strict in most northern varieties of Dutch. In main clauses such as (27) the verb selected by the perfect auxiliary must precede the main verb: the examples in (29) show that reversing the order of the two clause-final verbs leads to degraded results.

Example 29
a. * Marie is vanmorgen zwemmen gaan.
  Marie isaux  this.morning  swimmain  goaspectual
b. * Jan heeft een boek lezen zitten.
  Jan hasaux  a book  readmain  sitsemi-aspectual
c. * Jan heeft dit boek lezen moeten.
  Jan hasaux  this book  readmain  mustmodal
d. * Jan heeft Peter dat boek lezen zien.
  Jan hasaux  Peter that book  readmain  seeperception

In embedded clauses the word order is also very strict. This holds not only for the two non-finite verbs, which again exhibit the order in (27), but also for the finite auxiliary and the two infinitival verbs; the auxiliary must precede them.

Example 30
a. dat Marie vanmorgen is gaan zwemmen.
  that  Marie this.morning  isaux  goaspectual  swimmain
  'that Marie went for a swim this morning.'
b. dat Jan een boek heeft zitten lezen.
  that  Jan a book  hasaux  sitsemi-aspectual  readmain
  'that Jan has been reading a book.'
c. dat Jan dit boek heeft moeten lezen.
  that  Jan this book  hasaux  mustmodal  readmain
  'that Jan has had to read this book.'
d. dat Jan Peter dat boek heeft zien lezen.
  that  Jan Peter that book  hasaux  seeperception  readmain
  'that Jan has seen Peter read that book.'

Any other order than in (30) gives rise to a severely degraded result. This implies that the perfect-tense constructions under discussion here differ markedly from the perfect-tense constructions discussed in Subsection A in that the auxiliary cannot be preceded by the verb it immediately dominates. We illustrate this in (31) for the modal construction in (30c): the auxiliary cannot be preceded by the modal regardless of the position of the more deeply embedded main verb.

Example 31
a. dat Jan dit boek heeft moeten lezen.
  that  Jan this book  hasaux  mustmodal  readmain
b. * dat Jan dit boek moeten heeft lezen.
  that  Jan this book  mustmodal  hasaux readmain
c. * dat Jan dit boek moeten lezen heeft.
  that  Jan this book  mustmodal  readmain  hasaux
d. * dat Jan dit boek moeten lezen heeft.
  that  Jan this book  mustmodal  readmain  hasaux

In short, it seems that in the northern varieties of Standard Dutch the verb clusters can only be realized in the order in (32a), all the other logically possible orders being severely degraded. This is remarkable given that Barbiers et al (2005) show that the orders marked with a percentage sign are relatively common in specific regional varieties of Dutch: the order in (32e) can be found in Flanders, and the order in (32f) in the northern part of the Netherlands, especially Frisian. The order in (32b) is relatively rare but is reported by various speakers around the IJsselmeer; it is also the order normally found in Standard German. The orders marked with a star are rare and do certainly not occur as the dominant orders.

Example 32
Order in verb sequences of the form: aux fin i te - V non-finite - V main
a. auxfinite - Vnon-finite - Vmain (heeft moeten lezen)
b. % auxfinite - Vmain - Vnon-finite (heeft lezen moeten)
c. * Vmain - auxfinite - Vnon-finite (lezen heeft moeten)
d. * Vnon-finite - auxfinite - Vmain (moeten heeft lezen)
e. % Vnon-finite - Vmain - auxfinite (moeten lezen heeft)
f. % Vmain - Vnon-finite - auxfinite (lezen moeten heeft)

      It will not come as a surprise after the discussion above that in longer verb clusters with IPP the order of the verbs is also very strict. We illustrate this in (33) and (35) for verb clusters consisting of four verbs. The examples in (33) differ from those given in (30) in that we have added an epistemic modal verb, which surfaces as the finite verb. Any change in the order of the verbs will give rise to a degraded result in the northern varieties of Standard Dutch.

Example 33
a. dat Marie vanmorgen moet zijn gaan zwemmen.
  that  Marie this.morning  mustmodal  beaux  goaspectual  swimmain
  'that Marie must have gone for a swim this morning.'
b. dat Jan een boek moet hebben zitten lezen.
  that  Jan a book  mustmodal  haveaux  sitsemi-aspectual  readmain
  'that Jan must have been reading a book.'
c. dat Jan dit boek zal hebben moeten lezen.
  that  Jan this book  willmodal  haveaux  mustmodal  readmain
  'that Jan has will have been obliged to read this book.'
d. dat Jan Peter dat boek moet hebben zien lezen.
  that  Jan Peter  that book  mustmodal  haveaux  seeperception  readmain
  'that Jan must have seen Peter read that book.'

