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Clause complements of adjectives

Adjectives may combine with clauses, such as the subordinate clause in this sentence:

Example 1

Dit is gaaf dat jy jou tesis klaargemaak het.
it is nice that you your thesis completed have
It is nice that you have completed your thesis.

A further way of linking a clause to an adjective is by introducing the subordinate clause by an anticipatory PP, consisting of daarthereit + PREP as in:

Example 2

Sy is seker daarvan dat sy droom.
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While adjectives may combine with NP complements, either directly, as in

Example 3

as ek jou raad verskuldig is
if I you advice owing am
if I owe you advice

or via a PP (expressing the indirect object), as in

Example 4

Ek is dit aan hom verskuldig.
I am it to him owing
I owe it to him.

clauses may also be selected as complements. There are various ways in which such clauses are linked to the relative adjective, for example by means of a conjunction, such as datthat or ofwhether/if:

Example 5

Dit is verrassend dat Kasrils die saak kan ondersteun.
it is surprising dat Kasrils the question can support
It is surprising that Kasrils can support the question.
Example 6

Sy is nie seker of hy net terg nie.
she is not sure if he only teases NEG
She is not sure if he is only pulling her leg.

The clause may also be introduced by an anticipatory PP, consisting of daar + PREP, followed by the conjunction dat, as in

Example 7

Sy is seker daarvan dat sy droom.
she is certain R.of that she dreams
She is sure that she is dreaming.

While the PP construction occurs frequently, e.g. in a sentence such as

Example 8

Hulle is keelvol daarvoor dat leerders altyd die spit moet afbyt.
they are fed.up R.for that learners always the spit must bite.off
They are fed up that learners always have to bear the brunt.

the PP is often dropped, possibly as a corrollary of an informal style, as daarvoor, indicated by the square brackets, in in the slang expression:

Example 9

Hulle is gatvol [...] dat ander voor hulle huise kry.
they are pissed off that others before them houses get
They are pissed off that others get houses before them.

A comparable structural simplification, which is independent of stylistic considerations, occurs when an adjective combines with the PP, consisting of daar + PREPoorover, followed by the conjunction ofwhether, as in

Example 10

nie bekommerd daaroor of hy alles verstaan nie
not conderned R.about whether he everything understand NEG
not concerned about the question whether he understands everything

What is different about this structure is that only the component daar is dropped, resulting in sentences such as

Example 11

14 miljoen mense is onseker [..]oor of daar genoeg voedsel in die land is.
14 million people are uncertain about whether there enough food in the country is
14 million people are uncertain about the question whether there is enough food in the country.


Example 12

ANC-leiers was verdeeld oor of die agente die registrasie kon hanteer.
ANC leaders were divided about whether the agents the registration could handle
ANC leaders were divided about the question whether the agents could handle the registration.

Both finite and infinitive clauses can combine with adjectives, as in the following two examples:

Example 13

Hulle is ongelukkig dat hulle nou die stelsel moet vervang.
they are unhappy that they now the system must replace
They are unhappy that they must now replace the system.
Example 14

Van Zyl is bitter ongelukkig om nie die span te haal nie.
Van Zyl is bitterly unfortunate PTCL not the team to reach NEG
Van Zyl is terribly unfortunate not to have reached the team.

If a clause is preposed, the (compound) topic pronoun daarthereit + PREP introduces the main clause. However, left dislocation of this nature is not very common in Afrikaans:

Example 15

?Dat jy heeltyd al daardie dinge koop, daarvan is ek keelvol.
that you continually all those things buy, of.that am I fed.up
You continually buying all those things, that is what I am fed up with.
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