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2.5. Absolute PPs

This section is concerned with absolute prepositional phrases, that is, constructions in which the complement of the preposition consists of two parts that stand in a predication relation: in (68), for instance, the locational PP in het doel'in the goal' is predicated of the located object een goede keeper. The difference between met and zonder in (68a&b) is that the first makes a positive statement about the predicative relation, whereas the latter makes a negative statement.

Example 68
a. Met een goede keeper in het doel kunnen we niet verliezen.
  with  a good goalkeeper in the goal  can  we  not  lose
  'With a good goalkeeper in the goal we cannot lose.'
b. Zonder een goede keeper in het doel kunnen we niet winnen.
  without  a good goalkeeper  in the goal can  we  not  win
  'Without a good goalkeeper in the goal we cannot win.'

A note on the used terminology may be in order. The constructions in (68) are called absolute because they seem to behave like the modern Indo-European counterparts of the old Indo-European absolute constructions which made use of absolute case forms: Dutch still has some fossilized relics of absolute case, such as blootshoofds'with his head bare' with an old genitive.

    This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
    A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.