• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Selection of animacy and case
quickinfo

Some adjectives take a complement of the category Noun Phrase (NP). The complement NP may be animate, as is myme in the first example below, or inanimate, as is it gesangerthe complainingthe complaining in the second example below:

Example 1

a. Dat is my net dúdlik
that is me not clear
That is not clear to me
b. Ik bin it gesanger sêd
I am the complaining fed.up
I am fed up with all this complaining
readmore

A small set of adjectives selects a complement of the category NP. Two classes of adjectives may be distinguished, depending on whether they select animate arguments or not. Adjectives such as sêdfed up do not impose an animacy selection on their complement. Such adjectives assigned genitive case to their complement in Old Frisian (and in its Germanic neighbours), and they still do in Modern German. This class of adjectives may therefore be referred to as genitival adjectives:

Example 2

Ik bin it sêd
I am it fed.up
I am fed up about it

Adjectives like dúdlikclear require their complement to be animate. They assigned dative case to their complement in Old Frisian (and in its Germanic neighbours), and they still do in Modern German. This class of adjectives may therefore be referred to as dative adjectives:

Example 3

Dat is my net dúdlik
that is me not clear
That is not clear to me

Finally, there is one adjective which forms a class all by itself and which selects two complement NPs:

Example 4

Dat is my in protte jild wurdich
that is me a lot money worth
To me, that is worth a lot of money

This adjective selects two complements, one of which is animate, whereas the other must consist of an inanimate value indication. The animate complement used to receive dative Case in Old Frisian and the value indicating argument used to receive accusative Case.

For most genitival adjectives, the use of an NP complement is almost obsolete (though it may be reintroduced as an interference from Dutch). Instead, the use of a Adposition Phrase (PP) is more frequent, as in the example below:

Example 5

a. ?Ik bin my dat feit bewust
I am me that fact conscious
I am aware of that fact
b. Ik bin my fan dat feit bewust
I am me of that fact conscious
I am aware of that fact

In some cases, a different construction may be used. In the example below, the adjectival predicate machtich is replaced by the PP yn 'e macht, and wêzeto be is replaced by hawweto have.

Example 6

a. ?Ik bin it Spaansk net machtich
I am the Spanish not mastered
I have not mastered the Spanish language
b. Ik haw it Spaansk net yn 'e macht
I have the Spanish not in the power
I cannot speak Spanish very well

Dative adjectives have the further property that they allow the dative complement to precede the subject, just in case the adjective selects an animate object and an inanimate subject. If the adjective selects an animate subject, then the object complement cannot precede. This is illustrated below:

Example 7

a. Omdat my dat (probleem) dúdlik is
because me that problem clear is
Because the problem is clear to me
b. *Omdat my dy (hûn) hearrich is
because me that dog obedient is
Because that dog is obedient to me

Adjectives can be preposed together with their complement. The first example below illustrates this for a genitival adjective, and the second one illustrates it for a dative adjective:

Example 8

a. [It toaniel sêd] bin ik noch net
the stage fed.up am i not yet
I am not fed up with the stage yet
b. [My alhiel dúdlik] is it probleem noch net
me completely clear is the problem not yet
The problem is not completely clear to me yet

Adjectives cannot be preposed together with their subject:

Example 9

a. *[Ik sêd] bin it toaniel noch net
I fed.up am the stage not yet
I am not fed up with the stage yet
b. *[It probleem alhiel dúdlik] is my noch net
the problem completely clear is me not yet
The problem is not completely clear to me yet
References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    • Adjectival inflection
      [75%] Dutch > Morphology > Inflection
    • Case - the partitive construction
      [73%] Dutch > Morphology > Inflection > Nouns > Case
    • -matig
      [70%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Adjectives > Adjectival suffixes
    • -s
      [69%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Adjectives > Adjectival suffixes
    • Personal pronouns
      [69%] Dutch > Morphology > Inflection > Pronouns
    • In prenominal position
      [74%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    • Ellipsis
      [74%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    • Cardinal numbers
      [73%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
    • Emphasis
      [73%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    • Degree
      [72%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    • 2.2. Nominal complements
      [76%] Dutch > Syntax > Adjectives and Adjective Phrases > 2 Projection of adjective phrases I: Complementation
    • 1.1.1. Properties of adpositions
      [76%] Dutch > Syntax > Adpositions and adpositional phrases > 1 Characteristics and classification > 1.1. Characterization of the category adposition
    • 5.5. Co-occurring adjectives
      [75%] Dutch > Syntax > Adjectives and Adjective Phrases > 5 Attributive use of the adjective phrase
    • 7.2.3. The adjectival part
      [74%] Dutch > Syntax > Adjectives and Adjective Phrases > 7 The partitive genitive construction > 7.2. The partitive genitive construction and its constituents
    • 1.3.2. Deadjectival nouns
      [74%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.3. Derivation of nouns
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print