• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
Categorial types of adverbial modifiers

Adverbial modifiers can assume a variety of categorial shapes. This is exemplified as follows with reference to temporal adverbials:

a. Miemie vertrek baie vroeg
Miemie leave very early
Miemie is leaving very early.
b. Miemie vertrek ná die vergadering.
Miemie leave after the meeting
Miemie is leaving after the meeting.
c. Miemie vertrek hierdie week al.
Miemie leave this week already
Miemie is leaving this week already.
d. Miemie vertrek binnekort.
Miemie leave in.short
Miemie is leaving shortly.
e. Miemie vertrek nadat sy gepak het.
Miemie leave after.CNJ she pack.PST.PTCP have.AUX
Miemie is leaving after she has packed.
f. Miemie vertrek so gou soos nou.
Miemie leave as quickly as now
Miemie is leaving as soon as possible.

Categorialisation will be discussed with reference (A) to VP adverbials and (B) to clause adverbials.

[+](A) VP adverbials

The following VP adverbials will be discussed in this section, particularly with reference to their respective structural types: adjectival, prepositional and nominal types, as well as adverbs as such. These formal distinctions will be discussed in the following functional or semantic categories: (I) Process adverbials; (II) Agentive adverbials; (III) Spatio-temporal adverbials; (IV) Contingency adverbials and (V) Predicate-degree adverbials.

[+](I) Process adverbials

Process adverbials are mostly adjectival or prepositional in nature, but may also be purely adverbial as in the case of reduplicated forms. Proform alternants may be deicticso in this way and the interrogative pronoun hoe how. A PP headed by met with may be replaced by the proforms waarmee with what and daarmee with that.

Manner adverbials are mostly adjectival, as in (2a), but may also be adverbs, as in (2b), or PPs, as in (2c).

a. Die kinders hardloop sing-sing in die straat af.
the children run sing-sing in the street down.POSTP
The children run down the road while singing.
b. Jan het die manuskrip met aandag gelees.
Jan have.AUX the manuscript with attention read.PST.PTCP
Jan read the manuscript attentively.
a. Janet het die patroon geduldig gebrei.
Janet have.AUX the pattern patiently knit.PST.PTCP
Janet knitted the pattern patiently.
a.' Hoe het Janet die patroon gebrei?
how have.AUX Janet the pattern knit.PST.PTCP
How did Janet knit the pattern?
a.'' Janet het die patroon so gebrei.
Janet have.AUX the pattern so knit.PST.PTCP
Janet knitted the pattern so.

In the following, manner is made more specific, such as instrument in (3a) or means in (3b), so that it is matched either by a general proform such as so in this way or a more specific proform, such as daarmee with that.

a. Jan het die muur met 'n roller geverf.
Jan have.AUX the wall with a roller paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the wall with a roller.
a.' Jan het die muur daarmee geverf.
Jan have.AUX the wall PN.with paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the wall with it.
a.'' Jan het die muur so geverf
Jan have.AUX the wall so paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the wall in this way.
b. Jan het die dak met dakverf geverf.
Jan have.AUX the roof with roof.paint paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the roof with roof paint.
b.' Jan het die dak daarmee geverf.
Jan have.AUX the roof PN.with paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the roof with it.
b.'' Jan het die dak so geverf.
Jan have.AUX the roof so paint.PST.PTCP
Jan painted the roof in this way.

Noodgewonge out of sheer necessity in (4a) and onder dwang under pressure in (4b) are examples of volitional adverbials. In the latter case hoe hoe would be a suitable proform, but not daaronder under that.

a. Hennie het sy voorregte noodgedwonge prysgegee.
Hennie have.AUX his privileges necessarily relinquish.PST.PTCP
Hennie relinquished his privileges out of necessity.
a.' Hennie het sy voorregte so prysgegee.
Hennie have.AUX his privileges so relinquish.PST.PTCP
Hennie relinquished his privileges so.
b. Julius is onder dwang uit die vergadering verwyder.
Julius be.AUX.PASS.PST under force from the meeting remove.PST.PTCP
Julius was removed from the meeting by force.
b.' Julius is so / *daaronder uit die vergadering verwyder.
Julius be.AUX.PASS.PST so / PN.under from the meeting remove.PST.PTCP
Julius was removed from the meeting in this way / *thereunder.

