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9.2 Past participles

Past participles have the following properties in the four adjectival constructions. They behave externally as adjectives with respect to agreement. There are lexical restrictions on the use of past participles in the four adjectival key constructions. Note that the forms we discuss below have the form of participles, but they have actually become reanalysed as adjectives. They are also referred to as pseudo-past participles.


Some examples are: gewäipend ‘armed’, geleerd ‘learned’, miswoaksen ‘deformed’, bekoand ‘well-known’, uungebaande Bone unburnt beans’, uutgerekend hie ‘reckoned he > he of all people’, sljucht abgelaid ‘bad-tempered’, uunbedäin ‘unbedone > awkward’, wonskepen ‘miscreated > deformed‘, holich ferslieten ‘half worn out’.

Past participles assign the same thematic role as the one an active verb assigns to its direct object in a sentence in the active voice.

Pseudo-participles are adjectives which have the morphological shape of participles, such as stipped ‘dotted’. Though having the form of participles, there is no corresponding verb from which they have been derived.

An example is given below:

Stipped Göitjen.
dotted clothing
Polka dot clothing

Their behaviour may be different from that of ordinary adjectives. Other examples include: knoked ‘with strong bones’ and koalkopped ‘bald headed’ and sweeriersd ‘heavy-arsed > slow, heavy-handed’. Although these adjectives look like past participles, there are no corresponding verbs such as *knookje or *koalkopje. Compare English high-heeled, Dutch gelaarsd ‘with boots on’. See Van Helten (1890), Faltings (1996) on Old Frisian, J. Hoekstra (1998: 131) on West Frisian.

Deverbal adjectives are adjectives which are morphologically related to a verb such as uungebaande ‘unburnt’. Their meaning may have shifted away from the meaning of the verb to which they are related, or it may be strongly collocational. Consider the following example:

Uungebaande Bone.
unburnt beans
Unburnt beans’.

Here the adjective is collocational in the sense of often co-occurring with the following noun Bone ‘beans’. The meaning is restricted in the sense that the adjective does not refer to burning processes in general but to the specific heating process used to process coffee beans, and the like. Another examples include: wonskepen ‘misshapen’, wonwieten ‘insane’ (originally a present participle which lost its final –d).

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