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Fields, factors and constituents
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In Afrikaans, as in Dutch and German, the topography of syntactic fields is characterised by the presence of two verbal positions, separated by a middle field (MF) containing non-verbal constituents such as nominal arguments, complements, complementives and adverbials, some of which can also be extraposed to the post-verbal field (PV). In this section introductory remarks are made in regard to the role of extraposition in the placement of non-verbal constituents in the PV of a clause, compared to their placement in the MF. The fields to be distinguished are (i) a clause-initial field (CI) containing a non-verbal constituent such as the clausal subject, (ii) the verb-second position(V2), (iii) the middle field(MF), (iv) the verb-final position (VF) containing the portion of the verbal complex not present in V2, and (v) the post-verbal field (PV), which may contain one or more non-verbal constituents. See example (1).

Example 1

Die muis moes netnou die kaas gesien het op die valletjie.
[(CI) Die muis] [(MF) moes netnou die kaas] [(VF) gesien het] [(PV) op die valletjie].
the mouse must.AUX.MOD.PRT a.while.ago the cheese see.PST.PTCP have.AUX on the mousetrap.DIM
The mouse must have seen the cheese on the mousetrap a while ago.

The various constituent types are not all equally amenable to placement in PV. Nominal arguments, complementives and complements, for instance, do not occur postverbally, while nominal argument clauses are placed exclusively in PV. Prepositional phrases, which generally occur in MF, are often placed in postverbal positions, and clausal adverbials, which are generally positioned post-verbally, may occur parenthetically in MF, as illustrated by example (2).

Example 2

Die bure sal, as hulle vertrek, by die agterdeur uitgaan.
die bure sal [(ADV.CL) as hulle vertrek] by die agterdeur uitgaan.
the neighbours will.AUX.MOD when.CNJ they leave by the back.door out.go.INF
The neighbours will, when they leave, go out by the back door.

Part of a constituent, like the PP aan die huis on the house in (3a), may be extraposed to PV, with the head remaining in CI, as in (3b).

Example 3

a. Die werk aan die huis het mooi gevorder.
the work on the house have.AUX well progress.PST.PTCP
The work on the house progressed well.
b. Die werk het mooi gevorder aan die huis.
the work have.AUX well progress.PST.PTCP on the house
The work on the house progressed well.

The preferential order of constituents in PV, as in (4a), is often a mirror image or the inverse of the order that would be employed in MF, as in (4b). Thus while the extraposition order in PV is locational > temporal, the order in MF is temporal > locational.

Example 4

a. Sy is opgemerk in die saal tydens die uitvoering.
sy is opgemerk [(LOC) in die saal] [(TEMP) tydens die uitvoering]
she be.AUX.PASS.PST notice.PST.PTCP in the hall during the performance
She was noticed in the hall during the performance.
b. Sy is tydens die uitvoering in die saal opgemerk.
sy is [(TEMP) tydens die uitvoering] [(LOC) in die saal] opgemerk
she be.AUX.PASS.PST during the performance in the hall notice.PST.PTCP
She was noticed in the hall during the performance.

In the following clause, with no verbs in VF, the extraposition order locational > temporal adverbial is an indication that clauses without final verbs may also undergo extraposition.

Example 5

Sy slaap gereeld in die saal tydens die uitvoering.
sy slaap gereeld [(LOC) in die saal] [(TEMP) tydens die uitvoering].
she sleep regularly in the hall during the performance
She regularly sleeps in the hall during the performance.

On the other hand, constituents in PV need not constitute a true case of extraposition, but may represent an instance of right-dislocation.

Example 6

Jan het met die drukker gesels, mnr Enslin.
Jan have.AUX to the printer talk.PST.PTCP Mr Enslin
Jan talked to the printer, Mr Enslin.
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[+]Middle field vs post-verbal field

A clause can be divided into a number of topological fields. (i) The clause-initial position (CI) contains a non-verbal constituent. (ii) The initial verb of a main clause follows in verb-second position (V2). (iii) Then follows the middle field (MF), which may contain nominal arguments, complements, complementives, adverbials and dependent clauses. (iv) The verb-final position (VF) contains all or the remaining verbs of the clause's verbal complex. (v) After these we find the post-verbal field (PV). Constituents in this field either stem from extraposition or right-dislocation. This section deals mainly with the relationship between non-verbal constituents occurring in MF and PV.

