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Predicative and complementive PPs
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Predicative Adposition Phrases (PPs) can be distinguished from complementive PPs. Predicative PPs can enter a copular construction, as is illustrated below for temporal PPs:

Example 1

De krante is fan juster
the newspaper is of yesterday
The newspaper is of yesterday
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The nature of the relation between a noun and a PP can be tested in a copular construction. The noun is made the definite Noun Phrase (NP) subject of the copular construction, and the PP is its predicate. In case a PP passes this test, it may be regarded as predicative. In case it does not pass this test, it is a complementive PP. The test would identify most PPs as predicative.

Time adverbials are predicative according to this test:

Example 2

a. De krante fan juster
the newspaper of yesterday
Yesterday's newspaper
b. De krante is fan juster
the newspaper is of yesterday
The newspaper is from yesterday

Place adverbials are predicative according to this test:

Example 3

a. De pleats yn Lúnbert
the farmhouse in Lúnbert
The farmhouse in Lúnbert
b. De pleats is yn Lúnbert
the farmhouse is in Lúnbert
The farmhouse is in Lúnbert

Possessor PPs are predicative according to this test:

Example 4

a. De pleats fan Andrys Keizer
the farmhouse of Andrys Keizer
The farmhouse of Andrys Keizer
b. De pleats is fan Andrys Keizer
the farmhouse is of Andrys Keizer
The farmhouse belongs to Andrys Keizer

Theme PPs are not predicative, according to this test. This is illustrated below for the lexically and idiosyncratically selected preposition opon:

Example 5

a. De hope op Domela
the hope for Domela
The hope for Domela
b. ?*De hope is op Domela
the hope is for Domela
The hope for Domela

The same fact is illustrated below for the preposition fanof just in case it introduces a theme:

Example 6

a. De ferneatiging fan Carthago
the destruction of Carthage
The destruction of Carthage
b. *De ferneatiging is fan Carthago
the destruction is of Carthage
The destruction is of Carthage

Theme PPs are referred to as complementive, since they are not predicative and since they 'complement' the meaning of the noun. They can be compared to theme NPs functioning as direct object, which complement the meaning of the verb, as in the example below:

Example 7

De Romeinen ferneatigen Carthago
the Romans destroyed Carthage
The Romans destroyed Carthage

It may be noted that the noun ferneatigingdestruction and the verb ferneatigjedestroy have the same argument structure.

The copula test, as well as other tests distinguishing between complementive and predicative PPs, may fail in specific instances for semantic or pragmatic reasons involving topic, focus, definiteness or heaviness, which will not be discussed here.

The test results for agent PPs depend both on the nature of the noun and on the nature of the preposition involved.

References:
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