• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Word order in the clause: Introduction
quickinfo

For purposes of understanding the word order patterns within the Afrikaans clause, it is useful to divide the clause in various topological fields, with two verb positions as anchoring points. The earlier verb position in the clause is the second position, which is occupied by a finite verb, a main verb or non-main verb, and is conventionally termed verb-second and abbreviated to V2. The later position is conventionally termed verb-final and abbreviated to VF. It occurs towards the end of the clause, after phrasal constituents (NP arguments, PP arguments, AP complementives, adverbs as adverbials) that follow the verb-second, but there are constituents that may follow the final verb. In the (a) examples of (1) and (2), the finite main verbs kom comes and wen wins occupy the second position (V2), with no final verb, while in the (b) examples, the finite auxiliary verbs het has and kan can occupy the second position, while the final position is occupied by non-finite forms of the main verb: the past participle gekom come and infinitive wen (to) win.

Example 1

a. Die Rand kom onder druk.
[(Clause) Die Rand [(V2) kom] onder druk]
the Rand come.PRS under pressure
The Rand comes under pressure.
b. Die Rand het onder druk gekom.
[(Clause) Die Rand [(V2) het] onder druk [(VF) gekom]]
the Rand have.AUX under pressure come.PST
The Rand has come under pressure.
Example 2

a. Caster Semenya wen die wedloop.
[(Clause) Caster Semenya [(V2) wen] die wedloop]
Caster Semenya win.PRS the race
Caster Semenya wins the race.
b. Caster Semenya kan die wedloop wen.
[(Clause) Caster Semenya [(V2) kan] die wedloop [(VF) wen]]
Caster Semenya can.AUX the race win.INF
Caster Semenya can win the race.

Preceding the verb-second position is the clause-initial position, termed front field / Vorfeld by some. This position is most typically occupied by the subject, as illustrated in example (1) and (2), but topicalised constituents or interrogatives may also occupy this position in main clauses. Only a single constituent is allowed in the clause-initial position, which attracts textual prominence to that element. The middle field is the part between the verb-second and verb-final position. Any number of nominal and prepositional arguments, complementives and adverbials are found in the middle field. There is a relatively predictable order for these elements, with some flexibility as far as adverbial placement is concerned. The post-verbal field follows the verb-final position, and is also potentially occupied by arguments, complementives and adverbials, but with restrictions, such that nominal arguments are not allowed, while clausal constituents, irrespective of function, are usually found there, and prepositional constituents display most variability in their occurrence in the middle or post-verbal fields. Example (3) and (4) illustrate the three non-verbal fields: clause-initial, middle and post-verbal, abbreviated to CI, MF and PV respectively. In example (3a), it is shown that even if there is a single verb in the second position and no verb in the final position, the ordering relations between the middle field and post-verbal field otherwise remain the same. Example (4) shows that the topological fields remain constant even if a subject is not in the clause-initial position, in which case the subject is found in the middle field.

Example 3

a. Dlamini doen ook 'n beroep op die regering om genderstudies in die onderwyskurrikulum in te sluit.
[(CI) [(SUB) Dlamini]] doen.PRS [(MF) [(ADV) ook] [(DO) 'n beroep] [(Compl) op die regering]] [PV [(ADV) om genderstudies in die onderwyskurrikulum in te sluit]]
Dlamini do.PRS also a call on the government for.COMP gender.studies in the education.curriculum in PTCL.INF enclose
Dlamini also calls on the government to include gender studies in the education curriculum.
b. Dlamini het ook 'n beroep op die regering gedoen om genderstudies in die onderwyskurrikulum in te sluit.
[(CI) [(SUB) Dlamini]] het [(MF) [(ADV) ook] [(DO) 'n beroep] [(COMPL) op die regering]] gedoen [PV [(ADV) om genderstudies in die onderwyskurrikulum in te sluit]]
Dlamini have.AUX also a call on the government do.PST for.COMP gender.studies in the education.curriculum in PTCL.INF enclose
Dlamini also called on the government to include gender studies in the education curriculum.
Example 4

Op 'n stadium sal jy die werkboek moet inhandig vir assessering.
[(CI) [(ADV) op 'n stadium]] sal [(MF) [(SUB) jy] [(DO) die werkboek]] moet inhandig [(PV) [(ADV) vir assessering]]
at a stage will.AUX.MOD you the workbook must.AUX.MOD submit.INF for assessment
At some point, you will have to submit the workbook for assessment.
TK
readmore
[+]Position of the verbs in main clauses

A declarative main clause in Afrikaans has a verb in the second position. That verb is the main verb if the sentence has no auxiliary verb, as shown in example (5). If there is one or more non-main verbs in the sentence, then one of the auxiliary verbs will be in the second position, and all other verbs will be in the final position. If there is a single non-main verb, that non-main verb occupies the second position, and the main verb, in a non-finite form like past participle or infinitive, occupies the verb-final position, as shown in example (6).

Example 5

a. Hulle sien Alexander elke week.
they see.PRS Alexander every week
They see Alexander every week.
b. Die boer verkoop die beeste aan die slagpale.
the farmer sell.PRS the cattle to the abattoir
The farmer sells the cattle to the abattoir.
c. Ons hoop op 'n beter toekoms.
we hope.PRS on a better future
We hope for a better future.
Example 6

a. Hulle het Alexander elke week gesien.
they have.AUX Alexander every week see.PST
They have seen Alexander every week.
b. Die beeste word aan die slagpale verkoop.
the cattle be.AUX.PASS.PRS to the abattoir sell.PASS
The cattle are sold to the abattoir.
c. Ons kan maar net hoop op 'n beter toekoms.
we can.AUX.MOD but just hope.INF on a better future
We can only hope for a better future.
c.' Ons kan maar net op 'n beter toekoms hoop.
we can.AUX.MOD but just on a better future hope.INF
We can only hope for a better future.

Multiple verbs can cluster together in the verb final position. If there are multiple verbs, their typical order is modal verb > linking verb > main verb > past tense auxiliary, as illustrated by (7). Also see the discussion of the ordering of main and non-main verbs in main clauses and the linear order of verbs in verb clusters.

Example 7

a. Ons sou gister wou begin terugry het.
we will.AUX.MOD.PRT yesterday want.to.AUX.MOD.PRT begin.LINK drive.back.INF have.AUX
We would have wanted to start driving back yesterday.
[+]Position of the verbs in dependent clauses

Verbs in dependent clauses are consistently clustered together in the verb-final position, and no verb occurs in the second position. The order of main and non-main verbs in the verb-final cluster is similar for dependent and main clauses, as illustrated by example (8). The early position occupied by the verb of the main clauses is occupied by a subordinator like a complementiser in the dependent clauses, such as dat that in example (8).

Example 8

Die aanvanklike plan was [dat ons gister sou begin terugry het].
the original plan be.PST that.COMP we yesterday will.AUX.MOD.PRT begin.LINK drive.back.INF have.AUX
The original plan was that we would start to drive back yesterday.

