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Material part-whole predication

In this construction, the combination of Adjective Phrase (AP) + Adposition Phrase (PP) is predicated of Noun Phrase (NP), and the PP is in a material part-whole relation to the NP.


In the example below, the subject's physical posture is specified in the PP as the material part of the whole to which the predicate applies.

Example 1

Hy is grut fan stal
he is big of stature
He is of big stature

Because of the material part-whole relation, the predicate often also holds of the NP inside the PP:

Example 2

Syn stal is grut
his posture is big
His posture is big

The noun inside the PP must be a bare noun in the case of grut big; it is not accompanied by determiners or adjectives:

Example 3

a. *Hy is grut fan it / syn stal
he is big of the / his stature
Lit: He is of the / his big stature
b. *Hy is grut fan moai stal
he is big of beautiful stature
Lit: He is of big beautiful stature
c. *Hy is grut fan it stal dat er hat
he is big of the stature which he has
Lit: He is big of the stature which he has

This suggests that the noun in the PP does not project to a full NP in this collocation. The PP can be preposed, but the preposition cannot be stranded:

Example 4

a. Fan stal is er grut
of posture is he big
He is of big posture
b. *Stal is er grut fan
stature is he big of
He is big of stature

A similar example is the following, in which the predicate also holds of the whole as well as of the material part. Here the NP inside the PP is accompanied by the definite article:

Example 5

a. Hy is slop yn 'e ankels
he is weak in the ankles
He has weak ankles
b. Syn ankels binne slop
his ankles are weak
His ankles are weak

In this case, the predication can be input to morphology, yielding a complex adjective in which the noun of the PP has been incorporated:

Example 6

Hy is slopankelich
he is weak.ankle.ish
He is weak in the ankles