Nominal arguments (whether definite or indefinite), as in (7a), complementives/predicates, as in (7b), and complements selected by verbs such as vind to find, consider (7c) and maak to make (7d) and by verbs of measure such as duur to last, weeg to weigh and kos to cost, as in (7e), are not extraposed:

Example 7

a. Jan het hierdie boek / boeke uitgegee.
Jan have.AUX this book / books publish.PST.PTCP
Jan published this book / these books.
a.' *Jan het uitgegee hierdie boek / boeke.
Jan have.AUX publish.PST.PTCP this book / books
To mean: John published this book / these books.
b. Jan was in die moeilikheid gewees.
Jan be.AUX.PRT in the trouble be.PST.PTCP
Jan was in trouble.
b.' *Jan was gewees in die moeilikheid.
Jan be.AUX.PRT be.PST.PTCP in the trouble
To mean: John was in trouble.
c. Jan sal Janet heel behulpsaam vind.
Jan will.AUX.MOD Janet quite cooperative find.INF
Jan will find Janet quite cooperative.
c.' *Jan sal Janet vind heel behulpsaam.
Jan will.AUX.MOD Janet find.INF quite cooperative
To mean: Jan will find Janet quite cooperative.
d. Jan het Janet baie kwaad gemaak.
Jan have.AUX Janet very angry make.PST.PTCP
Jan made Janet very angry.
d.' *Jan het Janet gemaak baie kwaad.
Jan have.AUX Janet make.PST.PTCP very angry
To mean: Jan made Janet very angry.
e. Dié rekenaar het baie gekos.
this computer have.AUX much cost.PST.PTCP
This computer cost a lot.
e.' *Dié rekenaar het gekos baie.
this computer have.AUX cost.PST.PTCP much
To mean: This computer cost a lot

While temporal and locational adverbs usually allow extraposition, as in (8a) and (8b), manner adverbs don't, cf. (8c).

Example 8

a. Jan het die klavier verkoop gister.
Jan have.AUX the piano sell.PST.PTCP yesterday
Jan sold the piano yesterday.
b. Janet moet musieklesse gee tuis.
Janet must.AUX.MOD piano.lessons give.INF at.home
Janet has to give piano lessons at home.
c. *Jan het 'n woonstel gekry maklik.
Jan have.AUX a flat get.PST.PTCP easily
Jan got hold of a flat easily.

Prepositional phrases headed by the preposition vir to serving as indirect object, are extraposed as readily as other PPs, cf. (9a), but when the vir PP has the function of direct object, as in (9b) – a typical Afrikaans construction – extraposition is barred.

Example 9

a. Jan het vir Janet 'n radio gegee.
Jan have.AUX for Janet a radio give.PST.PTCP
Jan gave Janet a radio.
a.' Jan het 'n radio gegee vir Janet.
Jan have.AUX a radio give.PST.PTCP for Janet
Jan gave Janet a radio.
b. Janet sal môre vir Jan sien.
Janet will.AUX.MOD tomorrow for Jan see.INF
Janet will see Jan tomorrow.
b.' *Janet sal môre sien vir Jan.
Janet will.AUX.MOD tomorrow see.INF for Jan
To mean: Janet will see Jan tomorrow.

The fact that WH-extraction has the middle-field as source, as in (10a), rather than the postverbal field, as in (10b), is an indication that the middle-field is the preferred position for PPs. (Note that vir takes on the fuller form voor after the extraction of the NP.)