Finite complement clauses in Afrikaans behave exceptionally in that they often allow for the verb-second position to be retained. This happens under specific conditions. With declarative complement clauses, when the overt complementiser dat is not present, the complement clause has a word order identical to the main clause, with an auxiliary verb in the second position, as illustrated by example (9). This option is widespread in Afrikaans, and is increasing in frequency over time at the expense of the variant with an overt complementiser, which is instantiated by example (8).

Example 9

a. Ons het aanvanklik gedink [ons sou gister begin terugry het].
we have.AUX originally think.PST we will.AUX.MOD.PRT yesterday begin.LINK drive.back.INF have.AUX
We originally thought we would start driving back yesterday.
b. Barnes het gesê [Dale Steyn se besering was 'n groot terugslag].
Barnes have.AUX say.PST Dale Steyn PTCL.GEN injury be.PST a big setback
Barnes said Dale Steyn's injury was a major setback.

In spoken Afrikaans, it is also possible and widely attested, even if not grammatically acceptable in writing or formal spoken contexts, to use the overt complementiser dat with V2-word order, as illustrated by example (10).

Example 10

a. Toe't hulle gevra [dat hy moet oorkom na Amandelboom].
then=have.AUX they ask.PST that.COMP he must.AUX.MOD over.come.INF to Amandelboom
Then they asked that he must come over to Amandelboom.
PCSA
b. Die boer dink [dat sy vee is nou in goeie hande].
the farmer think.PRS that.COMP his livestock be.PRS now in good hands
The farmer thinks his cattle are now in good hands.
PCSA

Interrogative complement clauses with a wh-interrogative in clause-initial position also allow for V2-word order similar to main clauses alongside verb-final word order with all the verbs clustered at the end of the clause. In spoken Afrikaans, the V2-variant of the wh-interrogative complement clause is dominant, but in formal, written Afrikaans the verb-final variant is dominant. Example (11) illustrates the two options.

Example 11

a. jy sien [hoe vaal is die wêreld]
you see.PRS how dull be.PRS the world
you see how dull the world is
PCSA
b. ...sodat jy kan sien [hoe goed jy Afrikaanse voorsetsels ken].
so.that you can see how well you Afrikaans prepositions know.PRS
...so that you can see how well you know Afrikaans prepositions
TK
[+]Clause-initial position in main clauses

The clause-initial position in main clauses is most typically filled by the subject of a declarative clause, as illustrated by (12). The subject is then followed by a verb in the second position, followed by other arguments and complementives, with the possibilitiy of adverbials, after which the remaining verbs, if any, will follow.

Example 12

a. Hy gaan sy boek klaar skryf.
he go.LINK his book finished write.INF
He is going to finish writing his book.
TK
b. Hy het waarskynlik nooit hier gewoon nie.
he have.AUX probably never here live.PST PTCL.NEG
He probably never lived here.
TK
c. Ek het gister lank met Rina gesels.
I have.AUX yesterday long with Rina chat.PST
I chatted with Rina yesterday for a long time.
TK

The clause-initial position in Afrikaans can also be filled by another element of the declarative main clause, only one at a time, in which case we deal with topicalisation. The option of an adverbial in the initial position is quite widely attested in Afrikaans, as illustrated by (13). Adverbials of a range of structural types can occur clause-initially, and are then followed by the verb in second position, with the subject of the clause immediately after the verb in the middle field of the clause.

Example 13

a. Op die hoewe gaan hy huise bou.
on the smallholding go.LINK he houses build.INF
On the smallholding, he is going to build houses.
TK
b. Waarskynlik het hy simpatiek geluister.
probably have.AUX he sympathetically listen.PST
In all probability, he listened sympathetically.
TK
c. Gister het ek goeie punte vir die toets behaal.
yesterday have.AUX I good marks for the test obtain.PST
Yesterday, I achieved good marks for the test.
TK
d. Voordat sy die deur oopstoot, weet sy dit al.
before she the door open.push.PST know.PRS she it already
Before she pushes the door open, she already knows it.
TK

Besides adverbials, objects and complementives can also occupy the clause-initial position. These options are relatively infrequent and quite clearly marked to assign thematic prominence to the fronted clause constituents. As is the case with initial adverbials, the subject will be positioned after the verb in the middle field if another constituent occupies the clause-initial position. Example (14) serves as illustration of topicalisation with constituents other than adverbials.

Example 14

a. Die waterbak het hy regs van die tempel gesit.
the water.bowl have.AUX he right of the temple put.PST
The water bowl he put to the right of the temple.
TK
b. Die haarlok het hy afgeknip nog voor die dooie kind se liggaampie al koud was.
the hair.lock have.AUX he off.cut.PST even before the dead child POSS body.DIM already cold be.PST
The hair lock he cut off even before the child's tiny body was cold.
TK
c. Moeg het die koning en sy geselskap by die Jordaan aangekom.
Tired have.AUX the king and his party at the Jordan arrive.PST
Tired the king and his party arrived at the river Jordan.
Die Bybel, 1983, 2 Samuel 16:14

In wh-interrogative clauses, the phrase containing the interrogative element, such as an interrogative pronoun (wie who, wat what) or interrogative adverb (waar where, wanneer when, hoe how), occupies the initial position of the clause, followed by the first (finite) verb in second position, and then the remainder of the constituents (arguments, complementives, adverbials) in the middle field or occasionally in the post-verbal field. The examples in (15) illustrate some of the syntactic constituents that can occupy the clause-initial position when they are interrogative phrases.

Example 15

a. Wie het die waterbak regs van die tempel gesit?
who have.AUX the water.bowl right of the temple put.PST
Who put the water bowel to the right of the temple?
b. Wat het hy van die dooie kind se liggaampie afgeknip?
what have.AUX he from the dead child POSS body.DIM off.cut.PST
What did he cut off from the dead child's tiny body?
c. Waar het die koning en sy geselskap aangekom?
where have the king and his party arrive.PST
Where did the king and his party arrive?
d. Vir watter toets het jy goeie punte behaal?
for which test have.AUX you good marks obtain.PST
For which test did you achieve good marks?
[+]Clause-initial position in dependent clauses

Dependent clauses in Afrikaans differ in word order from main clauses, with the exception of certain complement clauses that resemble the word order of main clauses (declarative complement clauses without an overt complementiser and wh-interrogative complement clauses in spoken Afrikaans). The subordinator – be that an overt complementiser or a subordinating conjunction – occupies the same position as the verb-second of the main clause. Elements from within the clause can generally not be used in the clause-initial position preceding the subordinator, with the exception of a wh-interrogative phrase. Thus, the subject follows the subordinator, and cannot precede it, and topicalisation of any other constituent of the clause is also excluded. The ungrammaticality of such options is illustrated by example (16) and (17). Also note that in example (17), topicalisation within the dependent clause to the position immediately after the complementiser or subordinator is excluded in Afrikaans, as shown by the corpus analysis of Biberauer (2002).

