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Binominal name constructions
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binominal name constructions are noun phrases (NPs) consisting of a definite determiner, often die the, noun 1 (N1) indicating some kind of class, and a proper name as N2 (Ponelis 1979:159). The convention is to start proper names with capital letters (as in 1b and 1c), but when it refers to a specific word or term, like menseregte human rights in (1a), it need not be written with the traditional initial capital letter.

Example 1

a. die woord menseregte
the word human.rights
the word human rights
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b. die stad Bloemfontein
the city Bloemfontein
the city of Bloemfontein
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c. my suster Angeline
my sister Angeline
my sister Angeline
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[+]Binominal name constructions

Binominal name constructions typically consist of three parts. The first part is a definite determiner, mostly the definite article die the, but also for instance attributive possessive pronouns, as in (2f) and (3c). The second part (first noun) of the NP indicates some kind of class or group, which is open and can refer to anything, such as a department (2a, 3a, 3b), linguistic item (2b, 2c, 3d, 3e), place (2d and 2e), person (2f) or group of people (2g), other objects (3f) or institutions (2h). The final part (N2) is the proper name identifying the particular instance or instances of the class or group from N1.

Example 2

a. die Departement Biochemie
the Department Biochemistry
the Department of Biochemistry
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b. die term hibriditeit
the term hybridity
the term hybridity
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c. die begrip stemresonansie
the concept voice.resonance
the concept of voice resonance
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d. die stad Windhoek
the city Windhoek
the city of Windhoek
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e. die provinsie Noord-Kaap
the province Northern-Cape
the province of the Northern Cape
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f. haar seun Andries
her son Andries
her son Andries
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g. die groep Klopjag
the group Klopjag
the band Klopjag
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h. Die skool Gimnasium word in die Paarl gestig.
the school Gymnasium be.AUX.PASS.PRS in the Paarl establish.PASS
The school Gymnasium is established in the Paarl.
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The proper name can be simple or more complex, as long as the referents are members of the relevant class or group. Examples of complex proper names in binominal name constructions are coordinated phrases (3a-3d), phrases with more than one noun (3e), and an NP with a PP (3f).

Example 3

a. die Afdeling Mikrobiologie en Biochemie
the Section Microbiology and Biochemistry
the Section of Microbiology and Biochemistry
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b. die Departement Landbou, Ekonomie en Toerisme
the Department Agriculture Economy and Tourism
the Department of Agriculture, Economy and Tourism
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c. hulle kinders Bertie en Awie
their children Bertie and Awie
their children Bertie and Awie
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d. die begrip nie-vermoënskade of persoonlikheidsnadeel
the concept non-pecuniary.damage or personality.disadvantage
the concept of non-pecuniary damage or personal disadvantage
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e. die term symbolum apostolorum
the term symbolum apostolorum
the term symbolum apostolorum
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f. die boek Wilderniswenke vir vroue
the book Wilderness.tips for women
the book Wilderness tips for women
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Sometimes in certain binominal name constructions, such as departments and places, and sometimes words or terms, the preposition van of is inserted, similar to the English pattern.

Example 4

a. die Departement van Landbou en Watervoorsiening
the Department of Agriculture and Water.supply
the Department of Agriculture and Water supply
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b. die stad van Johannesburg
the city of Johannesburg
the city of Johannesburg
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c. die provinsie van die Noord-Kaap
the province PTCL.PTV the Northern-Cape
the province of the Northern Cape
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d. die begrip van onmondigheid
the concept of underageness
the concept of underageness
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References:
  • Ponelis, Frits A1979Afrikaanse sintaksisPretoriaJ.L. van Schaik
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