Example 10

a. Jan het net vir die slag gewag.
Jan have.AUX only for the blow wait.PST.PTCP
Jan only waited for the blow.
a.' Wat het Jan voor gewag?
what have.AUX Jan for wait.PST.PTCP
What did Jan wait for?
b. Jan het net gewag vir die slag.
Jan have.AUX only wait.PST.PTCP for the blow
Jan only waited for the blow.
b.' *Wat het Jan net gewag vir/voor?
what have.AUX Jan only wait.PST.PTCP for
To mean: What did Jan only wait for?

While most PPs are found both in MF and PV, nominal complement clauses consistently occur in PV:

Example 11

a. *Janet het dat dit gaan reën gehoor.
Janet have.AUX that.COMP it go.AUX.MOD rain hear.PST.PTCP
To mean: Janet heard that it was going to rain.
b. Janet het gehoor dat dit gaan reën.
Janet have.AUX hear.PST.PTCP that.COMP it go.AUX.MOD rain.INF
Janet heard that it was going to rain.

Prepositional and circumpositional phrases generally occupy MF but allow extraposition, as in (12a) and (12b), respectively; postpositional phrases do not allow extraposition, cf. (12c). The presence of a preposition therefore seems the decisive factor in allowing the extraposition of phrases. Subordinate clauses are usually extraposed, but may occupy MF as a parenthetical phrase with intonation breaks on either side, as in (12d).

Example 12

a. Jan het na Janet verlang.
Jan have.AUX for Janet long.PST.PTCP
Jan longed for Janet.
a.' Jan het verlang na Janet.
Jan have.AUX long.PST.PTCP for Janet
Jan longed for Janet.
b. Janet het uit die kombuis uit gevlug.
Janet have.AUX out the kitchen out.POSTP flee.PST.PTCP
Janet fled from the kitchen.
b.' Janet het gevlug uit die kombuis uit.
Janet have.AUX flee.PST.PTCP out the kitchen out
Janet fled from the kitchen.
c. Jan het die kombuis uit gehardloop.
Jan have.AUX the kitchen out.POSTP run.PST.PTCP
Jan ran out of the kitchen.
c.' *Jan het gehardloop die kombuis uit.
Jan have.AUX run.PST.PTCP the kitchen out.POSTP
To mean: Jan ran out of the kitchen.
d. Jan het, omdat dit begin reën het, later gekom.
Jan have.AUX because.CNJ it begin.LINK rain.INF have.AUX later come.PST.PTCP
Jan came later because it had begun to rain.
d.' Jan het later gekom omdat dit begin reën het.
Jan have.AUX later come.PST.PTCP because.CNJ it begin.LINK rain.INF have.AUX
Jan came later because it had begun to rain.

Parts of clausal constituents may occupy positions on either side of VF, e.g. NPs and their postnominal modifiers, as in (13a), or relative clauses and their antecedents, as in (13b). Free relative clauses, i.e. relative clauses without overtly realised antecedents, may be extraposed, though an antecedent such as the pronoun dit it may be implied – or not phonetically realised – as in (13c).

Example 13

a. Jan het gister 'n boek gekoop oor WO II.
Jan have.AUX yesterday a book buy.PST.PTCP on WW II.
Jan bought a book yesterday on the Second World War.
b. Jan het gister 'n boek gekoop wat nogal duur was.
Jan have.AUX yesterday a book buy.PST.PTCP that.REL rather expensive was
Jan bought a book yesterday that was rather expensive.
c. Die getuie het (dit) beskryf wat hy gesien het.
the witness have.AUX it describe.PST.PTCP what.REL he see.PST.PTCP have.AUX
The witness described what he had seen.

Factive clauses illustrate the principle of clause extraposition very well: The obligatory presence of the antecedent die feit the fact incorporates the clause in an NP, which usually occurs in MF, as in (14a). However, without the antecedent its status is that of a clause, which is subject to obligatory extraposition, as in (14b).