Example 16

a. Ek kan sien [dat hy doodbang is].
I can.AUX.MOD see that.COMP he dead.afraid be.PRS
I can see that he is petrified.
HCSA
a.' *Ek kan sien [hy dat doodbang is].
I can.AUX.MOD see he that.COMP dead.afraid be.PRS
I can see he that is petrified.
b. [Omdat die somerreën nog nie geval het nie], was die veld dor.
because the summer.rain yet not fall.PST have.AUX PTCL.NEG be.PST the field dry
Because the summer rain had not yet fallen, the field was dry.
HCSA
b.' *[Die somerreën omdat nog nie geval het nie], was die veld dor.
the summer.rain because yet not fall.PST have.AUX PTCL.NEG be.PST the field dry
The summer rain because had not yet fallen, the field was dry.
Example 17

a. Ek sal wil sien [dat ons die Bok op die harte dra].
I will.AUX.MOD want.to.AUX.MOD see.INF that.COMP we the Bok on the hearts carry.PRS
I would like to see that we wear the Springbok logo on our heart.
HCSA
a.' *Ek sal wil sien [die Bok dat ons op die harte dra].
I will.AUX.MOD want.to.AUX.MOD see.INF the Bok that.COMP we on the hearts carry.PRS
I would like to see the Springbok logo that we wear on our heart.
a.'' *Ek sal wil sien [dat die Bok ons op die harte dra].
I will.AUX.MOD want.to.AUX.MOD see.INF that.COMP the Bok we on the hearts carry.PRS
I would like to see that the Springbok logo we wear on our heart.
b. [Omdat die vet van witvis in die lewer gestoor word], is witvis besonder verteerbaar.
because the fat of white.fish in the liver store.PASS be.AUX.PASS.PRS be.PRS white.fish exceptionally digestible
Because the fat of white fish is stored in the liver, white fish is very digestible.
HCSA
b.' *[In die lewer omdat die vet van witvis gestoor word], is witvis besonder verteerbaar.
in the liver because the fat of white.fish store.PASS be.AUX.PASS.PRS be.PRS white.fish exceptionally digestible
In the liver because the fat of white fish is stored, white fish is very digestible.
b.'' *[Omdat in die lewer die vet van witvis gestoor word], is witvis besonder verteerbaar.
because in the liver the fat of white.fish store.PASS be.AUX.PASS.PRS be.PRS white.fish exceptionally digestible
Because in the liver the fat of white fish is stored, white fish is very digestible.

The one constituent that consistently occupies the initial position of a dependent clause in the same way that it occupies the initial position of a main clause, is a phrase containing a wh-interrogative element. In formal (and written) Afrikaans, the word order of the wh-interrogative clause is the same as other dependent clauses, with all verbs in the final position. However, in spoken Afrikaans, and less frequently in written Afrikaans, the wh-phrase is still followed by the first verb, then the middle field, with the remaining verbs in the verb-final cluster. Example (18) illustrates both variants, while more in-depth explanation of the word order variation is presented in the section on interrogative complement clauses.

Example 18

a. Die glukemiese effek beskryf [hoe bloedglukose op voedsel reageer].
the glycemic effect describe.PRS how blood.glucose on food react.PRS
The glycemic effect describes how blood glucose reacts to food.
TK
[Verb-final]
b. Ek luister [hoe praat die mense van oorlog].
I listen.PRS how speak.PRS the people of war
I hear how people speak of war.
PCSA
[Verb-second]

While complementisers are generally absent from finite wh-interrogative dependent clauses, there are cases in informal spoken Afrikaans where they do surface, as illustrated by the examples in (19). In most cases, as example (19a) illustrates, the informal variant lat that surfaces, rather than the more formal dat, as the complementiser in such informal uses. Furthermore, wh-interrogative phrases clearly precede the complementiser om in order (to) that is used in infinitive clauses, as illustrated by (20).

Example 19

a. Ek weet nie waar lat sy is nie.
I know.PRS not where that.COMP she be.PRS PTCL.NEG
I don't know where she is.
PCSA
b. Ek het baie gekyk hoe dat hy wabande kort.
I have.AUX often look.PST how that.COMP he wagon.wheels need.PRS
I often saw how he needed wagon wheels.
PCSA
Example 20

a. Hy weet waar om glase te kry.
he know.PRS where for.COMP glasses PTCL.INF get.INF
He knows where to get glasses.
TK
b. Jy weet hoe om vir jouself te sorg.
you know.PRS how for.COMP for yourself PTCL.INF care.INF
You know how to look after yourself.
PCSA

In both cases with overt complementisers in the wh-interrogative complement clause, the middle field after the complementiser is otherwise unaffected, except for the gap where the wh-constituent would have been if it had been a non-interrogative phrase. All verbs follow the arguments, complementives and possible adverbials in the final position. Such cases provide evidence for the analysis that the complementiser is in the second position and that the wh-phrase does indeed precede the second position if both are present at the same time.

[+]Word order in the middle field

The middle field is the range of syntactic positions between the verb-second and verb-final position. Arguments, complementives and adverbials can all be positioned here. Arguments and complementives have relatively fixed positions in the linear order of the middle field, but adverbials are flexible, and can be inserted in a number of positions, except that they cannot precede the subject, if the subject is present. Syntactic complexity also plays a role, in that heavier constituents tend to be extraposed to the post-verbal position, with the exception of nominal arguments, that are consistently placed in the middle field.

The word order in the middle field is the same for main and dependent clauses in Afrikaans, with one exception that has a clearly noticeable effect on the surface, but is not theoretically significant. A declarative main clause has to have one constituent that precedes the verb in second position, whereas a dependent clause has a subordinator in the second position, and with the exception of wh-phrases that precede a complementiser (dat in finite clauses or om in infinitive clauses), no other constituent precedes the subordinator. Thus, one of the constituents that could otherwise have been in the middle field of a main clause is absent because it occupies the clause initial position, but otherwise, the general patterns and constraints on the ordering of constituents in the middle field is the same for main and dependent clauses. The similarity of word order in the main and dependent clauses is illustrated in example (21), where the middle field is enclosed in curly brackets.

