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7.4 The definite partitive adjective construction

The partitive adjective construction is normally indefinite, but there is a minor variant which is definite.


An example of a definite partitive construction is given below:

Aal dät uur stommet fon dät Kwode.
all the else stems of the evil
Everything else stems from the evil one.

The definite counterpart is quite a different construction. In the example above, there is the collective universal quantifier aal ‘all’. It is followed by the neuter definite article in the singular. The partitive adjective here is the special adjective uur ‘other, else’. It is neither marked with schwa, nor with the partitive –s in Saterland Frisian. Its equivalent in West Frisian allows both the nominalising schwa and the partitive –s, but ZERO inflection is ungrammatical in West Frisian. The ZERO ending indeed seems to be a quirk of this specific adjective, because a normal adjective does not exhibit the ZERO ending in this construction but the nominalising suffix consisting of a schwa, as in the following examples of definite partitives:

Ik woanskje dät du aal dät Goude in uus koanst. dät ap Christus gjucht is.
I wish that you all the good in us know that on Christ aimed is
I wish that you know all the good in us which has Christ as its focus.
Aal baale jo in hiere Sproake fon aal dät Grote, wät Goad däin häd.
all speak they in their language of all the great which God done has
They all speak in their own language of all the great things which God has done.

Both examples come from Bible translations, though not from the same author. The first example is from Ford’s translation of the New Testament and the Psalms (specifically from the Letter to Philemon), the second is a quote from Acts 2 in a column by Gretchen Grosser that is not thus translated in Ford. In addition, we have an example with a geographical adjective from a wiki-user:

As do keltiske Ienwonere fon Änglound aal dät Germaniske lere moasten.
when the Celtic inhabitants of England all the Germanic learn must
When the Celtic inhabitants of England had to learn all that Germanic.

Note that adjectives in the suffix –sk can take a schwa in an attributive construction, and, likewise, they can appear with schwa in the definite partitive construction. Remember they cannot occur in the indefinite partitive construction, for they cannot take the –s inflection. Definite partitive inflection is the same inflection as the one showing up on an attributive adjective. It seems safe to analyse it in the same way as noun ellipsis.

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