Example 14

a. Jan het *(die feit) dat hy misluk het, aanvaar.
Jan have.AUX the fact that.COMP he fail.PST.PTCP have.AUX accept.PST.PTCP
Jan accepted the fact that he had failed.
b. Jan het aanvaar (*die feit) dat hy misluk het.
Jan have.AUX accept.PST.PTCP the fact that.COMP he fail.PST.PTCP have.AUX
Jan accepted that he had failed.
[+]Constituents of the postverbal field

Unlike CI, which may be occupied by only one non-verbal constituent, as in (15a), PV has no restrictions as far as the number of constituents it can contain is concerned, cf. (15b):

Example 15

a. *Vir R1000 aan sy broer het Piet gister die fiets verkoop.
[(PP) vir R1000] [(PP) aan sy broer] [(V2] het] [(MF) Piet gister die fiets] [(VF) verkoop].
for R1000 to his brother have.AUX Piet the bicycle yesterday sell.PST.PTCP
To mean: Yesterday Piet sold the bicycle to his brother for R1000.
b. Piet het die fiets verkoop aan sy broer vir R1000 gister.
[(CI) Piet] [(V2) het] [(MF) die fiets] [(VF) verkoop] [(PV) [(PP) aan sy broer] [(PP) vir R1000] [(ADV) gister]]
Piet have.AUX the bicycle sell.PST.PTCP to his brother for R1000 yesterday.
Piet sold the bicycle to his brother for R1000 yesterday.

It has been noted by Broekhuis et al. (2015:1544) that a collocation of constituents does not necessarily maintain the preferential order of MF when they occupy the PV, in what has been termed a mirror effect. Thus, while the preferential MF order of (16a) is likely to be temporal > theme > patient, this may be be mirrored as patient > theme > temporal in the postverbal field, as in (16b):

Example 16

a. Piet het die fiets destyds vir R1000 aan sy broer verkoop.
Piet het die fiets [(TEMP) destyds] [(EXTENT) vir R1000] [(RECIPIENT) aan sy broer] verkoop
Piet have.AUX the bicycle at.that.time for R1000 to his brother sell.PST.PTCP
At the time Piet sold the bicycle to his brother for R1000.
b. Piet het die fiets verkoop aan sy broer vir R1000 destyds.
Piet het die fiets verkoop [(RECIPIENT) aan sy broer] [(EXTENT) vir R1000] [(TEMP) destyds]
Piet have.AUX the bicycle sell.PST.PTCP to his brother for R1000 at.that.time
Piet sold the bicycle to his brother for R1000 at the time.

It is argued by Broekhuis et al. (2015:1545) that extraposition is also possible in the absence of a clause-final verb cluster. This would imply that the final non-verbal constituents, and subordinate clauses in particular, could also be regarded as being in PV, despite the absence of an overt VF cluster. Thus whereas in (17a) and (17ai), where a VF is present, the order of the temporal adverbial in die vakansie during the holidays and prepositional object na fietsry to cycling is determined by whether they are extraposed or not, both orders are possible in (17b) and (17bi). Therefore (17bi) is an example of extraposition in the absence of a clause-final verb.

Example 17

a. Hilda het in die vakansie baie na fietsry verlang.
Hilda have.AUX in the holidays very.much to cycling long.PST.PTCP
Hilda longed very much to go cycling during the holidays.
Hilda het [(TEMP) in die vakansie] baie [(PO) na fietsry] verlang
a.' Hilda het baie verlang na fietsry in die vakansie.
Hilda have.AUX very.much long.PST.PTCP to cycling in the holidays
Hilda longed very much to go cycling during the holidays.
Hilda het baie verlang [(PO) na fietsry] [(TEMP) in die vakansie]
b. Hilda verlang in die vakansie baie na fietsry.
Hilda long in the holidays very.much to cycling
Hilda longs very much to go cycling during the holidays.
Hilda verlang [(TEMP) in die vakansie] baie [(PO) na fietsry]
b.' Hilda verlang baie na fietsry in die vakansie.
Hilda long very.much to cycling in the holidays
Hilda longs very much to go cycling during the holidays.
Hilda verlang baie [(PO) na fietsry] [(TEMP) in die vakansie]

While some constituents seem to be extraposed without a VF being present, the converse is also true: not all constituents in PV represent extraposition. As a rule nominal arguments cannot be extraposed, e.g.