Domain adverbials are usually adjectival in nature, and hoe/so how/so not necessarily good proforms:

a. Gert is medies ongeskik verklaar.
Gert be.AUX.PASS.PST medically unfit declare.PST.PTCP
Gert was declared medically unfit.
b. ?Hoe is Gert ongeskik verklaar?
how be.AUX.PASS.PST Gert unfit declare.PST.PTCP
How was Gert declared unfit?
[+](II) Agentive adverbials

Agentive adverbials are restricted to one or two very small sets of PPs, as in (6a) – the typical passive agent – and (6b), as well as the adverb allerweë on all sides, widely in (6c) or the adjective algemeen generally(6d). Both words may be interpreted as equivalent to deur almal by all in a passive context, and therefore identify an agentive group.

a. Die wet is deur Willem oortree.
the law be.AUX.PASS.PST by Willem transgress.PST.PTCP
The law was transgressed by Willem.
b. Piet het die vergadering (saam) met Paul bygewoon.
Piet have.AUX the meeting (together) with Paul attend.PST.PTCP
Piet attended the meeting with Paul.
c. Hy word allerweë as die nuwe gunsteling beskou.
he be.AUX.PASS.PRS all.ways as the new favourite consider.PST.PTCP
He is considered by all to be the new favourite.
d. Haar voorstel is algemeen aanvaar.
her proposal be.AUX.PASS.PST generally accept.PST.PTCP
Her proposal was accepted by all.
[+](III) Spatio-temporal adverbials

Locational adverbials
Location may be expressed by an adjective, as in (7a), or a nominal, as in (7b), and typically by PPs, as illustrated by (7c). The proforms are waar where, daar there and in the case of (7d) compounds such as waaronder under what, daaronder under that.

a. Dié firma is plaaslik sterk.
this firm is locally strong
This firm is strong locally.
a.' Dié firma is hier sterk.
this firm is here strong
This firm is strong here.
b. Hulle dryf nie oorsee handel nie.
they drive not overseas trade PTCL.NEG
They don't trade overseas.
b.' Hulle dryf nie daar handel nie.
they drive not there trade PTCL.NEG
They don't trade there.
c. Sy motor staan onder 'n afdak.
his car stand under a canopy
His car stands under a canopy.
c.' Sy motor staan daar/daaronder.
his car stand there/PN.under
His car stands there/under it.

Adverbials expressing directionality do not have hier here, daar there, waar where as proforms, but compounds with daar/waar it/what (where daar and waar, as bound morphemes, are variants of dit it and wat what, respectively) and the PP has either a postposition as head, as in (8a), or be a circumpositional phrase, as in (8b). (8c) contains an example of a pronominalised postpositional phrase.

a. Die voetpaadjie loop met die rivier langs.
the path go with the river along.POSTP
The path goes along the river.
b. Die voetpaadjie loop daarlangs.
the path go PN.along
The path goes along there.
a. Die walvis swem die diepsee in.
the whale swim the deep.sea in.POSTP
The whale swims into the deep sea.
a.' Waarheen swem die walvis?
where.to swim the whale
Where does the whale swim to?

Temporal adverbials
Temporal adverbials are represented by an extended range of structures (as illustrated very clearly by example (1)), which are restricted to dan then, or toe then for past reference, and interrogative wanneer when as proforms, e.g. (9a) and (9b).

a. Die beroemde koor het gister aangekom.
the famous choir have.AUX yesterday on.come.PST.PTCP
The famous choir arrived yesterday.
a.' Wanneer het hulle aangekom?
when have.AUX they on.come.PST.PTCP
When did they arrive?
b. Die moordenaar was destyds al berug.
the murderer be.PST at.the.time already notorious
The murderer was already notorious at the time.
b.' Hy was toe al berug.
he be.PST then already notorious
He was already notorious then.

