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6.7.AP subjects

Section 6.6 has shown that locational and directional PPs can be used as the subjects of predicatively used adjectives, provided that they are accompanied by the anticipatory pronoun het. A similar option does not exist for adjectives, as can be readily observed from the examples in (290), which contrast minimally with the examples in (277) via replacement of the PP in Amsterdam by the qualifying APs comfortabel'comfortable' and mooi'beautiful'. The examples in (290b&c) show that constructions comparable to (277b) do, but constructions comparable to (277c) do not arise.

a. Jan woont comfortabel/mooi.
  Jan lives  comfortably/beautifully
  'Jan lives in a comfortable place/a beautiful area'
b. Het is fijn [om PRO comfortabel/mooi te wonen].
  it  is nice  comp  comfortably/beautifully  to live
c. * Het is comfortabeli/mooii fijn [OPi om [PRO ti te wonen]].
  it  is comfortably/beautifully  nice  comp  to live

Still, adjectives can occasionally take an AP as their subject in the copular and vinden-constructions, but then the anticipatory pronoun het can not occur: it is the AP itself that occupies the subject position, as is illustrated in (291).

a. Rood is mooi.
  red  is beautiful
a'. Jan vindt rood mooi.
  Jan considers  red  beautiful
b. Rond is praktischer.
  round  is more practical
b'. Jan vindt rond praktischer
  Jan considers  round  practical
c. Zoet is lekker.
  sweet  is nice
c'. Elk kind vindt zoet lekker.
  every child  considers  sweet  nice
d. Kort is mooi.
  short  is beautiful
d'. Ik vind kort mooi.
  consider  short  beautiful

      One might object to the assumption that the subjects in (291) are real adjectives by saying that we are dealing with concealed noun phrases. For example, we could assume that the adjectives in (a)-examples of (291) are shorthand forms for the complex noun phrases in (292).

a. De kleur rood is mooi.
  the color red  is beautiful
b. Jan vindt de kleur rood mooi.
  Jan considers  the color  red  beautiful

However, a problem for this suggestion is that no obvious paraphrase is available for the other examples. Further, comparatives can also occupy the subject position, as in (293), and paraphrases of the type in (292) are again not available in that case.

a. Roder is (nog) mooier.
  redder  is even  more.beautiful
a'. * De kleur roder is (nog) mooier.
b. Iets minder zoet is lekkerder.
  a bit less sweet  is nicer
c. Nog korter is niet mooi meer.
  yet  shorter  is not  beautiful  anymore

      Although the syntactic properties of the constructions in (291) have not been seriously investigated so far, it seems that they have a very limited distribution. Semantically, the predicative adjective functions as a second order predicate, that is, it denotes a property that is not predicated of entities but of properties of entities; see Section 8.3 for a discussion of adverbially used adjectives that have a similar second order property.

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