The southern varieties of Standard Dutch, on the other hand, have more options. This is illustrated by means of the examples in (34) taken from Haeseryn (1990:72). Whereas the relevant northern varieties of Dutch only allow the order in (34a), the order in (34b) is common in the varieties found in Belgium; the order in (34a) is reported to also be possible in these varieties.

Example 34
a. dat ze zich wel zal hebben moeten haasten.
  that  she  refl  prt.  willmodal  haveaux  mustmodal  hurrymain
  'that sheʼll probably have had to rush.'
b. % dat ze zich wel zal moeten haasten hebben.
c. % dat ze zich wel moeten haasten zal hebben.

      The examples in (35) differ from the ones given in (30) in that we added a deontic/dynamic modal verb, which surfaces as an infinitive (either before or after the non-finite verb originally dominated by the auxiliary); examples with two non-epistemic modals, such as (35c), are perhaps somewhat marked, but can readily be found on the internet. Any change in the order of the verbs will give rise to a degraded result in the northern varieties of Dutch.

Example 35
a. dat Marie vanmorgen heeft moeten gaan zwemmen.
  that  Marie this.morning  hasaux  mustmodal  goaspectual  swimmain
  'that Marie has had to go for a swim this morning.'
b. dat Jan een boek heeft moeten zitten lezen.
  that  Jan a book  hasaux  mustmodal  sitsemi-aspectual  readmain
  'that Jan has had to read a book.'
c. dat Jan dit boek heeft moeten kunnen lezen.
  that  Jan this book  hasaux  mustmodal  canmodal  readmain
  'that Jan has had to be able to read this book.'
d. dat Jan Peter dat boek heeft moeten zien lezen.
  that  Jan Peter  that book  hasaux  mustmodal  seeperception  readmain
  'that Jan has had to see Peter read that book.'

Some of our Flemish informants also allow the perfect auxiliary in final position. In their variety an example such as (35a) would surface as dat Marie moeten gaan zwemmen heeft/is, where the use of zijn is due to the fact that auxiliary selection is preferably determined by the more deeply embedded aspectual verb gaan; see Subsection II.

[+]  V.  Clause splitting and permeation of the clause-final verb cluster

Subsection IV has shown that perfect-tense constructions may give rise to the IPP-effect, which can be seen as a hallmark of verbs entering a verbal complex; cf. Section 4.4.2. The monoclausal behavior of sentences in the perfect tense is also evident from the fact that the main verb can be separated from its arguments and adverbial modifiers by the auxiliary in clause-final position. This is illustrated in (36a) for the main verb lezen'to read' and its nominal direct object and in (36b) for the main verb rennen'to run' and the adverbial manner phrase hard'fast'.

Example 36
a. dat Jan een boek heeft gelezen.
  that  Jan a book  has  read
  'that Jan has read a book.'
b. dat Peter hard heeft gerend.
  that  Peter fast  has  run
  'that Peter has run fast.'

Under the plausible assumption that perfect auxiliaries take a lexical projection of the main verb as their complement, examples like (36a&b) are surprising given that we expect the main verb and its complements/modifiers to be adjacent. For OV-languages like English, for example, this adjacency requirement would correctly predict that the main verb and its arguments/modifiers are invariably placed after the auxiliary.

Example 37
a. John [has [read a book]].
b. Peter [has [run fast]].

If we adopt the more traditional assumption that Dutch is an OV-language, we would expect that the main verb and its arguments would normally precede the auxiliary, as in the primeless examples in (38). Any other word order requires additional stipulations; the orders in the primed examples in (38), for instance, are traditionally assumed to be derived by the movement operation Verb Raising, which extracts the main verb from its lexical projection and adjoins it to the auxiliary; see Evers (1975).

Example 38
Verb Raising analysis
a. dat Jan [[een boek gelezen] heeft].
  that  Jan    a book  read]  has
a'. dat Jan [[een boek tgelezen] heeft+gelezen].
b. dat Peter [[hard gerend] heeft].
  that  Peter     fast  run  has
b'. dat Peter [[hard tgerend] heeft+gerend].

