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NP modification by simplex APs
quickinfo

Simple adjective phrases (APs) are placed before the noun, for example the adjective maer skinny in the sentence below. In Afrikaans, the AP does not have to exhibit agreement with the NP:

Example 1

Hy sit sy hand op die maer meisie se skouer.
he put his hand on the skinny girl PTCL.GEN shoulder
He puts his hand on the skinny girl's shoulder.
VivA-KPO

Simple APs can be placed after the noun in case the AP is quantified over all its values, as is the case with the adjectives vet fat, maer skinny, oud old and jonk young in the following example:

Example 2

Meeste vroue en meisies, maak nie saak hoe vet of maer, oud of jonk, giet hulself daarin.
most women and girls make not matter how fat or skinny old or young pour themself there.in
Most women and girls, no matter how fat or skinny, old or young, pour themselves into it.
VivA-KPO
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The AP is normally placed before the noun which it modifies. This yields an attributive construction. The attributive AP preceding the NP is indicated in brackets in the example below:

Example 3

['n Baie desperate] pa het die boek nimmereindigend genoem.
a very desperate dad have.AUX the book never.ending call.PST
A very desperate dad called the book never-ending.

The AP can also be placed after the Noun phrase (NP). This yields an appositive construction, for example baie desperaat very desperate in the example below. Again, the AP is indicated in brackets.

Example 4

Een pa, [baie desperaat], het die boek 'n nimmer-eindigende boek genoem.
one dad very desperate have.AUX the book a never-ending book call.PST
One dad, very desperate, called the book never-ending.
VivA-KPO (adapted)

In the attributive construction, the adjective restricts the denotation of the Noun phrase (NP). Attributive adjectives are perfectly compatible with negative (such as geen no in the first example below) and universal (such as elke each in the second example below) quantifiers, for the adjective restricts the denotation of the NP to which the quantifier is applied:

Example 5

Dan is Fatima geen dertienjarige kind meer nie.
then be.PRS Fatima no thirteen.year.old child anymore PTCL.NEG
By then, Fatima will not be any thirteen year old kid anymore.
VivA-KPO
Example 6

Vernon Norton sê geregtigheid moet geskied vir elke onskuldige kind wat sy lewe op 'n gewelddadige manier verloor het.
Vernon Norton say justice must.AUX.MOD happen for every innocent child that.REL his life on a violent manner lose have.AUX
Vernon Norton said justice must be done for every innocent child who lost his life in a violent way.
VivA-KPO

The phrase geen dertienjarige kind no thirteen year old child refers in all possible worlds to a subset of the set of individuals to which the phrase dertienjarige kid thirteen year old child refers. In the appositive construction, the adjective cannot restrict the denotation of the NP. Therefore appositives are said to be non-restrictive. Bare appositive adjectives are thus grammatical to the extent that they can co-refer with NPs. Since bare adjectives are not negative, they are incompatible with negated NPs:

Example 7

*geen kind dertienjarig
no child thirteen.year.old
No kid, thirteen years old

Appositive adjectives are grammatical in case they are accompanied by a quantifying conjunction yielding a denotation for the AP as a whole that allows of coreference with a negated NP, and co-reference is by definition non-restrictive. In the examples below, the appositive phrase does not restrict the denotation of the negated NP:

Example 8

a. Geen kind, dertienjarig of te nie
no child thirteen.years or to not
No kid, thirteen or not
b. Geen kind, dertienjarig of nie
no child thirteen.years or not
No kid, thirteen or not

Such examples involve a quantification over all the values of the AP, and this apparently makes possible the type of co-reference characteristic of an appositive interpretation.

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