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Verbs with two arguments
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Verbs with two Noun Phrase (NP) arguments may either be unaccusative or unergative, that is, they may be conjugated in the perfect tense either with wêzebe (unaccusative) or hawwehave (unergative). Unaccusative verbs tend to have an argument frame in which the less active argument is realised in the subject position.

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Transitive verbs may be conjugated either with with wêzebe (unaccusative) or hawwehave (unergative). If the subject argument is more actively involved than the object in the event denoted by the verb, then the verb is conjugated with hawwehave. An example is given below:

Example 1

Jouke hat Geart op 'e holle slein
Jouke has Geart on the head hit
Jouke hit Geart on the head

The one who hits is more actively involved in the event than the one who gets hit. Correspondingly the verb is H-conjugated, that is conjugated with hawwehave. Now, if the subject of the sentence is inanimate, then the verb is B-conjugated, that is conjugated with wêzebe, as is shown below:

Example 2

De stien is Geart op 'e holle slein
The stone is Geart on the head hit
The stone hit Geart on the head

However, it is not the case that a switch from animate to inanimate subject necessarily brings about a change in selection of the auxiliary of the perfect. A case in point is the verb reitsjereach (by hitting).

Example 3

a. Jouke hat Geart op 'e holle rekke
Jouke has Geart on the head hit
Jouke hit Geart on the head
b. De stien hat Geart op 'e holle rekke
The stone has Geart on the head hit
The stone hit Geart on the head

Only a restricted set of verbs changes their selection of the perfect tense depending on the animacy of the subject: normally, this is immaterial. For example, the verb bewizeprove is H-conjugated, regardless of the animacy of the subject:

Example 4

a. Pier ha bewiisd dat it wier is
Pier have proved that it true is
Pier proved that it is true
b. Dit papierke hat bewiisd dat it wier is
this paper has proved that it true is
This bit of paper proved that it is true

Note, though, that in this example the object is inanimate. It seems then that a change in animacy only brings about a change in unaccusativity / unergativity in case the direct object becomes more actively involved than the subject in the event denoted by the verb.

Some psychological verbs standardly have a subject which is less actively involved in the event described by the verb than the object. In such cases, the object must be animate or even human. Such verbs are characteristically B-conjugated:

Example 5

a. Dat is my ôffallen
that is me.OBJ disappoint
That has disappointed me
b. Do bist my ôffallen
you are me.OBJ disappointed
You have disappointed me

However, similar events may also be represented by verbs of which the subject, though inanimate, is seen as a cause. On that view, the subject is viewed as being at least as actively involved in the event described by the verb as the object. Correspondingly, such psychological verbs are H-conjugated.

Example 6

a. It ergeret har, dat er syn fragen sûnder fraachtekens stelt
it annoys her that he his questions without question.marks pose
It annoys her that he asks his questions without question marks
b. It hat har ergere, dat er syn fragen sûnder fraachtekens stelt
it has her annoyed that he his questions without question.marks pose
It has annoyed her that he asks his questions without question marks

So it seems that the choice between unergativity versus unaccusativity depends on the relative prominence of the roles assigned by the verb to its arguments.

Some verbs have two argument structures, one of which is archaic or characteristic of older generations. The verb ferjitteforget is an example of this. If the more active argument, the person who forgets something, is realised as a subject, then the verb can either be H-conjugated or B-conjugated.

Example 7

a. Ik ha dat fergetten
I-NOM have that forgotten
I have forgotten that
b. Ik bin dat fergetten
I-NOM have that forgotten
I have forgotten that

However, the verb is sometimes found with the more passive argument realised in the subject position. In that case, the verb can only be B-conjugated:

Example 8

a. Dat is my fergetten
that is me.OBJ forgotten
I have forgotten that
b. *Dat hat my fergetten
that has me.OBJ forgotten
I have forgotten that

It is quite well possible that this type of argument realisation is restricted to a few constructions, because it is going out of use.

In another case, a verb displays both types of linking, but with a change in meaning; the verb misse may either mean miss or be mistaken. The more active argument is realised as the subject in case the meaning miss is involved:

Example 9

As ik dat net mis
if I that not miss.1SG
If I do not miss that

The more passive argument is realised as the subject in case the meaning be mistaken is involved:

Example 10

As it my net mist
if it me not misses.3SG
If I am not mistaken

However, this type of argument realisation is almost exclusively reserved to the first person conditional collocation illustrated in (10).

Furthermore, what also brings about a change from unergativity to unaccusativity is the use of a verb of activity as a verb of change of location. Consider the verb dûnsjedance. As an activity verb, it is H-conjugated:

Example 11

a. Boukje hat yn de keamer dûnse
Bouke has in the room danced
Boukje danced in the room
b. *Boukje is yn de keamer dûnse
Bouke is in the room danced
Boukje danced in the room

As a verb of change of location, it is B-conjugated:

Example 12

a. Boukje is de keamer yn dûnse
Bouke is the room in danced
Boukje danced into the room
b. *Boukje hat de keamer yn dûnse
Bouke has the room in danced
Boukje danced into the room

These examples do not tally with the idea that B-conjugation is a sign of the direct object being more actively involved in the event than the subject. Note, though, that these examples do not involve direct objects, but postpositional complements. It could be hypothesized that the postpositional complement as a whole is more actively involved than the subject, seeing that the location (the room) undergoes a change from not being a location hosting the event of Boukje dancing to being a location hosting the event of Boukje dancing.

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