In Section 4.4.2, sub II, we noted that several alternatives have been developed for the Verb Raising analysis in (38), but all of them have in common that they have to account in some way for the fact that the lexical projection of the main verb can be split. We will not review these proposals here but confine ourselves to giving a detailed description of the facts pertaining to the discontinuity of the lexical projection of the main verb that these proposals should be able to account for. The following subsections discuss a number of constituents that can be expected to originate within the lexical projection of the main verb (arguments, complementives and VP-adverbs) but can nevertheless be separated from the main verb by the auxiliary in clause-final position in several different ways. This subsection will also discuss to what extent the clause-final verb cluster can be permeated by the dependents of the passivized main verb.

[+]  A.  Direct objects

Dutch is an OV-language in the sense that nominal objects always precede their main verb in clause-final position: dat Jan <een boek> leest <*een boek>'that Jan is reading a book'. The northern varieties of Dutch have the additional restriction that nominal arguments can never permeate the verb cluster. This means that (in)direct objects can only precede the verb cluster as a whole. The examples in (39) illustrate this for cases with two verbs, that is, the perfect auxiliary and a main verb in the form of a past participle.

Example 39
a. dat Jan een boek gelezen heeft.
part-aux order
  that  Jan a book  read  has
  'that Jan has read a book.'
b. dat Jan <een boek> heeft <*een boek> gelezen.
aux-part order
  that  Jan    a book  has  read

Since the southern varieties of Dutch are not subject to the additional restriction that nominal arguments cannot permeate the verb cluster, one may expect the order marked as ungrammatical above to arise in these varieties. This is not the case, however, for the independent reason that these varieties require the past participle to precede the auxiliary; the aux-part order heeft gelezen in (39b) simply does not arise in these varieties, which leaves (39a) as the only option.
      In the northern varieties the object also precedes verb clusters that consist of more than two verbs. The examples in (40) illustrate this for a sequence of three verbs in which the auxiliary is an infinitive: although the past participle gelezen'read' may occur in several positions in the verb cluster, the nominal object must precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 40
a. dat Jan een boek gelezen moet hebben.
  that  Jan a book  read  must  have
  'that Jan must have read a book.'
b. dat Jan <een boek> moet <%een boek> gelezen hebben.
  that  Jan    a book  must  read  have
c. dat Jan <een boek> moet <*een boek> hebben <*een boek> gelezen.
  that  Jan    a book  must  have read

Since the order of the verb cluster in (40b) is acceptable in the southern varieties of Dutch, we expect speakers of these varieties to accept the order marked with a percentage sign as acceptable. The judgments of our Flemish informants vary: some of them categorically reject examples of this type, whereas others accept them provided that the object is indefinite. That the order marked with a percentage sign is unacceptable for all southern speakers if the object is definite, may be due to the fact that definite noun phrases are more likely to be construed as presuppositional and are thus also more likely to be shifted into a more leftward position; see Section N8.1.3 for a discussion of this form of scrambling.
      Example (41), finally, provides an instance with three verbs in which the perfect auxiliary is the finite verb. Although the infinitival main verb lezen can only occur at the end of the verb cluster, most speakers from the Netherlands require its object to precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 41
dat Jan <een boek> heeft <*een boek> moeten <%een boek> lezen.
  that  Jan    a book  has  must  read
'that Jan has had to read a book.'

Again the judgments of our Flemish informants vary somewhat, but they all agree that permeation of the verb cluster is possible (for some as a marked option only), provided the object is adjacent to the main verb; if the main verb and its object in (41) are separated by the infinitive moeten, the result is unacceptable. We also refer the reader to Haegeman & Van Riemsdijk (1986:422ff.) for examples of this sort from West-Flemish.

[+]  B.  Prepositional objects

Prepositional objects differ from nominal ones in that they do not have to precede the main verb in clause-final position but may also follow it: dat Jan <op zijn vader> wacht <op zijn vader>'that Jan is waiting for his father'. They are like nominal objects, however, in that they never permeate the verb cluster in the northern varieties of Dutch. This means that prepositional objects must either precede or follow the verb cluster as a whole. The examples in (42) illustrate this for cases with two verbs, that is, a perfect auxiliary and a main verb in the form of a past participle; in (42a) we find the part-aux order and in (42b) the aux-part order.

