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Preposition stranding and R-pronouns

Although this is a phenomenon in Afrikaans which seems to be on the decline, and is restricted to certain constructions and registers, prepositions can be stranded by R-pronouns, in other words, left stranded at the end of the clause. Where it does occur, it is often marked as rather formal and dated.

[+]Unmarked contexts

An R-pronoun such as waar+oor R+over, which is converted to a postposition construction wat oor that.REL over occurs in cases such as the following:

Example 1

Hulle het destyds gedoen wat ons vandag net oor praat om te doen.
they have.AUX at.that.time do.PST that.REL we today just over talk for.COMP PTCL.INF do.INF
In those days they did what we nowadays only talk about doing.

In the following example, the R-pronoun waar+vandaan R+from is split:

Example 2

waar julle dit vandaan kry
where.R you it from get
where you get it from
[+]Marked as somewhat formal

Examples like the following are not commonly used, and are judged as belonging to a formal register:

Example 3

a. … dat toestemming ook verkry moet word en daar nie van afgesien moet word nie.
that.COMP permission also obtain.PASS must.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS and there.R not from off.see.PASS must.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS PTCL.NEG
… that permission should also be obtained, something which should not be disregarded.
b. Ek hou daar niks van nie.
I hold there.R nothing of PTCL.NEG
I do not like it at all.
c. Maar die wetbewaarder hou daar glad geen rekening mee nie.
but the law.keeper holds there.R totally no account with PTCL.NEG
But the law-enforcing agent does not reckon with it at all
[+]Marked as obsolete

Examples in this category are mostly remnants from earlier translations of the Bible, which were largely based on Dutch versions.

Example 4

Hy het daar nie van afgewyk nie.
he have.AUX there.R not from deviate.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not turn away from them.
Die Bybel, 1953, 2 Konings 13:2

By contrast, in the latest Afrikaans translation, this verse (from 2 Kings 13:2) reads:

Example 5

Hy het nie daarvan afgewyk nie.
he have.AUX not R.from deviate.PST PTCL.NEG
He did not turn away from them.
Die Bybel, 2020, 2 Konings 13:2
    This is a beta version.