Example 18

*Ek het gister ontmoet die skoolhoof.
I have.AUX yesterday meet.PST.PTCP the principal
To mean: I met the school principal yesterday.

They do, however, appear postverbally in cases such as the following – typically preceded by an intonation break:

Example 19

Ek het gister die skoolhoof ontmoet, (ene) mnr Joubert.
I have.AUX yesterday the principal meet.PST.PTCP one Mr Joubert
I met the principal yesterday, a Mr Joubert.

This is made possible by the NPmnr Joubert being in apposition or co-referential with its antecedent in MF, the NPdie skoolhoof. The NPMnr Joubert is therefore not extraposition in the true sense of the word as it is not directly selected by the main verb, and is right-dislocated rather than being syntactically integrated with the clause. Its function may be to provide new information by way of afterthought or providing background. Contrastive accent may be required on the dislocated phrase.

On the other hand, though PPs are fairly easily extraposed, as in (20a), there are cases where the post-verbal PP expresses new information or an afterthought – with a possible intonational break after the verb or when it is accented, e.g. extraposition in (20a) and mere right-dislocation in (20b).

Example 20

a. Martie het hierdie boek gestuur vir jóú.
Martie have.AUX this book send.PST.PTCP for you
Martie sent this book to you.
b. Martie het hierdie boek gestuur – vir JOU.
Martie have.AUX this book send.PST.PTCP – for you.
Martie sent this book … to you.
[+]Factors potentially favouring extraposition

New information may be highlighted in MF simply by applying contrastive accent, as in (21a). If not obligatory, as in the case of nominal argument clauses, extraposition may well be employed to attract sentence accent for a focus on new information. Extraposition may also be combined with clause accent to achieve the same result, as in (21b). In (21c), where a PP is moved outside the clause proper through right-dislocation and receives contrastive accent, a similar outcome is reached. In (21d) new information is foregrounded by means of topicalisation and clause accent.

Example 21

a. Martie stuur vir jóú hierdie boek.
Martie send for you this book
Martie sends this book to YOU.
b. Martie stuur hierdie boek vir jóú.
Martie send this book for you
Martie sends this book to YOU.
c. Martie stuur hierdie boek – vir jóú.
Martie send this book for you
Martie sends this book to YOU.
d. Vir jóú stuur Martie hierdie boek.
for you send Martie this book
To you Martie sends this book.

In example (22) the temporal clause is moved around. In (22a) it is extraposed, and in (22ai) topicalised. In both cases Jan's tears as well his failure may be effectively foregrounded by accentuation. Example (22b) is potentially more expressive than a neutral order MF with or without topicalisation, not only because of its less expected / more complex structure, but because the new information receives a prominent final position through extraposition.

Example 22

a. Jan het, [toe hy hoor hy druip], in trane uitgebars.
Jan have.AUX when.CNJ he hear he fail in tears burst.out.PST.PTCP
Jan, when he heard that he failed, burst into tears.
a. Jan het in trane uitgebars [toe hy hoor hy druip].
Jan have.AUX in tears out.burst.PST.PTCP when.CNJ he hear he fail
Jan burst into tears when he heard that he failed.
a.' [Toe hy hoor hy druip], het Jan in trane uitgebars.
when.CNJ he hear he fail have.AUX Jan in tears burst.out.PST.PTCP
When he heard that he failed Jan burst into tears.
References:
  • Broekhuis, Hans, Corver, Norbert & Vos, Riet2015Syntax of Dutch. Verbs and verb phrasesComprehensive grammar resourcesAmsterdam University Press
  • Broekhuis, Hans, Corver, Norbert & Vos, Riet2015Syntax of Dutch. Verbs and verb phrasesComprehensive grammar resourcesAmsterdam University Press
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