Example 21

a. Die feesgangers het {Oudtshoorn rooi} geverf.
[(SUB) Die feesgangers] [(V2) het] [(DO) Oudtshoorn] [(COMPLM) rooi] [(VF) geverf]
the festival.goers have.AUX Oudtshoorn red paint.PST
The festival goers painted Oudtshoorn red.
b. Hierdie jaar het {die feesgangers Oudtshoorn rooi} geverf.
[(ADV) Hierdie jaar] [(V2) het] [(SUB) die feesgangers] [(DO) Oudtshoorn] [(COMPLM) rooi] [(VF) geverf]
this year have.AUX the festival.goers Oudtshoorn red paint.PST
This year the festival goers painted Oudtshoorn red.
c. Oudtshoorn het {die feesgangers hierdie jaar rooi} geverf.
[(DO) Oudtshoorn] [(V2) het] [(SUB) die feesgangers] [(ADV) hierdie jaar] [(COMPLM) rooi] [(VF) geverf]
Oudtshoorn have.AUX the festival.goers this year red paint.PST
Oudtshoorn the festival goers painted red this year.
d. Volgens berig het {die feesgangers Oudtshoorn hierdie jaar rooi} geverf.
[(ADV) Volgens berig] [(V2) het] [(SUB) die feesgangers] [(DO) Oudtshoorn] [(ADV) hierdie jaar] [(COMPLM) rooi] [(VF) geverf het]
According report have.AUX the festival.goers Oudtshoorn this year red paint.PST
According to reports the festival goers painted Oudtshoorn red this year.
e. Die koerant berig dat {die feesgangers Oudtshoorn hierdie jaar rooi} geverf het.
[(MC) Die koerant berig] [(CC) [(COMP) dat] [(SUB) die feesgangers] [(DO) Oudtshoorn] [(ADV) hierdie jaar] [(COMPLM) rooi] [(VF) geverf het]]
the newspaper report.PRS that.COMP the festival.goers Oudtshoorn this year red paint.PST have.AUX
The newspaper reports that the festival goers painted Oudtshoorn red this year.

The nominal arguments of the clause are consistently ordered from subject to indirect object to direct object in the middle field. If the subject of the clause is not in the clause-initial position, it is consistently at the beginning of the middle field, and not even an adverbial is placed before the subject in the middle field. The direct object is the last of the nominal arguments, when present, while the indirect object, when it is realised by a noun phrase, precedes the direct object but follows the subject. These relative ordering relations are illustrated by the examples in (22).

Example 22

a. Sonder Ouma sou {ek nie die kind} kon grootmaak nie.
without grandma will.AUX.MOD.PRT I not the child can.AUX.MOD.PRT raise.INF PTCL.NEG
Without grandma, I would not have been able to raise the child.
[(ADV) sonder Ouma] [(V2) sou] [(SUB) ek] [(NEG) nie] [(DO) die kind] [(VF) kon grootmaak] [(NEG) nie]
PCSA, adjusted
a.' Ek dink nie dat {ek die kind sonder Ouma} sou kon grootmaak nie.
I think.PRS not that.COMP I the child without grandma will.AUX.MOD.PRT can.AUX.MOD.PRT raise.INF PTCL.NEG
I don't think I would have been able to raise the child without grandma.
[(MC) ek dink nie] [(CC) [(COMP) dat [(SUB) ek] [(DO) die kind] [(ADV) sonder ouma] [(VF) sou kon grootmaak] [(NEG) nie]]
b. Toe het {ons hom 'n donasie} gegee.
then have.AUX we him a donation give.PST
Then we gave him a donation.
[(ADV) toe] [(V2) het] [(SUB) ons] [(IO) hom] [(DO) 'n donasie] [(VF) gegee]
PCSA, adjusted
b.' Hulle sien dat {ons hom 'n donasie} gegee het.
they see.PRS that.COMP we him a donation give.PST have.AUX
They see that we gave him a donation.
[(MC) hulle sien] [(COMP) dat] [(SUB) ons] [(IO) hom] [(DO) 'n donasie] [(VF) gegee het]

One variation on the order subject>indirect object>direct object occurs when the indirect object is not expressed by a noun phrase, but by a preposition phrase with the preposition aan to or vir for. When this happens, the direct object can follow the subject immediately, with the prepositional indirect object thereafter, as illustrated by example (23), although the order indirect object>direct object is still possible too. More detail is given in the discussion of the dative alternation.

Example 23

a. Toe het {ons vir hom 'n donasie} gegee.
[(ADV) toe] [(V2) het] [(SUB) ons] [(IO) vir hom] [(DO) 'n donasie] [(VF) gegee]
then have.AUX we for him a donation give.PST
Then we gave him a donation.
b. Toe het {ons 'n donasie aan hom} gemaak.
[(ADV) toe] [(V2) het] [(SUB) ons] [(DO) 'n donasie] [(IO) aan hom] [(VF) gemaak]
then have.AUX we a donation for him made.PST
Then we made a donation to him.

Complementives can combine with a subject or a direct object, and are consistently positioned at the right edge of the middle field, after both subject and object. They are also positioned after any possible adverbials in the middle field, such that no adverbial can separate the complementive from the final verb cluster. Example (24) illustrates the position of complementives in the middle field relative to arguments and adverbials.

Example 24

a. Vroegoggend het {hulle die koffers in die kattebak} gesit.
early.morning have.AUX they the suitcases in the boot put.PST
Early that morning they put the suitcases in the boot.
[(ADV) vroegoggend] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(DO) die koffers] [(COMPLM) in die kattebak] [(VF) gesit]
a.' Vroegoggend het {hulle vinnig die koffers in die kattebak} gesit.
early.morning have.AUX they quickly the suitcases in the boot put.PST
Early that morning they quickly put the suitcases in the boot.
[(ADV) vroegoggend] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(ADV) vinnig] [(DO) die koffers] [(COMPLM) in die kattebak] [(VF) gesit]
a.'' *Vroegoggend het {hulle die koffers in die kattebak vinnig} gesit.
early.morning have.AUX they the suitcases in the boot quickly put.PST
Early that morning they put the suitcases in the boot quickly.
[(ADV) vroegoggend] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(DO) die koffers] [(COMPLM) in die kattebak] [(ADV) vinnig] [(VF) gesit]
b. Skielik het {hy bleek} gelyk.
suddenly have.AUX he pale look.PST
Suddenly he looked pale.
[(ADV) skielik] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hy] [(COMPLM) bleek] [(VF) gelyk]
b.' Na 'n koppie tee het {hy vinnig beter} gelyk.
after a cup tea have.AUX he quickly better look.PST
After a cup of tea, he quickly looked better.
[(ADV) na 'n koppie tee] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hy] [(ADV) vinnig] [(COMPLM) beter] [(VF) gelyk]
b.'' *Na 'n koppie tee het {hy beter vinnig} gelyk.
after a cup tea have.AUX he better quickly look.PST
After a cup of tea, he looked better quickly.
[(ADV) na 'n koppie tee] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hy] [(COMPLM) beter] [(ADV) vinnig] [(VF) gelyk]

Adverbials are commonly positioned in the middle field, although they can also occupy the post-verbal field, if they are clausal or even of lesser syntactic complexity. Adverbials cannot intervene between the verb-second and subject, and they cannot intervene between a complementive and the verb-final position, but can otherwise be positioned, between subject and object, between object and complementive, and between indirect and direct object.

