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Relative dummy antecedent

Relative clauses may have a relative dummy antecedent. In that case, they are semantically almost equivalent to free relative clauses, which lack an antecedent altogether. An example is given below, in which itjinge that which functions as a dummy antecedent:

Dat er leafde krije sil foar itjinge dat him no tsjinstiet
that he love feel will for the.which COMP him now dislike
That he will come to love what he at present dislikes

The relative dummy antecedent consists of two elements. The first element is either the definite article or the distal demonstrative. The second element is the suffix -jinge, which does not exist as an independent word. The plural form of the suffix is -jingen. If the dummy antecedent contains the common article or the common demonstrative, then it refers to persons. The example below involves the common article, and the antecedent refers to humans:

Dit is dejinge dy't myn hert bewennet
this is the.one who my heart in.lives
This is the one who lives in my heart

The following example involves the distal demonstrative and the antecedent refers to humans. The antecedent is preceded by the quantifier al all:

Al dyjingen dy't har dêrmei lokwinskje wolle
all those.ones who them R.with congratulate want
All those who want to congratulate them with that

If the relative dummy antecedent contains the neuter article or demonstrative, then it refers to non-persons. The following example involves the neuter article:

Itjinge dat boppe yn 'e himel is
that which above in the heaven is
That which is in heaven above

The following example involves the neuter demonstrative:

Datjinge wat wier is wurdt troch de wierheid sels bewiisd
that which true is is by the truth itself proven
That which is true is proved to be true by truth itself

This neuter relative dummy antecedent can take either the relative pronoun dat or the relative pronoun wat, just as the antecedent alles everything can. The plural form of the relative dummy antecedent can only refers to persons, not to non-persons. So the following is ungrammatical if the speaker refers, for example, to stamps from his stamp collection:

*Dêr lizze dejingen dy't ik fergetten wie
there lie the.ones which I forgot were
There are the ones which I forgot

The relative dummy antecedent may or may not be followed by a relative pronoun, as shown below. The first example does not feature a relative pronoun, the second one does:

a. En itjinge ik jim hjir sis, dat sis ik alleman
and the.which I you here say that say I all
And what I say to you, I say to everybody
b. De takomst is it nije, it oare, itjinge dat net west hat
the future is the new the other the.which REL not been has
The future is what is new, different, that which has not yet been

The neuter dummy antecedent itjinge the which is not frequently followed by a relative pronoun, whereas the common dummy antecedent dejinge is always followed by a relative pronoun. Since the plural form of the relative dummy antecedent only refers to persons, it must be concluded that itjinge the which fails to have a plural counterpart.

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