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8.3 Modification of APs by adverbial APs

When an adjectival adverb modifies another adjective, the adjectival adverb is almost always used as a degree (evaluative) adjective.


Consider the following contrast:

Dät is bedrouwed, dät hie nit kume kude.
it is regrettable that he not come could
It is regrettable that he couln’t come.
Hie wol bedrouwed jädden kume.
he wants very eargerly come
He would like to come very much.

Apparently, the adjective's meaning consists of two parts, [HIGH DEGREE] and [SAD]. In its adverbial function, the adjective has lost its literal meaning involving [SAD], but it has retained its high degree meaning. In its adverbial use it has become a high degree adjective, belonging to the same class as aiske ‘very’. Hence, if the idiomatic restrictions on the collocation allow it, high degree adverbs can regularly replace one another without significant change of meaning. So, for example, alongside bedrouved jädden ‘very eagerly’, we may also find aiske jädden ‘very eagerly’. Some adverbs are rather freely used, others may form idiomatic collocations with the AP which they modify. The word gans ‘very’ may be inflected like an adjective, despite its adverbial function, but it is not obligatory:

’n Gansen litjen Sluk.
a very.MSC.SG small,MSC.SG drink.MSC.SG
A very small drink (of liquor).
’n Gans fiksen Käärl.
a very capable .MSC.SG man,MSC.SG
A very capable man.

Gans is possibly an interference from German. The native Frisian word is heel. The first sentence above illustrates the presence of agreement on the modifier, whereas it is absent in the second example. APs of time may also be modified by NPs, as in the example below:

Two Uren tou ädder.
two hours too early
Two hours early.

Here a measure phrase of the category NP modifies and specifies the meaning of the meaning of the temporal adjective.

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