Example 25

a. Daarom het {hulle na die rewolusie hom minagtend} behandel.
therefore have.AUX they after the revolution him contemptuously treat.PST
Therefore they treated him contemptuously after the revolution.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(ADV) na die rewolusie] [(DO) hom] [(COMPLM) minagtend] [(VF) behandel]
a.' Daarom het {hulle hom na die rewolusie minagtend} behandel.
therefore have.AUX they him after the revolution contemptuously treat.PST
Therefore they treated him contemptuously after the revolution.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(DO) hom] [(ADV) na die rewolusie] [(COMPLM) minagtend] [(VF) behandel]
a.'' ?Daarom het {hulle hom minagtend na die rewolusie} behandel.
therefore have.AUX they him contemptuously after the revolution treat.PST
Therefore they treated him contemptuously after the revolution.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) het] [(SUB) hulle] [(DO) hom] [(COMPLM) minagtend] [(ADV) na die rewolusie] [(VF) behandel]
b. Daarom kan {ek Afrikaans sonder probleme} begryp.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans without problems understand.INF
Therefore I can understand Afrikaans without trouble.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(ADV) sonder probleme] [(VF) begryp]
b.' Daarom kan {ek sonder probleme Afrikaans} begryp.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I without problems Afrikaans understand.INF
Therefore I can without trouble understand Afrikaans.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(ADV) sonder probleme] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(VF) begryp]
b.'' *Daarom kan {sonder probleme ek Afrikaans} begryp.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans without problems understand.INF
Therefore without trouble I can understand Afrikaans.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(ADV) sonder probleme] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(VF) begryp]

If adverbials, arguments or complementives are expressed as subordinate clauses, they do not usually occupy the middle field, but usually go to the post-verbal field. If they are used in the middle field, they are often used parenthetically, marked off by punctuation in writing or intonation in speech. Adverbials that are constituted by single word adverbs tend to occupy the middle field, while preposition phrases are found in the middle field or post-verbal field alike. These preferences are illustrated by example (26).

Example 26

a. Daarom kan {ek Afrikaans sonder probleme} begryp.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans without problems understand.INF
Therefore I can understand Afrikaans without trouble.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(ADV) sonder probleme] [(VF) begryp]
a.' Daarom kan {ek Afrikaans} begryp sonder probleme.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans understand.INF without problems
Therefore I can understand Afrikaans without trouble.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(VF) begryp] [(ADV) sonder probleme]
b. Daarom kan {ek Afrikaans moeitevry} begryp.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans effortlessly understand.INF
Therefore I can understand Afrikaans effortlessly.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(ADV) moeitevry] [(VF) begryp]
b.' *Daarom kan {ek Afrikaans} begryp moeitevry.
therefore can.AUX.MOD I Afrikaans understand.INF effortlessly
Therefore I can understand Afrikaans effortlessly.
[(ADV) daarom] [(V2) kan] [(SUB) ek] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(VF) begryp] [(ADV) moeitevry]
c. ?Ek kan {Afrikaans omdat ek Nederlands praat} begryp.
I can.AUX.MOD Afrikaans because I Dutch speak.PRS understand.INF
I can because I speak Dutch understand Afrikaans.
[(SUB) ek] [(V2) kan] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(ADV) omdat ek Nederlands praat] [(VF) begryp]
c.' Ek kan {Afrikaans} begryp omdat ek Nederlands praat.
I can.AUX.MOD Afrikaans understand.INF because I Dutch speak.PRS
I can understand Afrikaans because I speak Dutch.
[(SUB) ek] [(V2) kan] [(DO) Afrikaans] [(VF) begryp] [(ADV) omdat ek Nederlands praat]
[+]Post-verbal field

The post-verbal field is the part of the clause where subordinate clauses are typically found, including adverbial and argument clauses, but even other subordinate clauses like relative clauses that are separated from the noun phrase of which they form part. Preposition phrases that function as adverbials or as prepositional arguments of the verb are also, but optionally, placed in the post-verbal fields. Non-clausal complementives, nominal arguments and single word adverbs are typically not found in the post-verbal field but only in the middle field (unless they occur in the clause-initial position).

Argument clauses, as well as complementive clauses, are not found in the middle field in Afrikaans. They can occur in clause-initial position, especially subject clauses, although other argument clauses and complementive clauses can also through topicalisation be positioned in the clause initial position, as illustrated by example (27). More commonly, though, all these various subordinate clauses are found in the post-verbal field, as shown in example (28). When subject clauses are positioned in the post-verbal field, the conventional syntactic position of the subject is usually marked by an anticipatory pronoun dit it in the clause-initial or middle field, as illustrated by (28c), and under certain circumstances, the same use of the anticipatory pronoun is also found with object clauses, as shown in example (29).

Example 27

a. [Om te skryf] gee vorm aan gedagtes.
[(CI) om te skryf] [(V2) gee] [(MF) vorm aan gedagtes]
for.COMP PTCL.INF write.INF give.PRS shape to thoughts
To write gives shape to thought.
TK
[Subject clause in initial position]
b. Maar [om so skandelik verlaat te word deur my man] het ek nooit verdien nie.
Maar [(CI) om so skadelik verlaat te word deur my man] [(V2) het] [(MF) ek nooit] [(VF) verdien] nie
but for.COMP so shamefully abandon.PASS PTCL.INF be.AUX.PASS.PRS by my husband have.AUX I never deserve.PST PTCL.NEG
But to be deserted by my husband so shamefully I never deserved.
TK
[Topicalisation of object clause]
Example 28

a. Ons kan mense nie dwing [om getoets te word nie].
[(CI) ons] [(V2) kan] [(MF) mense nie] [(VF) dwing] [(PV) om getoets te word nie]
we can.AUX.MOD people not force for.COMP test.PASS PTCL.INF be.AUX.PASS.PRS PTCL.NEG
We cannot force people to be tested.
TK
[Object clause]
b. Ons strategie gaan wees [om spelers te gebruik wat deur ons akademie gekom het].
[(CI) ons strategie] [(V2) gaan] [(VF) wees] [(PV) om spelers te gebruik wat deur ons akademie gekom het]
our strategy go.LINK be.INF for.COMP players PTCL.INF use.INF REL through our academy come.PST have.AUX
Our strategy will be to use players that came through our academy.
TK
[Complementive clause]
c. Dit het Marzinger 40 uur geneem [om Madiba se gesig op dié fiets se petroltenk te verf].
[(CI) dit] [(V2) het] [(MF) Marzinger 40 uur] [(VF) geneem] [(PV) om Madiba se gesig op dié fiets se petroltenk te verf]
it have.AUX Marzinger 40 hour take.PST for.COMP Madiba POSS face on this bike POSS petrol.tank PTCL.INF paint.INF
It took Marzinger 40 hours to paint Madiba's face on this bike's petrol tank.
TK
[Subject clause, extraposition construction]
Example 29

a. Sy het dit altyd geniet [om dinge mooi te maak en te bak en brou].
[(CI) sy] [(V2) het] [(MF) dit altyd] [(VF) geniet] [(PV) om dinge mooi te maak en te bak en brou]
she have.AUX it always enjoy.PST for.COMP things beautiful PTCL.INF make.INF and PTCL.INF bake.INF and brew.INF
She has always enjoyed it to make beautiful things and to bake.
TK, adjusted
[Object clause, extraposition construction]
b. Na al die jare kan hy dit tog uiteindelik regkry [om te lag oor die vernedering wat hy daar gesmaak het].
[(CI) na al die jare] [(V2) kan] [(MF) hy dit tog uiteindelik] [(VF) regkry] [(PV) om te lag oor die vernedering wat hy daar gesmaak het]
after all the years can.AUX.MOD he it anyway finally succeed.INF for.COMP PTCL.INF laugh about the humiliation REL he there taste.PST have.AUX
After all these years, he can at last manage to laugh about the humilation that he tasted there.
TK
[Object clause, extraposition construction]

Adverbial clauses are found in the post-verbal field, or else in the clause initial position, as illustrated by the pairs in example (30). The post-verbal field can host multiple constituents. It is also possible, especially in formal styles like the academic and religious register, to insert adverbial clauses in the middle field, but then such usage is clearly marked as parenthetical, through punctuation in writing or intonation in speech, as shown by the examples in (31).