Example 42
a. dat Jan <op zijn vader> gewacht <*op zijn vader> heeft <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan     for his father  waited  has
  'that Jan has waited for his father.'
b. dat Jan <op zijn vader> heeft <*op zijn vader> gewacht <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan     for his father  has  waited

The examples in (43) illustrate the same thing for cases with three verbs in which the auxiliary is an infinitive. Although the past participle gelezen'read' may be placed in several positions in the verb cluster, the prepositional object must either precede or follow the complete verb cluster; the prepositional object cannot occur in the positions marked by <*> or <%>.

Example 43
a. dat Jan <op zijn vader> gewacht <*> moet <*> hebben <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan  for his father  waited  must  have
  'that Jan must have waited for his father.'
b. dat Jan <op zijn vader> moet <%> gewacht <*> hebben <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan    for his father  must  waited  have
c. dat Jan <op zijn vader> moet <*> hebben <*> gewacht <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan    for his father  must  have waited

Since the order of the verb cluster in (43b) is acceptable in the southern varieties of Dutch, we expect again that speakers of these varieties will allow the word order marked by the percentage sign. The judgments of our southern informants again vary: some indicate that they would not use it, whereas others indicate that they fully accept this word order. Observe that permeation of the verb cluster is only possible if the prepositional object precedes the main verb: placement of the PP immediately after the main verb in (43b) is categorically excluded.
      Example (44), finally, gives a similar case with three verbs in which the auxiliary is finite. Although the infinitival verb lezen can only occur at the end of the verb cluster, the northern varieties of Dutch require that prepositional objects either precede or follow the verb cluster as a whole; they cannot permeate the verb cluster.

Example 44
dat Jan <op zijn vader> heeft <%> moeten <%> wachten <op zijn vader>.
  that  Jan    for his father   has  must  wait
'that Jan has had to wait for his father.'

The percentage signs between angled brackets in (44) indicate that, as in the case of indefinite noun phrases, our southern informants do accept permeation of the verb cluster; they disagree with respect to the question as to whether the prepositional object must be adjacent to the main verb—most of them require this, but one speaker prefers the position preceding moeten.

[+]  C.  Object clauses

Object clauses differ from nominal and prepositional objects in that they obligatorily follow the main verb in clause-final position; examples such as (45b) are possible but trigger a so-called factive interpretation on the embedded clause; cf. Section 5.1.2.3. In what follows we will ignore such factive clauses.

Example 45
a. dat Jan zei [dat hij niet komt].
  that  Jan said   that  he  not  comes
  'that Jan said that he wonʼt come.'
b. # dat Jan [dat hij niet komt] zei.
  that  Jan [that he not comes]  said

Like nominal and prepositional objects, object clauses never permeate the verb cluster, which means that object clauses can only follow the verb cluster as a whole. The examples in (42) illustrate this for cases with two verbs, that is, a perfect auxiliary and a main verb in the form of a past participle; the positions that do not accept the object clause are marked by <*>.

Example 46
a. dat Jan <*> gezegd <*> heeft [dat hij niet komt].
  that  Jan  said  has   that  he  not  comes
  'that Jan has said that he wonʼt come.'
b. dat Jan <*> heeft <*> gezegd [dat hij niet komt].
  that  Jan  has  said   that  he  not  comes

Example (47) provides similar cases with verb clusters of three verbs; placement of the object clause into any position further to the left will give rise to an unacceptable result.

Example 47
a. dat Jan <gezegd> moet <gezegd> hebben <gezegd> [dat hij niet komt].
  that  Jan    said  must  have  that  he  not  comes
  'that Jan had to have said that he wonʼt come.'
b. dat Jan heeft moeten zeggen [dat hij niet komt].
  that  Jan  has  must  say   that  he  not  comes
  'that Jan has had to say that he wonʼt come.'
[+]  D.  Complementives and verbal particles

Complementives have a similar distribution as nominal objects. First, they must precede the main verb; cf. dat Els het hek <oranje> verft <*oranje>'that Els is painting the gate orange'. Second, complementives normally cannot permeate the verb cluster in the northern varieties of Dutch; see below for a more precise formulation of this claim. As a result, complementives normally precede the verb cluster as a whole. The examples in (48) illustrate this for cases with two verbs, that is, a perfect auxiliary and a main verb in the form of a past participle.

