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The definite nominal quantifier

The nominal quantifier does not exhibit any agreement with the partitive adjective. The quantifiers appearing in the partitive adjective construction have the following properties:

  • they are definite
  • they are non-count


Numerals are excluded from the partive adjective construction, which bears out its noun-count character. The definiteness of the quantifiers is clear from the following tests. First, they may not appear in the indefiniteness construction which is characterised by the marker of indefiniteness derthere:

Example 1

*Der is al it nuvers te beharkjen
there is all the strange to listen.to
All the strange things can be heard there

Second, these quantifiers, without following partitive, may appear preceding an attributive adjective within a Noun Phrase (NP). In that case, they trigger weak (or indefinite) agreement on the adjective, as illustrated below, and this is characteristic of definite quantifiers:

Example 2

Al it kâlde bier
all the cold.WA beer.NG
All the cold beer

Only seven quantifers are allowed in this construction. These are the neuter article, the neuter demonstrative, the universal quantifier alleall, and the combinations al itall the and al datall that:

Table 1
al itall the
al datall that
al ditall this
All these quantifiers are definite quantifiers, and the construction as a whole is a non-count construction. Count quantifiers such as numerals cannot occur in the construction. The construction is also revealed to be neuter since al itall the contains the neuter article itthe and al dit / datall this / that contains the neuter demonstrative datthat. Using the common gender renders the construction ungrammatical:

Example 3

*Die moais
that.CG beautiful
That beautiful
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