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R-pronouns (abbreviated in the glosses by PN) in Afrikaans can be described as forming a pronominal compound structure which combines a pronominal element with a preposition (which, since it follows the pronoun, could be termed a postposition in such a structure). While structurally a prepositional phrase, R-pronouns may occur, in the case of inanimate referents only, as adjective complements with (i) referential NPs, as in

Hy is bang daarvoor.
he be.PRS afraid PN.for
He is afraid of it.

and (ii) question word NPs, as in

Sy wonder waarmee hy nou besig is.
she wonders PN.with he now busy be.PRS
She wonders what he is doing now.

They may also act as head of a relative clause, as in

Watter voordeel is daar vir 'n mens met al sy inspanning waarmee hy hom afsloof onder die son?
what advantage is there for a human.being with all his effort PN.with he him(self) wears.out under the sun
What does man gain from all his labour at which he toils under the sun?

R-pronouns (with inanimate referents) occur as adjective complements in various constructions. They may be placed to the left or right of the adjective, as in the examples (with referential NPs) below:

Is jy regtig daarmee tevrede?
be.PRS you really PN.with satisfied
Are you really satisfied with it?
Was sy tevrede daarmee?
be.PRS she satisfied PN.with
Was she satisfied with it?

If a question word NP is included, left-placement is required, both for direct questions (unmarked sequence) and indirect questions:

Waarmee is jy besig?
where.with.WH.Q be.PRS you busy
What are you busy doing?
Vind uit waaroor sy ontevrede is.
find out where.about.WH.Q she dissatisfied be.PRS
Find out what she is dissatisfied about.

Left-placement is also required in the case of relative clauses, as in

Dis 'n dissipline waarmee julle reeds vertroud is.
it's a discipline PN·with you already familiar be.PRS
It is a discipline with which you are already familiar.

Disjunctive use of R-pronouns occurs in infinitive clauses, such as

middels om mee jonk te bly
cures for.COMP with young PTCL.INF remain.INF
remedies with which to stay young

but also in the case of fronting, as in

watter aktiwiteit jy mee besig is
which activity you with busy be.PRS
with which activity you are busy

This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in spoken (informal) speech, for example:

Wat is jy mee besig?
what be.PRS you with busy
What are you busy doing?
Ons foon is iets mee verkeerd.
our phone be.PRS something with wrong
There is something wrong with our phone.

The use of the provisional (or indefinite) pronoun daar there is a further factor which conditions disjunctive R-pronouns:

Is daar straks iets mee verkeerd?
be.PRS there maybe something with wrong
Is there possibly something wrong with it?
Daar is niks mee verkeerd nie.
there be.PRS nothing with wrong PTCL.NEG
There is nothing wrong with it.

In contrast, the conjunctive structure, without the use of the provisional pronoun daar, is clear from this example:

Wat is daarmee verkeerd?
what be.PRS PN.with wrong
What is wrong with it?
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