Example 48
a. dat Els het hek oranje geverfd heeft.
  that  Els the gate  orange  painted  has
  'that Els has painted the gate orange.'
b. dat Els het hek <oranje> heeft <*oranje> geverfd.
  that  Els the gate  orange  has  painted

      The examples in (49) illustrate the same thing for cases with three verbs in which the auxiliary is an infinitive: although the northern varieties of Dutch allow the past participle ge verfd'painted' in several positions, the complementive must precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 49
a. dat Els het hek <oranje> geverfd zou hebben.
  that  Els the gate    orange  painted  would  have
  'that Els would have painted the gate orange.'
b. dat Els het hek <oranje> zou <%oranje> geverfd hebben.
  that  Els the gate    orange  would  painted  have
c. dat Els het hek <oranje> zou <*oranje> hebben <*oranje> geverfd.
  that  Els the gate    orange  would  have  painted

Given that the southern varieties of Dutch allow the order of the verb cluster in (49b), we expect them also to allow the word order marked by the percentage sign, and our southern informants indeed unanimously accept this order.
      Example (50), finally, provides a similar case with three verbs in which the auxiliary is a finite verb. Although the infinitival verb verven'to paint' can only occur at the end of the verb cluster, speakers of the northern varieties of Dutch require that the complementive precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 50
dat Els het hek <oranje> heeft <*oranje> moeten <%oranje> verven.
  that  Els the gate    orange  has  must  paint
'that Els has had to paint the gate orange.'

Our southern informants accept permeation of the verb cluster in constructions of this type without any problem, although they vary a little with respect to whether the complementive must be adjacent to the main verb; most speakers require this, but there is one speaker who merely prefers this and thus also accepts the order in (50) marked by an asterisk.
      Section 2.2 has argued that verbal particles can also be considered complementives, and we therefore expect them to have the same distribution as the adjectival complementive oranje in the examples above. This is indeed borne out insofar as they must precede the main verb: cf. dat Peter zijn moeder <op> belt <*op>'that Peter is phoning his mother'. However, unlike adjectival complementives, the northern varieties of Dutch allow verbal particles to permeate the verb cluster. This is illustrated in (51b).

Example 51
a. dat Peter zijn moeder op gebeld heeft.
  that  Peter his mother  prt.  called  has
  'that Peter has phoned his mother.'
b. dat Peter zijn moeder <op> heeft <op> gebeld.
  that  Peter his mother   prt.  has phoned

That verbal particles may permeate the verb cluster is also clear from the examples in (52b-c) and (53)—although speakers may have different preferences, all orders indicated seem to be acceptable; cf. Bennis (1992) and Koopman (1995). Note, however, that some speakers consider the orders marked by a question mark within parentheses less felicitous, which is reminiscent of the fact that most southern speakers of Dutch allow permeation of the verb cluster only when the adjectival complementive is adjacent to the main verb; see the discussion of (50) above.

Example 52
a. dat Peter zijn moeder <op> gebeld zou hebben.
  that  Peter his mother    prt.  called  would  have
  'that Peter would have phoned his mother'
b. dat Peter zijn moeder <op> zou <op> gebeld hebben.
  that  Peter his mother    prt.  would  called  have
c. dat Peter zijn moeder <op> zou <(?)op> hebben <op> gebeld.
  that  Peter his mother   prt.  would  have  called
Example 53
dat Peter zijn moeder <op> heeft <(?)op> moeten <op> bellen.
  that  Peter his mother    prt.  has  must  call
'that Peter has had to phone his mother.'

      The contrast between examples with an adjectival complementive and with a verbal particle is perhaps not as surprising as one might think at first sight, given that some speakers of the northern variety do allow adjectival complementives to permeate verb clusters if they consist of a single syllable: many of the orders marked as unacceptable in (48) to (50) greatly improve if we replace the polysyllabic adjective oranje'orange' by the monosyllabic adjective geel'yellow'. Although the orders marked with a question mark within parentheses sometimes trigger a negative response, many speakers accept all orders as acceptable.

Example 54
a. dat Els het hek <geel> heeft <geel> geverfd.
  that  Els the gate   yellow  has  painted
  'that Els has painted the gate yellow.'
b. dat Els het hek <geel> zou <(?)geel> geverfd hebben.
  that  Els the gate   yellow  would  painted  have
b'. dat Els het hek <geel> zou <(?)geel> hebben <geel> geverfd.
  that  Els the gate   yellow  would  have  painted
  'that Els would have painted the gate yellow.'
c. dat Els het hek <geel> heeft <(?)geel> moeten <geel> verven.
  that  Els the gate   yellow  has  must  paint
  'that Els has had to paint the gate yellow.'