Example 30

a. [Omdat geen resepte vir viskoekies in die Kaapse manuskripte aangegee is nie], is dit nie duidelik in watter stadium die genoemde resep se meel aan die Kaap deur brood of aartappels vervang is nie.
Because no recipes for fish cakes are recorded in the Cape manuscripts, it is not clear at which point the recipe mentioned had its flour replaced by bread or potato.
[(CI) omdat geen resepte vir viskoekies in die Kaapse manuskripte aangegee is nie], [(V2) is] [(MF) dit nie duidelik] [(PV) in watter stadium die genoemde resep se meel aan die Kaap deur brood of aartappels vervang is nie]
HCSA
a.' Dit is nie duidelik in watter stadium die genoemde resep se meel aan die Kaap deur brood of aartappels vervang is nie, [omdat geen resepte vir viskoekies in die Kaapse manuskripte aangegee is nie].
It is not clear at which point the recipe mentioned had its flour replaced by bread or potato, because no recipes for fish cakes are recorded in the Cape manuscripts.
[(CI) dit] [(V2) is] [(MF) nie duidelik] [(PV) in watter stadium die genoemde resep se meel aan die Kaap deur brood of aartappels vervang is nie omdat geen resepte vir viskoekies in die Kaapse manuskripte aangegee is nie]
b. [Terwyl die netjiese man sy storie vertel], lyk hy weerloos.
While the neat man tells his story, he looks defenseless.
[(CI) terwyl die netjiese man sy storie vertel][(V2) lyk] [(MF) hy weerloos]
b.' Die netjiese man lyk weerloos [terwyl hy sy storie vertel].
The neat man looks defenseless while he tells his story.
[(CI) die netjiese man] [(V2) lyk] [(MF) weerloos] [(PV) terwyl hy sy storie vertel]
HCSA
c. [Nadat 'n kind gepraat het], kan op enkele besondere foute gewys word.
After a child has presented, a few specific errors can be pointed out.
[(CI) nadat 'n kind gepraat het] [(V2) kan] [(MF) op enkele besondere foute] [(VF) gewys word]
HCSA
c.' Daar kan op enkele besondere foute gewys word [nadat 'n kind gepraat het].
A few specific errors can be pointed out after a child has presented.
[(CI) daar] [(V2) kan] [(MF) op enkele besondere foute] [(VF) gewys word] [(PV) nadat 'n kind gepraat het]
Example 31

a. Die ouers moet hulle kinders [terwyl hulle opgroei], hieromtrent breedvoeriger onderrig.
[(CI) die ouers] [(V2) moet] [(MF) hulle kinders terwyl hulle opgroei hieromtrent breedvoeriger] [(VF) onderrig]
The parents must educate their children, while they are growing up, in more detail about this.
'Formulier vir die bediening van die heilige doop aan kinders', adjusted
b. ...omdat hulle, [alhoewel hulle God geken het], Hom nie as God verheerlik of gedank het nie.
[(CNJ) omdat] [(MF) hulle alhoewel hulle God geken het Hom nie as God] [(VF) verheerlik of gedank het] [(NEG) nie]
…because they, although they knew God, did not glorify Him as God and thank him.
Die Bybel, 1933, Romeine 1:21

In general, the placement of argument and adverbial clauses in the middle field gives rise to ungrammatical sentences (Ponelis 1979:519), as illustrated by the examples in (32). This is categorically the case for argument clauses, but extends to adverbial clauses too, with the exception of parenthetical cases, such as those illustrated in (31), or when the sentence contains an argument clause alongside the adverbial clause, in which case the argument clause will be the one placed in the post-verbal field rather than the adverbial clause, as illustrated by (33).

Example 32

a. *Almal moet tog [dat die private sektor nie verantwoordelik gehou kan word nie] besef.
[(CI) almal] [(V2) moet] [(MV) tog dat die private sektor nie verantwoordelik gehou kan word nie] [(VF) besef]
everybody must.AUX.MOD nevertheless that.COMP the private sector not responsible hold.PASS can.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS PTCL.NEG realise.INF
Everybody should realise nevertheless that the private sector cannot be held responsible.
(Ponelis 1979:519)
[Object clause in middle field]
b. *In toenemende getalle het die mens hom geleidelik in alle dele van die wêreld [om in sy groeiende lewensbehoeftes te kan voorsien] gevestig.
[(CI) in toenemende getalle] [(V2) het ] [(MV) die mens hom geleidelik in alle dele van die wêreld om in sy groeiende lewensbehoeftes te kan voorsien] [(VF) gevestig]
in increasing numbers have.AUX the human him gradually in all parts of the world for.COMP in his growing needs PTCL.INF can.AUX.MOD provide.INF settle.PST
In increasing numbers, humans have gradually settled in all parts of the world in order to meet their growings needs.
(Ponelis 1979:519)
[Adverbial clause in middle field]
Example 33

...die Franse regering het hom [kort nadat die wapenverbod in die V.V.O. goedgekeur is], meegedeel dat ["Frankryk ongelukkig aandag sal moet gee aan die uitvoering van die besluit"].
[(CI) die Franse regering] [(V2) het] [(MF) hom kort nadat die wapenverbod in die V.V.O. goedgekeur is] [(VF) meegedeel] [(PV) dat "Frankryk ongelukkig aandag sal moet gee aan die uitvoering van die besluit"]
the French government have.AUX him soon after the weapon.ban in the U.N.O. approve.PASS be.AUX.PASS.PST inform.PST that.COMP France unfortunately attention will.AUX.MOD must.AUX.MOD give.INF to the execution of the decision
The French government informed him, shortly after the UN approved the weapons ban, that "France will unfortunately have to implement die decision".
(Ponelis 1979:520)
[Adverbial clause in middle field, argument clause in post-verbal field]

Beside argument and adverbial clauses, a number of other clauses can also be found in the post-verbal field, often by splitting them from the phrase of which they are a constituent, as is the case with relative clauses whose antecedent noun is in the middle field. Comparative clauses are also usually placed in the post-verbal field, whilste the adjective that they qualify will be in the middle field. These options are illustrated by example (34). Relative clauses and comparative clauses can remain in the clause-initial position or the middle field, so their placement in the post-verbal field is a stylistic choice (Ponelis 1979:520), motivated by considerations of syntactic complexity and processability, rather than an enforced choice to avoid ungrammaticality, as is the case with argument and adverbial clauses.

