• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Double complementisers and reduction of the complementiser dat to /t/
quickinfo

Frisian regularly features double complementisers. In addition, Frisian displays reduction of the complementiser datthat to /t/.

readmore

Several complementisers such as foarbefore and neiafter may be followed by the complementiser datthat. The complementiser may be reduced to /t/, giving rise to written forms like foar'tbefore and nei'tafter. Consequently, some complementiser appear as doublets: foar'tbefore or foardatbefore, nei'tafter or neidatafter. The full forms may appear in writing either as one word neidatafter or as two words nei datafter. Other doublets include omdatbecause or om't, meidatsince or mei't, no datnow that or no't, sadatso that or sa't, There are also cases in which the reduction appears to be obligatory. Alongside the complementiser doe'twhen there is no alternative *doedatwhen. Alongside oftwhether there is no of dat, but it is interesting to note that the sequence of datwhether appears in the Dutch of bilingual Frisians. The complementiser oantuntil does not seem to have an alternative full form *oandatuntil but the Frisian Language Corpus (FLC) features a few instances of oant datuntil which sound quite acceptable. There are also cases in which the reduction is almost obligatory. Alongside many instances of hoewol'talthough the FLC features two instances of hoewol datalthough both from the nineteenth-century. Likewise, the relative pronoun exhibits the reduction, but not the full form: we find dy'twho, which but not *dydatwho, which. For interrogative pronouns, the reduction is very frequent, but the FLC also features examples without reduction (see interrogative pronoun and the complementiser in embedded clauses). The oldest attested cases of reduction date back to the seventeenth-century, but they are rare. They seem to have come into full use towards the end of the nineteenth-century. There are also examples where only the full form is acceptable. Alongside sûnder datwithout there is no *sûnder't. Alongside trochdatbecause of the fact that there is no *troch't. The combination sa lang'tas long as is semantically equivalent to sa lang asas long as. The /t/ may be due to analogy, or the source may have been sa lang as dat. In fact, this sounds acceptable in spoken Frisian:

Example 1

Sa lang as dat er net komt, moatte wy wachtsje
so long as that he not comes must we wait
As long as he does not come, we must wait

This combination is not attested in the FLC.

[show extra information]
x Literature

More details can be found in Dyk & Hoekstra (1987:7-43), Reuland (1978),(Dykstra et al. 1960) and the references given there.

References:
  • Corver, Norbert1991ExtrapositieModel, Jan (ed.)Grammatische analyse: syntactische verschijnselen van het Nederlands en EngelsDordrechtICG Publications
  • Dyk, Siebren and Hoekstra, Jarich1987Ta de Fryske syntaksisFryske Akademy
  • Reuland , Eric1978Principles of subordination and construal in the grammar of DutchGroningenUniversity of GroningenThesis
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
cite
print