Speaker judgments seem to diverge more on verb clusters containing more than three verbs. Whereas Bennis (1992) claims that particles may be placed in any position in the verb cluster in (55a) as long as they precede the main verb, Koopman (1995) does not accept the placement indicated by %. A similar divergence of judgments arises concerning examples such as (55b) with complementives.

Example 55
a. dat ik Els de dokter <op> heb <op> willen <%op> laten <op> bellen.
  that  Els the doctor    up  have  want  let  phone
  'that Iʼve wanted to let Els call up the doctor.'
b. dat Els het hek <geel> heeft <geel> moeten <%geel> laten <geel> verven.
  that  Els the gate yellow has  must  let  paint
  'that Els has had to have the gate painted yellow.'
[+]  E.  Nouns in N + V collocations

The nominal part of N + V collocations like paardrijden'to ride a horse' and pianospelen'to play the piano' may also permeate verb clusters. The placement options for the noun are more or lesss the same as for particles and monosyllabic complementives. In clusters with three verbs the noun may occur anywhere in the cluster as long as it precedes the main verb, although some speakers seem to disprefer the word orders marked with a question mark within parentheses.

Example 56
a. dat Els <paard> heeft <paard> gereden.
  that  Els    horse  has  ridden
  'that Els has ridden a horse.'
b. dat Els <paard> zou <paard> gereden hebben.
  that  Els    horse  would  ridden  have
b'. dat Els <paard> zou <(?)paard> hebben <paard> gereden.
  that  Els    horse  would  have  ridden
  'that Els would have ridden a horse.'
c. dat Els <paard> had <(?)paard> willen <paard> rijden.
  that  Els    horse  had  want  ride
  'that Els had wanted to come riding a horse.'

Judgments again diverge in clusters of more than three verbs; some speakers allow all orders, whereas some speakers do not accept the placement indicated by %.

Example 57
dat Els <paard> had <paard> willen <%paard> komen <paard> rijden.
  that  Els    horse  had  want come  play
'that Els would have wanted to come ride a horse.'
[+]  F.  Manner adverbs

Manner adverbs also seem to be part of the lexical projection of the main verb. Like nominal arguments, they must precede the main verb: dat Marie <snel> vertrok <*snel> 'that Marie left quickly'. The northern varieties of Dutch have the additional restriction that manner adverbs never permeate the clause-final verb cluster, which means that they can only precede the verb cluster as a whole. The examples in (58) illustrate this for cases with two verbs, that is, a perfect auxiliary and a main verb in the form of a past participle.

Example 58
a. dat Marie snel vertrokken is.
part-aux order
  that  Marie quickly  left  is
  'that Marie has left quickly.'
b. dat Marie <snel> is <*snel> vertrokken.
aux-part order
  that  Marie quickly  is  left

The examples in (59) illustrate the same thing for cases with three verbs in which the auxiliary is an infinitive: although the northern varieties of Dutch allow the past participle vertrokken'left' in several positions, the manner adverb must precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 59
a. dat Marie snel vertrokken moet zijn.
  that  Marie quickly  left  must  be
  'that Marie must have left quickly.'
b. dat Marie <snel> moet <%snel> vertrokken zijn.
  that  Marie quickly  must  left  be
c. dat Marie <snel> moet <*snel> zijn <*snel> vertrokken.
  that  Marie quickly  must  be  left

As in the earlier cases, we expect our southern informants to accept permeation of the verb cluster, provided that the manner adverb is adjacent to the main verb; the word order option marked by a percentage sign is, however, reported to be marked if acceptable at all.
      Example (60) provides a similar case with three verbs in which the auxiliary is a finite verb. Although the infinitival verb vertrekken can only occur at the end of the verb cluster, speakers of the northern varieties of Dutch require that the manner adverb precede the verb cluster as a whole.

Example 60
dat Marie <snel> heeft <*snel> moeten <%snel> vertrekken.
  that  Marie quickly  has  must  leave
'that Marie has had to leave quickly.'

