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Attributive
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Past participles which have been converted morphologically to adjectives may occur in attributive position. They can be distinguished by various tests from past participles which have not been morphologically converted.

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Past participles of transitive activity verbs may have two readings:

  • Process reading
  • Permanent state reading, characteristic of adjectives
The process reading is generally available, but the permanent state reading is available only for past participles which have been converted to adjectives. An example is given below:

Example 1

De beboud-e terp
the built.upon.CG mound.CG
1. Process: The mound which is being built on
2. Permanent state: The mound which has buildings on it

Morphological negation attaches to adjectives and creates adjectives. Evidence for adjective conversion under the second reading comes from the fact that the use of morphological negation is possible on the second reading, but not on the first reading:

Example 2

De ûn-beboude terp
the NEG-built.upon mound
*1. Process: The mound which is being built on
OK 2. Permanent state: The mound which has buildings upon it

In the following examples, the two readings are teased apart by the use of the passive by-phrase. A by-phrase yields the process reading, which is incompatible with adjectives, hence with morphological negation on the past participle, whereas it is compatible with syntactic negation:

Example 3

a. De troch de eigner net beboude terp
the by the owner not built.upon mound
The mound which is not being built on by the owner
b. *De troch de eigner ûnbeboude terp
the by the owner unbuilt.upon mound
Lit: The undeveloped by the owner mound

The two readings can also be teased apart by the use of a bounded time adverbial such as yn twa dagenwithin two days. Such a bounded adverb is only compatible with the process reading:

Example 4

De (troch de eigner) yn twa dagen beboude terp
the by the owner within two days built.upon mound
The mound which has been build on in two days (by the owner)

An unbounded time adverb such as al jierrenfor years triggers the permanent state reading characteristic of adjectives:

Example 5

a. De al jierren beboude terp
the for years built.upon mound
The mound on which buildings have stood for years
b. *De (troch de eigner) al jierren beboude terp
the by the owner for years built.upon mound
The mound which is built upon for years (by the owner)

Past participles taking an obligatory indirect object argument tend to resist the permanent state reading:

Example 6

a. *In ûnoerkommen ûngemak
an un-happened accident
An un-happened accident
b. *In net oerkommen ûngemak
a not happened accident
An accident that did not happen
c. In my net oerkommen ûngemak
a me not happened accident
An accident that did not happen to me

The permanent state reading of the past participle seems to be a lexical matter, involving also aspects of the meaning of the verb, which makes sense if the permanent state reading involves morphological conversion of the verbal participle to an adjective. Such forms are similar to pseudo-conversion like besibberelated, which have the form of a past participle though there is no verb *besibjerelate.

Note that the by-phrase test and the bounded adverb test do not work with psychological verbs like fernuverjeastonish nor with unaccusative verbs like stroffeljestumble. With verbs like fernuverjeastonish, the subject is not an acting agent (but a cause) and the action denoted by the verb is conceived of as occurring within one moment. A by-phrase is allowed only with verbs selecting as their subject an acting agent. The bounded adverb test is only compatible with verbs denoting events occupying more than one moment on a time scale. Pseudo-converted adjectives have the form of past participles, but there is no corresponding verb from which they are derived. An example is the form besibberelated, which has the form of a past participle of the class of verbs of which the infinitives end in -je.

References:
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