Example 34

a. Die hoop is uitgespreek [dat lede goed sal bydra].
the hope be.AUX.PASS.PST express.PASS that.COMP members well will.AUX.MOD contribute.INF
The hope was expressed that members would contribute well.
[(CI) die hoop] [(V2) is] [(VF) uitgespreek] [(PV) dat lede goed sal bydra]
(Ponelis 1979:519)
[Noun complement clause in post-verbal field]
a.' Die hoop [dat lede goed sal bydra] is uitgespreek.
the hope that.COMP members well will.AUX.MOD contribute.INF be.AUX.PASS.PST express.PASS
The hope that members would contribute well was expressed.
[(CI) die hoop dat lede goed sal bydra] [(V2) is] [(VF) uitgespreek]
[Noun complement clause in clause-initial position]
b. Die kursusaanbieder moet realistiese doelwitte vir die kursusganger stel [wat aan die einde van die kontaksessie bereik moet word].
the course.presenter must.AUX.MOD realistic goals for the course.attendee set REL at the end of the contact.session attain.PASS must.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS
The course presenter must set realistic goals for the course attendee, which should be attained by the end of the contact session.
[(CI) die kursusaanbieder] [(V2) moet] [(MF) realistiese doelwitte vir die kursusganger] [(VF) stel] [(PV) wat aan die einde van die kontaksessie bereik moet word]
TK
[Relative clause in post-verbal field]
b.' Die kursusaanbieder moet realistiese doelwitte [wat aan die einde van die kontaksessie bereik moet word] vir die kursusganger stel.
the course.presenter must.AUX.MOD realistic goals REL at the end of the contact.session attain.PASS must.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS for the course.attendee set
The course presenter must set realistic goals, which should be attained by the end of the contact session, for the course attendee.
[(CI) die kursusaanbieder] [(V2) moet] [(MF) realistiese doelwitte wat aan die einde van die kontaksessie bereik moet word vir die kursusganger] [(VF) stel]
[Relative clause in middle field]
c. Die verbruik het vinniger gegroei [as wat ons voorsien het].
the consumption have.AUX faster grow.PST than what we anticipate.PST have.AUX
Consumption grew faster than we anticipated.
[(CI) die verbruik] [(V2) het] [(MF) vinniger] [(VF) gegroei] [(PV) as wat ons voorsien het]
(Ponelis 1979:519)
[Comparative clause in post-verbal field]
c.' Die verbruik het vinniger [as wat ons voorsien het] gegroei.
the consumption have.AUX faster than what we anticipate.PST have.AUX grow.PST
Consumption grew faster than we anticipated.
[(CI) die verbruik] [(V2) het] [(MF) vinniger as wat ons voorsien het] [(VF) gegroei]
[Comparative clause in middle field]

Preposition phrase arguments are accommodated in both the middle field and the post-verbal field with equal ease. The choice is influenced by stylistic and processing complexity concerns, but is generally not constrained by grammatical considerations.

Example 35

a. Hy het oor 'n vaardige pen beskik.
he have.AUX over a skilled pen possess.PST
He has a skilled hand.
[(CI) hy] [(V2) het] [(MF) oor 'n vaardige pen] [(VF) beskik]
HCSA
[Prepositional complement in middle field]
a.' Die organisasie moet derhalwe beskik oor 'n lys van pleegmoeders wat hoogstens twee babas, maar verkieslik een, op 'n keer sal versorg.
the organisation must.AUX.MOD therefore possess.INF over a list of foster.mothers that maximally two babies but preferably one on a time will.AUX.MOD care.for.INF
The organisation should therefore have at its disposal a list of foster mothers who can care for maximally two babies, but preferably one, at a time.
[(CI) die organisasie] [(V2) moet] [(MF) derhalwe] [(VF) beskik] [(PV) oor 'n lys van pleegmoeders wat hoogstens twee babas, maar verkieslik een, op 'n keer sal versorg]
HCSA
[Prepositional complement in post-verbal field]
b. Die hof het nie toegegee aan Gap se eis vir 'n interdik teen Moolla nie.
the court have.AUX not concede.PST to Gap POSS claim for an interdict against Moolla PTCL.NEG
The court did not concede to Gap's claim for an interdict against Moolla.
[(CI) die hof] [(V2) het] [(MV) nie] [(VF) toegegee] [(PV) aan Gap se eis vir 'n interdik teen Moolla nie]
TK
[Prepositional complement in post-verbal field]
b.' Hy het aan alles toegegee.
he have.AUX to everything concede.PST
He gave in to everything
[(CI) hy] [(V2) het] [(MF) aan alles] [(VF) toegegee]
TK
[Prepositional complement in middle field]

Prepositional adverbials are also found in the middle field and the post-verbal field, but there are stronger semantic preferences that play a role in the choice. Temporal adverbials have a preference for the middle field, while place and manner adverbials are more easily found in the post-verbal field (Ponelis 1979:521), but exceptions are nevertheless encountered regularly. These trends are therefore probabalistic, rather than completely fixed, allowing soom room for information structure and stylistic concerns to influence the word order choices.

Example 36

a. Die bestuur gaan binne die volgende paar weke 'n bosberaad hou.
the management go.LINK within the next few weeks a bush.summit hold.INF
Management is going to hold a summit within the next few weeks.
[(CI) die bestuur] [(V2) gaan] [(MF) binne die volgende paar weke 'n bosberaad] [(VF) hou]
TK
[Temporal adverbial in middle field]
a.' Dit gaan uitkring binne die volgende tien jaar.
it go.LINK out.circle.INF within the following ten year
This will expand in the cours of the next ten years.
[(CI) dit] [(V2) gaan] [(VF) uitkring] [(PV) binne die volgende tien jaar]
TK
[Temporal adverbial in the post-verbal field]
b. Die drie manne, leiers van vyandelike magte, het teruggery na hul kampe.
the three men leaders of enemy forces have.AUX back.ride.PST to their camps
The three men, leaders of the enemy forces, rode back to their camps.
[(CI) die drie manne leiers van vyandelike magte] [(V2) het] [(VF) teruggery] [(PV) na hul kampe]
HCSA, adjusted
[Place adverbial in the post-verbal field]
b.' Verbyster deur die inhoud van hierdie onverklaarbare telegram het ek na my mense teruggery.
dumbfounded by the content of this inexplicable telegramme have.AUX I to my people back.ride.PST
Dumbfounded by the content of this inexplicable telegramme, I rode back to my people.
[(CI) Verbyster deur die inhoud van hierdie onverklaarbare telegram] [(V2) het] [(MF) ek na my mense] [(VF) teruggery]
HCSA
[Place adverbial in the middle field]
[+]Negation

Afrikaans is characterised by double negation at clause level. The first negator can be the negative particle nie not, but there is also a range of negative adverbs such as niemand nobody, nooit never or nêrens nowhere, or a negative determine like geen no, which is part of a noun phrase. The first negator is usually placed immediately after the verb-second position, but for contrastive or thematic purposes, can also be placed immediately before another phrase that is being negated. Pronominal direct or indirect objects and causal adjuncts will precede the negative particle nie not in the middle field when present, as will any subject that is in the middle field and not in the clause-initial position. The position of the negative particle nie is illustrated by the examples in (37).