Most of our Flemish informants again indicate that, as expected by now, permeation of the verb cluster is acceptable provided that the manner adverb is adjacent to the main verb; see also Haegeman & van Riemsdijk (1986:443) for similar examples with the negative adverb nie'not' from West-Flemish. One informant prefers the order marked with an asterisk.

[+]  VI.  Some generalizations

The previous subsections have discussed perfect-tense constructions, that is, constructions that contain a perfect auxiliary (Subsection I). The perfect auxiliary can be hebben'to have' or zijn'to be' and the choice between them depends on the type of verb they govern: the auxiliary zijn is used with atelic unaccusative verbs, and hebben with all other verbs (Subsection II). The verb governed by the perfect auxiliary appears as a past participle provided that it does not govern some other verb itself; if it does, it surfaces as an infinitive, the IPP-effect (see Subsection III and Subsection IV). The auxiliary and the verb it governs can be part of a larger verb cluster. The word order in such sequences is determined by the two constraints in (61a&b), which apply in the fashion indicated in (61c).

Example 61
Word order in the Dutch clause-final verb cluster:
a. A verb Vn-1 that is governed by a verb Vn, follows Vn in the clause-final verb cluster: Vn - Vn-1 ...... V2 - V1.
b. If the verb governed by the perfect auxiliary has the form of a past participle, it precedes at least one verb in the clausal verb cluster.
c. Constraint (61b) obligatorily/optionally overrides constraint (61a).

      The statement in (61c) is given in two forms in order to account for the fact that there are at least two varieties of Dutch: one in which the past participle is never last and one in which it can be last in the verb cluster. The former system is derived if constraint (61b) obligatorily overrides constraint (61a), as this will require that the participle precede at least one verb in the clause-final verb cluster. The latter system is derived if constraint (61b) only optionally overrides constraint (61b): we will show below that this results in the Standard IPP-effect, constraint (61b) is satisfied vacuously, and the order of the verbs in the clause-final verb cluster is fully determined by the constraint in (61a) as a result; this derives the descriptive generalization in (32) from Subsection IV, repeated here as (62), according to which there is only one acceptable order in sequences of three (or more) verbs.

Example 62
Order of aux perfect - V non-finite - V main
a. auxfinite - Vnon-finite - Vmain (heeft moeten lezen)
b. * auxfinite - Vmain - Vnon-finite (heeft lezen moeten)
c. * Vmain - auxfinite - Vnon-finite (lezen heeft moeten)
d. * Vnon-finite - auxfinite - Vmain (moeten heeft lezen)
e. * Vnon-finite - Vmain - auxfinite (moeten lezen heeft)
f. * Vmain - Vnon-finite - auxfinite (lezen moeten heeft)

The Standard Dutch version of (61c), according to which constraint (61b) optionally overrides constraint (61a), applies in perfect-tense constructions with a past participle and derives descriptive generalization (26) from Subsection IV, repeated here as (63). Constraint (61a) determines the order of all verbs with the exception of the past participle, which, consequently, is allowed to precede the auxiliary or any other verb in the verb cluster.

Example 63
Order of Vn - aux perfect - V main in varieties with the aux - part order
a. dat ..... <Part> auxfinite <Part>
b. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> auxinf <Part>
c. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf <Part>
d. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf <Part>
e. etc.

The varieties of Dutch that do not allow the aux-part order take the more strict version of constraint (61c), according to which constraint (61b) must overrule constraint (61a). Note that this may not be sufficient to provide a full account of the variation found in Dutch since there are also varieties of Dutch that select an even smaller subset of the options in (64); see the discussion of Table (24). This might be accounted for by assuming that these varieties are subject to yet another constraint, namely, that the participle must (or must not) be adjacent to the auxiliary.

Example 64
Order of Vn - Aux perfect - V main in varieties without the aux - part order
a. dat ..... Part auxfinite
b. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> auxinf
c. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf
d. dat ..... <Part> Vfinite <Part> Vinf <Part> Vinf <Part> auxinf
e. etc.

      Subsection V concluded by showing that the lexical projection of the main verb can be discontinuous: the perfect auxiliary (as well as other verbs in the verb cluster) may separate the main verb from various types of constituents that can be assumed to originate within its lexical projection: internal arguments, complementives (including verbal particles) and VP-adjuncts. The precise position of these elements depends on two parameters. The first parameter can be independently established and relates to whether the constituent in question precedes or follows the main verb in clause-final position. The second parameter involves the question as to whether the constituent can permeate the verb cluster. In tandem, these two parameters determine whether the constituent in question precedes, follows or may permeate the verb cluster (if the main verb is in such a position that this would not clash with the first parameter). The result for the northern varieties of Dutch is given in (65).

