• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Modification of subject and object pronouns
quickinfo

Personal pronouns can be postmodified by Adposition Phrases (PPs), as in the following examples:

Example 1

Hy by de doar is ús heit
he at the door is our father
The person standing near the door is our father

Modern English personal pronouns rarely feature restrictive modification.

readmore

Pronouns can be premodified and postmodified, provided that they are not weak pronouns:

Example 2

a. Dan is hy by de doar ús heit
then is he at the door our father
Then the person standing near the door is our father
b. *Dan is er by de doar ús heit
then is he at the door our father
Then the person standing near the door is our father

The 2SG pronoun can be postmodified, provided it is not reduced or dropped altogether:

Example 3

a. Dan bisto by de doar ús heit
then are.2SG.you at the door our father
(Lit.) Then you near the door are our father
b. *Dan bist by de doar ús heit
then are.2SG.you at the door our father
(Lit.) Then you near the door are our father

Personal pronouns can be postmodified by relative clauses, as in the following example:

Example 4

Wy, dy't ússels goed rêde kinne
we who ourselves well manage can
(Lit.) We who can take care of ourselves

Postmodification of a 2SG pronoun results in complementiser agreement on the relative pronoun, though not all speakers find this grammatical:

Example 5

Do, dytst dysels goed rêde kinne
you who yourself well manage can
(Lit.) You who can take care of yourself

The English translation sounds very formal, but the Frisian equivalent sounds less so, though it is characteristic of written language.

Pronouns may be premodified by some quantifying adverbs like selseven and allinnichonly.

Example 6

a. Allinnich hy
only he
Only he
b. Sels do
even you
Even you

Pronouns may not freely be premodified by adjectives:

Example 7

*Tûke hy seit dat
smart he says that
Smart he says so

Pronouns resist premodification by quantifiers, which is not further illustrated.

References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
        Show more ▼
        morphology
        • Dutch
        • Frisian
        • Afrikaans
          Show more ▼
          syntax
          • Dutch
          • Frisian
          • Afrikaans
          • Mood
            [50%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1. Characterization and classification
          Show more ▼
          cite
          print