• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
2.3 Clausal complements to Nouns

Characteristically, nouns taking a clausal complement are nouns denoting propositional or, more generally, speech-act content, such as the nouns Fertälster ‘story’, Fräige ‘question’ and Belofte ‘promise’. The clausal complement may either be finite or infinitival.


A noun may take a finite clausal complement. In the example below, it has the form of a clause introduced by a question word (a wh-clause):

Under do Jungere koom ju Fräige ap, wäl fon him die Grootste waas.
among the boys came the question up who of them the greatest was
Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them was the greatest.

The example above is an example of syntactically subordinated indirect speech. Syntactic subordination is signalled by the word order characteristic of syntactically subordinated clauses, with the tensed verb at the end of the clause. Indirect speech is signalled, in the example above, by the past tense of the verb. In the example above, the complement clause is an interrogative clause introduced by the question word wäl ‘who’, in keeping with the meaning of the governing noun Fräige ‘question’. A declarative clause can also be found as the complement to a noun, as in the example below:

Die Ienfaal is mie tou ju Tied kemen, dät uus Bäidene Klavier spieljen lere kuden.
the idea is me at the time come that our children piano play learn could
The thought occurred to me at the time that our children could learn to play the piano.

With certain nouns, it is also possible to use an infinitival clause as a complement.

    printreport errorcite