Example 65
Clause splitting in the northern varieties of Standard Dutch
  left/rightof V permeation of verb cluster verb cluster
      precedes permeates follows
direct object left +
PP-object left/right + +
clausal object right +
complementive left + (monosyllabic)
— (polysyllabic)
+
+

+

particle left + + +
VP-adverb left +

For the southern varieties of Dutch we can put together a similar table, which differs in that more constituent types can permeate the verb cluster. Note that this table is not entirely accurate: we should add the additional constraint that constituents permeating the verb cluster are normally adjacent to the main verb. Note further that we have somewhat idealized the data by abstracting away from (i) the individual variation in the judgments of our southern informants, and (ii) the fact that southern speakers seem to be less inclined to accept permeation of the verb cluster if the main verb is a participle, that is, in sequences like moet gelezen hebben'must read have' (Vfinite - Vpart - auxinf). Acceptability judgments of speakers of the southern varieties of Dutch exhibit a great deal of variation which, of course, deserves a more careful investigation than we can deliver here.

Example 66
Clause splitting in the southern varieties of Dutch
  left/rightof V permeation of verb cluster verb cluster
      precedes permeates follows
direct object left + (indefinite) + + (indef.)
PP-object left/right + + + +
clausal object right +
complementive left + + +
particle left + + +
VP-adverb left + + +

[+]  VII.  How to recognize perfect auxiliaries?

The verbs hebben'to have' and zijn'to be' can be used in various other constructions as well. The examples in (67) show that zijn can also be used as a copular verb, that is, with a complementive; see Section N8.2, Section A6.2 and Section P4.2 for discussion of the three subtypes in (67).

Example 67
a. Jan is aardig.
  Jan is nice
b. Jan is leraar.
  Jan is teacher
  'Jan is a teacher.'
c. Jan is in de tuin.
  Jan is in the garden

The verb hebben can also be used as a main verb, as in (68a), or as a semi-copular verb in constructions such as (68b), in which it alternates with verbs like krijgen and houden; See Section 2.1.4 and Section A6.2.1, sub I, for a discussion of, respectively, main verb and semi-copular verb hebben.

Example 68
a. Jan heeft een nieuwe auto.
  Jan has  a new car
b. Hij heeft het raam open.
  he  has  the window  open
b'. Hij houdt het raam open.
  he  keeps the window  open

Generally speaking, it will not be difficult to distinguish the perfect auxiliaries hebben and zijn from the uses of hebben and zijn in (67) and (68). The auxiliaries are always accompanied by a dependent main verb, while the main verbs hebben and zijn can occur without any other verb. It should be kept in mind, however, that adjectival complementives in (semi-)copular constructions may have the form of a participle. Such cases can be semantically distinguished from perfect-tense constructions in that they do not refer to completed past eventualities but to states. Furthermore, for northern speakers of Dutch past participles differ syntactically from adjectival complementives in that they may follow the verb zijn/hebben; see Section A9 for a more detailed discussion of adjectival participles.

Example 69
a. dat Jan het raam net <gesloten> heeft <gesloten>.
perfect tense
  that  Jan  the window  just    closed  has
  'that Jan has just closed the window.'
b. dat het raam sinds vanmorgen <gesloten> is <*gesloten>.
copular
  that  the window  since this morning    closed  is
  'that the window is closed since this morning.'
c. dat Jan het raam meestal <gesloten> heeft <*gesloten>.
semi-copular
  that  Jan the window  generally    closed  has
  'that Jan has the windows generally closed (all day).'
References:
  • Barbiers, Sjef, Bennis, Hans, Vogelaer, Gunther de, Devos, Magda & Ham, Margreet van de2005Syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialectsAmsterdamAmsterdam University Press
  • Barbiers, Sjef, Bennis, Hans, Vogelaer, Gunther de, Devos, Magda & Ham, Margreet van de2005Syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialectsAmsterdamAmsterdam University Press
  • Barbiers, Sjef, Bennis, Hans, Vogelaer, Gunther de, Devos, Magda & Ham, Margreet van de2005Syntactic atlas of the Dutch dialectsAmsterdamAmsterdam University Press
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Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
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morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
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syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
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This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.