Example 37

a. Ek het nie tyd nie.
[(CI/SUB) ek] [(V2) het] [(MF) [(NEG1) nie] [(OBJ) tyd]] [(NEG2) nie]
I have.PRS not time PTCL.NEG
I do not have time.
TK
[Negator after V2]
b. Die leeus was duidelik nie haastig nie.
[(CI/SUB) die leeus] [(V2) was] [(MF) [(ADV) duidelik] [(NEG1) nie] [(COMPLM) haastig]] [(NEG2) nie]
the lions be.PST clearly not hasty PTCL.NEG
The lions were clearly not in a hurry.
TK
[Negator after V2 and clausal adverb]
c. Ek sal jou nie vergeet nie.
[(CI/SUB) ek] [(V2) sal] [(MF) [(OBJ) jou] [(NEG1) nie]] [(VF) vergeet] [(NEG2) nie]
I will.AUX.MOD you not forget.INF PTCL.NEG
I will not forget you.
TK
[Negator after V2 and proniminal object]
d. Teen druktyd kon Van der Wal nie bereik word nie.
[(CI/ADV) teen druktyd] [(V2) kon] [(MF) [(SUB) Van der Wal] [(NEG1) nie]] [(VF) bereik word] [(NEG2) nie]
against going.to.press.time can.AUX.MOD.PRT Van der Wal not reach.PASS be.AUX.PASS.PRS PTCL.NEG
By the time of going to press, Van der Wal could not be reached.
TK
[Negator after V2 and subject]
e. In hierdie module-eenheid gaan jy egter nie leer om fonetiese tekens te gebruik nie.
[(CI/ADV) in hierdie module-eenheid] [(V2) gaan] [(MF) [(SUB) jy] [(ADV) egter] [(NEG1) nie]] [(VF) leer] [(PV/CC) om fonetiese tekens te gebruik] [(NEG2) nie]
in this module-unit go.LINK you however not learn.INF for.COMP phonetic symbols PTCL.INF use.INF PTCL.NEG
In this module unit, you are however not going to learn how to use phonetic symbols.
TK
[Negator after V2, clausal adverb and subject]

The second negator is always the particle nie not, which is placed at the right edge of the (complex) sentence, thus after the post-verbal field, provided that there is any overt content after the verb-second position (Ponelis 1979:522). This second nie can sometimes be separated from the clause containing the first negator by some distance, including by any intervening clauses until the end of the complex sentence. The placement of the second negator is illustrated by example (38).

Example 38

a. Ek verwag nie te veel nie.
[(CI/SUB) ek] [(V2) verwag] [(MF) [(NEG1) nie] [(OBJ) te veel]] [(NEG2) nie]
I expect.PRS not too much PTCL.NEG
I do not expect too much.
TK
b. Hier is eintlik geen probleme nie.
[(CI/ADV) hier] [(V2) is] [(MF) [(ADV) eintlik] [(OBJ) geen probleme]] [(NEG2) nie]
here be.PRS actually no problems PTCL.NEG
Here are really no problems.
TK
c. Op Vrydag 8 Januarie kon ek skielik nie meer asem kry by die werk nie.
[(CI/ADV) op Vrydag 8 Januarie] [(V2) kon] [(MF) [(SUB) ek] [(ADV) skielik] [(NEG1) nie] [(ADV) meer)] [(OBJ) asem]] [(VF) kry] [(PV/ADV) by die werk] [(NEG2) nie]
on Friday 8 January can.AUX.MOD.PRT I suddenly not anymore breath get.INF at the work PTCL.NEG
On Friday 8 January, I could suddenly not get any breath anymore at work.
TK
d. Hy was nie bereid om Roodepoort toe te ry om Liam te gaan haal nie.
[(CI/SUB) hy] [(V2) was] (MF) [(NEG1) nie] [(COMPLM) bereid om Roodepoort toe te ry]] [(PV/ADV) om Liam te gaan haal] [(NEG2) nie]
he be.PST not willing for.COMP Roodepoort at PTCL.INF drive for.COMP Liam PTCL.INF go.LINK get PTCL.NEG
He was not willing to drive to Rooodepoort to go and get Liam.
TK

The second nie is not realised overtly in Afrikaans under a number of conditions. In clauses that contain no material besides a clause-initial element, typically the subject, and a single verb in the second position, there is a single nie following the verb with no subsequent material, as shown by example (39). When certain negative adverbs like nooit never or nêrens nowhere, or pronouns like niemand nobody, are used in the last position of the clause, whether that is in the middle field or the post-verbal position, the realisation of the second nie is optional (Ponelis 1979:522). When the same negative adverb or pronoun is not used in final position, however, the sentence-final second nie is obligatory, as shown by example (40).

Example 39

a. Ek weet nie.
I know.PRS not
I do not know.
[(CI) ek] [(V2) weet] [(NEG) nie]
TK
a.' *Ek weet nie nie.
I know.PRS not PTCL.NEG
I do not know.
[(CI) ek] [(V2) weet] [(NEG1) nie] [(NEG2) nie]
a.'' *Ek nie weet nie.
I not know.PRS PTCL.NEG
I do not know.
[(CI) ek] [(NEG1) nie] [(V2) weet] [(NEG2) nie]
b. Die remme werk nie.
the breaks work.PRS not
The breaks don't work.
[(CI) die remme] [(V2) werk] [(NEG) nie]
TK
b.' Die remme werk nie goed nie.
the breaks work.PRS not well PTCL.NEG
The breaks don't work well.
[(CI) die remme] [(V2) werk] [(NEG1) nie] [(ADV) goed] [(NEG2) nie]
b.'' *Die remme werk nie goed.
the breaks work.PRS not well
The breaks don't work well.
[(CI) die remme] [(V2) werk] [(NEG1) nie] [(ADV) goed]
Example 40

a. Dit weet niemand nie.
this know.PRS nobody PTCL.NEG
This nobody knows.
[(CI) dit] [(V2) weet] [(SUB)niemand] [(NEG2) nie]
TK
a.' Dit weet niemand.
this know.PRS nobody
This nobody knows.
[(CI) dit] [(V2) weet] [(SUB) niemand]
TK
b. Niemand weet dit nie.
nobody know.PRS this PTCL.NEG
Nobody knows this.
[(CI) niemand] [(V2) weet] [(SUB) dit] [(NEG2) nie]
TK
b.' *Niemand weet dit.
nobody know.PRS this
Nobody knows this.
[(CI) niemand] [(V2) weet] [(SUB) dit]
References:
  • Biberauer, T2002Verb second in Afrikaans: is this a unitary phenomenon?Bundels
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
cite
print
This is a beta version.