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Mapping of arguments of intransitive adpositions onto syntactic structure

The arguments of intransitive adpositions are mapped onto syntactic structure in a straightforward manner, involving the grammatical functions of subject, object and prepositional complement.


The external argument of an intransitive adposition, if any, is mapped onto the subject or object position external to the Adposition Phrase (PP), bracketed in the examples below:

a. Wy hawwe de kofje [op]
we have the coffee up
We have finished our coffee
b. Spikerbroeken binne [yn]
jeans are in
Jeans are in fashion

Particles without an external argument are generally found in the company of the verb, never in the company of an adjective or a noun. Such particles may have an effect on the verb's argument structure. In many cases, the particle forms an idiomatic unit with the verb. In the following example, the particle cannot be left out without causing a radical shift in meaning:

a. Jouke skepte op
Jouke scoop up
Jouke was boasting
b. Jouke schepte
Jouke scooped
Jouke was busy with a shovel

However, the particle does not render the direct object obligatory in (3); the verb belje to phone may be used with or without a direct object:

a. Margriet belle
Margriet phoned
Margriet phoned
b. Margriet belle Marie
Margriet phoned Marie
Margriet phoned Marie

Similarly, the verb opbelje to phone up may also be used with and without a direct object (unlike English to phone up):

a. Margriet belle op
Margriet phoned up
Margriet phoned up
b. Margriet belle Marie op
Margriet phoned Marie up
Margriet phoned Marie up

Similarly, the verb afbellen to phone to cancel an appointment can easily be used without a direct object:

Marie belle ôf
Marie phoned down
Marie phoned to cancel the appointment
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