Deictic adverbials may refer back towards the here and now of the speaker, as in (10a), towards the future from the speaker's point of view, as in (10b), while some may refer either to the past, as in (10c), or to the future, as in (10d).

a. Hulle het hoeka/toeka by ons kom kuier.
they have.AUX long.ago at us come.LINK visit.INF
They came to visit us long ago.
b. Hulle sal binnekort hier 'n draai maak.
they will.AUX.MOD in.short here a turn make.INF
They will look in here shortly.
c. Die kat was netnou nog hier.
the cat be.PST a.while.ago still here
The cat was still here a while ago.
d. Die koue front sal netnou hier wees.
the cold front will.AUX.MOD shortly here be.INF
The cold front will be here shortly.

Temporal adverbials also express duration, as in (11a), and frequency, as in (11b).

a. Die nagwag werk deur die nag.
the night.guard work through the night
The night guard works through the night.
b. Hugo verloor kort-kort sy humeur.
Hugo lose short-short his temper
Hugo loses his temper every so often.
[+](IV) Contingency adverbials

Contingency refers to senses such as reason, cause, purpose, result and concession. Contingency adverbials often consist of clauses introduced by complementisers, as illustrated by the examples in (12).

a. Die kar het gaan staan deurdat die brandstof op was.
the car have.AUX go.LINK stand.INF through.that.CNJ the fuel up was
The car came to a standstill because the fuel was finished.
b. Die vissers gaan nie uit nie omdat die wind te veel waai.
the fishermen go.PRS not out PTCL.NEG because.CNJ the wind too much blow
The fishermen don't go out because the wind is too strong.
c. Ons sal die konsert bywoon al reën dit.
we will.AUX.MOD the concert attend.INF even rain it
We will attend the concert even if it rains.
d. Die verkenner klim die berg sodat hy die vyand kan sien.
the scout climb the mountain so.that.CNJ he the enemy can.AUX.MOD see.INF
The scout climbs the mountain so that he can see the enemy.
[+](V) Predicate degree adverbials

Degree is expressed in the predicate by adverbs (13a), phrases (13b) and clauses (13c), as the following examples demonstrate.

a. Marie verlang baie na haar ma.
Marie long much to her mother
Marie longs for her mother very much.
b. Willie hardloop soos die wind.
Willie run like the wind
Willie runs like the wind.
c. Die manne werk dat die stof so staan.
the men work that.COMP the dust so stand
The men work like blazes.
[+](B) Clause adverbials

Some adverbials take the entire clause as their scope. These include polarity adverbials, propositional adverbials, speaker oriented adverbials, subject oriented adverbials, point-of-view adverbials, contingency adverbials, domain related adverbials, speech-act related adverbials and conjunctive adverbials.

Polarity adverbials
The negative particle is nie not, also g'n [[xən]] no, with a second nie confirming the negative where its clausal or sentential scope ends, as shown in (14).

a. Wikus het hom nie laat vang nie.
Wikus have.AUX him.REFL not let.LINK catch.INF PTCL.NEG
Wikus didn't let himself get caught.
b. Ek het dit nie gewaag nie omdat ek bang was.
I have.AUX it not dare.PST.PTCP PTCL.NEG because.CNJ I afraid be.PRT
I didn't dare (to do it) because I was afraid.
c. Ek het dit nie gewaag omdat ek so dapper was nie.
I have.AUX it not dare.PST.PTCP because.CNJ I so brave be.PRT PTCL.NEG
I didn't dare (to do it) because I was so brave / out of bravery.

Wel indeed is used as further confirmation of the factuality of a proposition, e.g.

Hy sal laat kom, maar hy neem wel aan die wedstryd deel.
he will.AUX.MOD late come.INF but.CNJ he take indeed on the competition part
He will be late but he will still take part in the competition.

Propositional adverbials
Propositional adverbials are mainly adjectival, as shown in 1(6a), but their use in the comparative or superlative degree is marked (showns by (16b)), and they are likewise not conventional when morphologicalle negated (16c).

a. Markus werk waarskynlik aan sy projek.
Markus work probably on his project
Markus is probably working at his project.
b. Hy maak duidelik/*duideliker vordering daarmee.
he make clearly / more clearly progress PN.with
He is clearly making progress with it.
c. Dit gaan natuurlik/*onnatuurlik môre reën
it go.AUX.MOD naturally/unnaturally tomorrow rain.INF
It will of course rain tomorrow.

