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9.3.2.Supplementive use

Section 6.3 has shown that there are two types of supplementives, which can be distinguished by means of their position relative to clausal adverbs like altijd'always' and vaak'often': supplementive-I precedes, whereas supplementive-II follows such adverbs. Further, the semantic relation these supplementive types entertain with the remainder of the clause differs: supplementive-I triggers a conditional relation, in which it acts as the antecedent (the when-part) and the clause acts as the consequent (the then-part); supplementive-II may give rise to a simultaneity reading or a conditional relation, in which it acts as the consequent and the clause as the antecedent. The subsections below will show that both present and past/passive participles can be used in both supplementive functions.

[+]  I.  Present participles

The examples in (137) show that present participles can be used both as supplementive-I and as supplementive-II. It should be noted, however, that in (137b) only the simultaneity reading is possible. The conditional reading associated with supplementive-II (Whenever Jan is in the library, he is working) is not available: instead, the example is habitual (Jan is always working).

a. Jan zit werkend altijd in de bibliotheek.
  Jan sits  working  always  in the library
  'Whenever Jan works, heʼs in the library.'
b. Jan zit altijd werkend in de bibliotheek.
  Jan sits  always  working  in the library
  'Jan is always working in the library.'

The present participle in (137a) expresses durative aspect, and can therefore be considered verbal; in this respect, it differs from complementives, which are always truly adjectival. This categorial difference accounts for the fact that although intransitive, transitive and unaccusative present participles cannot be used as predicative complementives (see Table 7 in 9.3.1, sub IIE), they can be used as supplementives. Some examples are given in (138).

a. Lachend liep Jan de kamer in.
  laughing  walked  Jan the room  into
  'Jan walked into the room, while laughing.'
b. Zingend ging Jan naar zijn werk.
  singing  went  Jan to his work
  'Jan went to his work, while singing.'
c. Stervend schreef hij zijn testament.
  dying  wrote  he  his will
  'He wrote his will, while dying.'

      Haeseryn et al. (1997) observe that the durative meaning of an activity-denoting present particle can be emphasized by placing the word al in front of it. Another result of adding this element seems to be that the present participle must refer to a continuous, uninterrupted action. This is very clear from example (139), taken from Jansen and Lentz (2002), which can readily be found in recipes.

Voeg de room al roerend(e) aan de soep toe.
  Add  the cream  al stirring  to the soup  prt.
'Add the cream to the soup, while continuously stirring it.'

The construction with al has not been extensively studied, but it seems that it behaves differently in various respects from the present participle constructions in (138). We will not digress on whether or not the head of this construction can be considered a regular present participle, but leave this question to future research and simply discuss some of these differences. First, the participle in the construction with al can be optionally followed by an -e ending, which would give rise to a highly marked result with the present participles in (138); at best, these examples would then be judged as archaic. Second, the examples in (140) show that the al + participle construction can never be preceded by the direct object of the participle, while this seems possible in the absence of al. This is also clear from example (139), in which the direct object of the transitive verb roeren'to stir' is left implicit: it is the syntactic context that makes clear that it is the soup that is stirred.

a. ? Jan kwam een vrolijk deuntje fluitend binnen.
  Jan came  a merry tune  whistling  inside
  'Jan entered while whistling a tune.'
b. Jan kwam al (*een deuntje) fluitende binnen.

Similarly, the examples in (141a&b) show that the construction with al cannot be accompanied by a prepositional complement, while this is easily possible in the absence of al. It should be noted, however, that the result with al seems to improve if the PP-complement follows the present participle.

a. Op alles en iedereen scheldend verliet Jan de kamer.
  against everything and everyone  fulminating  left  Jan the room
  'Jan left the room, while fulminating against all.'
b. * Al op alles en iedereen scheldende verliet Jan de kamer.
b'. ?? Al scheldende op alles en iedereen verliet Jan de kamer.

The examples in (142), finally, show that these co-occurrence restrictions apply not only to arguments of the verb, but also seem applicable to adverbial modifiers; whereas present particles can normally be preceded readily by, e.g., manner adverbs, this gives rise to a degraded result in the al + participle construction.

a. Jan kwam vrolijk fluitend binnen.
  Jan came  merrily whistling  inside
  'Jan entered, while merrily whistling.'
b. Jan kwam al (??vrolijk) fluitende binnen.
[+]  II.  Past/passive participles

The examples in (143) show that past/passive participles behave more or less the same as present participles: they can be used both as supplementive-I and as supplementive-II, although the latter expresses only the simultaneity reading, as is clear from the fact that (143b) simply expresses that Emil is punished often.

a. Emil moet bestraft vaak in de schuur zitten.
  Emil must  punished  often  in the barn  sit
  'When heʼs punished, Emil must often go into the barn.'
b. Emil moet vaak bestraft in de schuur zitten.
  Emil must  often  punished  in the barn  sit
  'Often, Emil must go into the barn as a punishment.'
[+]  III.  Modal infinitives

We have not been able to construct examples in which modal infinitives are used in either supplementive function.

  • Haeseryn, Walter, Romijn, Kirsten, Geerts, Guido, Rooij, Jaap de & Toorn, Maarten C. van den1997Algemene Nederlandse spraakkunstGroningenNijhoff
  • Jansen, Frank & Lentz, Theo2002Braad dikwijls bedruipende. Twee manieren om gelijktijdige handelingen aan te duiden: deelwoordconstructies en onder-constructiesNeerlandistiek.nl
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