• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Various adverbs and clause polarity markers besides negation
quickinfo

Certain pairs of Verb Phrase (VP)-internal elements may show up in either order. One of the two orders is neutral, whereas the other is presuppositional and characterised by an intonation pattern with two peaks. One member of the pair of VP-internal elements is a polar adverb, usually the adverb of negation. However, the same phenomenon can also be observed with the adverb of affirmation, wolindeed, probably. This adverb often functions as a downtoner, and it has been classified as a discourse particle. An example is provided below:

Example 1

a. In twadde sei 'It sil sa wol wêze' en in tredde sei 'It is sa!'
a second said it shall so DcP be and a third said it is so
A second person said 'It is true, I guess' and a third one said 'It is true!'
b. In twadde sei 'It sil wol sa wêze' en in tredde sei 'It is sa!'
a second said it shall DcP so be and a third said it is so
A second person said 'It is true, I guess' and a third one said 'It is true!'

The example in (1a) illustrates the presuppositional order, whereas (1b) illustrates the neutral word order. The presuppositional order is characteristic of Frisian, whereas the second order is found both in Frisian and Dutch.

readmore

Other elements can likewise both precede the adverb of affirmation wol, displaying the presuppositional order in this way. Some examples are given below, with various types of comparative constituents:

Example 2

a. It lân is dêr sa goed wol as yn Gaasterlân
the land is there so good DcP as in Gaasterlân
The land over there is at least as good as in Gaasterlân
b. Ik wie dochs sa sterk wol dat ik it pealtsje derút loek
I was nevertheless DcP so strong that I the pole R.out pull
But for the rest, I was so strong that I pulled the pole out of the ground
c. Elk wie sa wiis wol om fan 'e tsjerke gjin bewaarskoalle te meitsjen
each was so wise DcP for of the church no nursery.school to make
Nobody was so foolish as to turn the church into a nursery school
d. Okke is sels sa wiis wol en bliuw der wei
Okke is himself so wise DcP and stay R away
Okke himself was so wise as to stay away from there

Dutch allows the neutral (non-scrambled) order with its counterpart welprobably, indeed in comparable examples in case the comparative clause is a sentence, but not in case it is Noun Phrase (NP) or an Adposition Phrase (PP). The following sentence is a complex case in which the adverb of degree and manner can be found before or after a sequence of three other particles:

Example 3

a. No, giet it ûnder 'e minsken ek sa wol net ris?
well goes it under the people also so DcP not DcP
Well, this happens with people as well, does not it?
b. No, giet it ûnder 'e minsken ek wol net ris sa?
well goes it under the people also DcP not DcP so
Well, this happens with people as well, does not it?

Perhaps the adverb of manner and degree may occur in any position in the middle field, but this intuition should be verified.

Alongside wolprobably, indeed, Frisian also has the discourse particle alindeed, which does not have the downtoning meaning which the wol can have. Nor is the use of this particle compatible with the presuppositional word order:

Example 4

a. *Dat liket my sa goed al ta
that seems me so good DcP to
That is quite good, according to me
b. Dat liket my al sa goed ta
that seems me DcP so good to
That is quite good, according to me

This example is quite idiomatic and the discourse particle seems to function as an intensifier with presuppositional content. The degree denotation of this particle seems to be deictic or referential, rather than quantificational. Correspondingly, it may not be accompanied by a comparative constituent in the form of an NP, as in the following example:

Example 5

a. *Hjoed is it al sa kâld as juster
today is it DcP so cold as yesterday
Today is it at least as cold as yesterday
b. Juster wie it min tsien en hjoed is it al sa kâld
yesterday was it minus ten and today is it DcP so cold
Yesterday, it was minus ten and today it is just as cold as well
References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print