Speaker-oriented adverbials
As these represent the speaker's point of view, they become contradictory when turned into interrogatives:

a. Hy het dit ongetwyfeld/blykbaar/vermoedelik tuis vergeet.
he have.AUX it doubtlessly/apparently/presumably at.home forget.PST.PTCP
He doubtlessly/apparently/presumably forgot it at home.
b. ?Het hy dit ongetwyfeld/blykbaar/vermoedelik tuis vergeet?
have.AUX he it doubtlessly/apparently/presumably at.home forget.PST.PTCP
Did he doubtlessly/apparently/presumably forget it at home?

Subject-oriented adverbials
These adverbials are adjectival, but require the suffix -lik to become subject-oriented, e.g.

Ruan het wyslik besluit om te bly.
Ruan have.AUX wisely decide.PST.PTCP for.COMP PTCL.INF stay.INF
Ruan wisely decided to stay.

Subjective adverbials
Subjective adverbials, which are adjectival phrases consisting of adjectives such as vreemd strange and snaaks funny followed by genoeg enough in the sense of 'rather' or 'quite':

Maja kom vreemd genoeg tot 'n ander gevolgtrekking.
Maja come strange enough to an other conclusion
Interestingly enough, Maja comes to another conclusion.

Point-of-view adverbials
Point-of-view adverbials indicate that the proposition expresses someone's opinion. They consist of PPs with a full set of personal pronouns preceded by volgens according to, as in (20a), or the phrase na … mening according to … opinion with a full set of possessive pronouns, as in (20b), or fossilised genitive phrases, restricted to myns, syns, onses insiens lit. according to my, his, our insight, as in (20c). Myns insiens to my mind is probably the most frequent phrase used by speakers for self-reference.

a. Volgens hom het haar party nie 'n kans nie.
according.to him have.PRS her party not a chance PTCL.NEG
According to him, her party doesn't stand a chance.
b. Na my mening gaan dit nou beter met hom.
to my opinion go it now better with him
In my opinion he is getting better now.
c. Die piesangs is myns insiens nog te groen.
the bananas be.PRS in.my.view still too green
In my view the bananas are still too green.

Contingency adverbials
Contingency adverbials, such as the complementiser tensy unless, have a coordinating function:

Ons gaan môre piekniek maak tensy dit reën.
we go.AUX.MOD tomorrow picnic make.INF unless.CNJ it rain
We are going to have a picnic tomorrow unless it rains.

Domain adverbials
Domain adverbials are normally adjectival and often headed by a past participle:

a. Taalkundig gesproke is dit verkeerd geformuleer.
linguistically spoken.ADJ is it wrong formulated.ADJ
Linguistically speaking it is formulated incorrectly.
b. Dit maak ekonomies gesien nie sin nie.
it make economically seen.ADJ not sense PTCL.NEG
It doesn't make sense, economically speaking.

Speech-act related adverbials
The speaker makes use of words such as eerlikwaar honestly, sowaar truly, werklikwaar actually or obsolescent gedoriewaar really and truly to describe his or her evaluation of the proposition they are uttering.

Ek het dit eerlikwaar nie so bedoel nie.
I have.AUX it honestly not so mean.PST.PTCP PTCL.NEG
I honestly didn't mean it that way.

Conjunctive adverbials
Conjunctive adverbials, referred to as voornaamwoordelike bywoordepronominal adverbs by Van Schoor (1983:116) are adverbials such as derhalwe therefore, daarom therefore, gevolglik consequently, dus therefore and dan then, which link clauses by being topicalised and followed by a verb and the clausal subject, as in (24a). Egter however, as in (24b), is another example but differs from the previous examples by not undergoing topicalisation.

a. Pretty sing pragtig; derhalwe luister ek graag na haar.
Pretty sing beautifully therefore.CNJ listen I gladly to her
Pretty sings beautifully; therefore I like to listen to her.
b. Hy het die geld; hy het egter nie die belangstelling nie.
he have.PRS the money he have.PRS however not the interest PTCL.NEG
He has the money; however, he is not interested.
  • Van Schoor, J.L1983Die grammatika van standaard-Afrikaans.Lex Patria
printreport errorcite