Syntax of Dutch: Nouns and Noun Phrases - Volume 1

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source site Predicateargument mismatches and the adjectival theory. A parametric mapping theory. A Russellian interpretation of measure nouns. Generalizing over quantitative and qualitative constructions. On three types of movement within the Dutch nominal domain. Semilexical nouns classifiers and the interpretations. Index of languages. The syntax and semantics of noun phrases. Case studies. Some examples are given in The primeless and primed examples are more or less synonymous, which suggests that the attributive adjective modifies N2 in both cases.

Furthermore, example 27b receives an anomalous interpretation which seems to be marginally accepted by some speakers. This is illustrated in 29 : example 29a shows that the non-neuter substance noun wijn requires that the inflected form of the adjective be used; in 29b , on the other hand, the -e ending is absent because the adjective agrees with the singular neuter noun glas. That we are dealing here with a modifier of N2 and not with a modifier of N1 is supported by the fact that N1 can only be modified by a very small class of attributively used adjectives; see Section 4.

For our present purpose, it suffices to say that a reciprocal pronoun that functions as a PP- object of the verb can be interpreted as coreferential with the subject of the clause but not with some noun phrase embedded in the subject of the clause. Note that we do not include examples of a QC with a part noun because these nouns can only be combined with non-count nouns, which cannot act as the antecedent of a reciprocal. Note that the agreement on the verb shows that N2 need not be the syntactic head of the construction; this is the case if N1 is a quantifier noun, as in 35a , but not in the other cases.

The quantificational and referential interpretation of N1 In the preceding discussion it has been claimed several times that N1 can have either a quantificational or a referential interpretation. In the former case the noun merely indicates a certain amount or quantity and in the latter case it refers to an actual object in the domain of discourse. Only in the latter case can N1 be a discourse referent, which can be made clear by means of data involving pronominal reference.

Consider the examples in Jan houdt een glasi melkj vast. Jan holds a glass [of] milk prt. Heti is mooi versierd. Zej is zuur. This indicates that N1 is here not referential but purely quantificational. Jan drinkt een glasi melkj. Jan drinks a glass [of] milk b. Summary This section has shown that there are different types of QCs, depending on which noun acts as the syntactic or the semantic head of the construction. The noun that triggers agreement on the finite verb or on a demonstrative is the syntactic head of the construction, whereas the noun that satisfies the selection restrictions imposed by the main verb is the semantic head.

The results are summarized in Table 1, although it must be noted that this table provides an idealized picture of the actual facts since we have seen earlier that various N1s seem to be shifting in the direction of the quantifier noun. The first type is comprises the quantifier nouns, which are purely quantificational and require that N2 be both the syntactic and the semantic head of the QC.

The second type are the container, collective and part nouns: they are always referential and may function both as the syntactic and the semantic head of the QC; the descriptive content of these nouns can, however, be backgrounded in favor of a more quantification reading, and in that case N2 will be construed as the semantic head of the QC.

These seem to be of a somewhat hybrid nature in the sense that they can have either a purely quantificational or a referential, package unit reading with the former probably being the unmarked case : in the former case the measure noun behaves like a quantifier noun and in the latter like a container, collective or part noun. In the next section, we will see that these distinctions correspond nicely to the morphological and syntactic behavior of these nouns. Properties of N1 In Section 4. We will show that N1s of type 38a are deficient in several respects, whereas N1s of type 38b behave like regular nouns.

N1s of type 38c show mixed behavior: in some contexts they exhibit deficient behavior, whereas in other contexts they behave just like regular nouns. Morphological properties This section discusses the morphological properties of the different types of N1. We will first discuss their ability to undergo pluralization and diminutivization, and then their ability to enter into the process of nominal compounding. This suggests that we are dealing with count nouns, and we therefore expect pluralization to be possible. Still, there are a number of complications that we will discuss in the following subsections.

Ambiguous N1s Some nouns are ambiguous between a purely quantificational reading and a referential reading, and it will not come as a surprise that these can enter the constructions in two forms. In some cases, however, the referential reading seems to be blocked: this is illustrated in 41 for measure nouns involved in linear measurement. Er viel twee meter sneeuw. Er vielen twee meters sneeuw. When the N2 is such that only one dimension is considered relevant, the use of the measure phrase will give rise to an interpretation involving a certain, more or less fixed, quantity of a substance, and consequently the result improves greatly.

Er was vijf meter touw over. Er waren vijf meters touw over. That the constructions in 43 are purely quantificational is also clear from the fact that the QCs trigger singular agreement on the verb. Observe that on the intended reading, the properties of N2 do not affect acceptability: in contrast to 41b , example 43b is fully acceptable.

However, since example 44a shows that a QC with this reading triggers plural agreement, it is clear that the container noun must still be considered a regular, referential noun. This difference between the container nouns, on the one hand, and the part and collective nouns, on the other, again suggests that the division between quantificational and referential nouns is not sharp, but gradual.

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The agreement on the verb can be singular, just as with the numerals in This is shown in Nouns involved in the measurement of time Measure nouns involved in measuring time must be plural when preceded by a numeral, as shown by 46a. Nevertheless, we are dealing with a purely quantifi- cational construction here: the QC does not refer to five separate units of vacation of a week each — in fact, there is no implication whatsoever about the temporal units involved.

This would also account for the fact that the binominal construction in 46b triggers singular agreement on the verb despite the fact that N1 is plural: the verb always exhibits singular agreement when we are dealing with second order predication. Diminutive formation The three types of N1s also differ with respect to diminutive formation.

The examples in 48c-d show that the referential nouns allow it, whereas 48a shows that quantifier nouns do not. As expected, the measure nouns again show mixed behavior: diminutivization is possible when they are interpreted referentially, but not when they are interpreted quantificationally. The plural form?? Nominal compounds The data discussed in Subsections I and II show that it is necessary to make a distinction between purely quantificational and referential N1s.

Only the latter allow pluralization and diminutive formation. This distinction seems supported by data involving compounding. The denotation of a nominal compound is mainly determined by its second member, which can be considered the head of the compound; the first member only has the function of further specifying the denotation of the second one; cf. Section 1. The examples in 49 show that this prediction is indeed correct. The first prediction is that the container, part, and collective nouns can appear as the head of a compound, and the acceptability of 49c-e shows that this is indeed the case, although we must note that perenemmer is a possible, but non-attested word.

The second prediction is that the quantifier nouns cannot occur as the head of a compound given that they do not have a denotation, and 49a shows that this is again the case. A problem is that we expect the measure nouns to exhibit mixed behavior, whereas they actually pattern with the quantifier nouns. This suggests that the referential reading of measure nouns is rather marked, and only arises under strong pressure from the context.

This also holds for nouns that are normally used as quantifier nouns. Conclusion The findings in Subsections I to III, summarized in Table 2, have shown that we must make a distinction between N1s that are purely quantificational and N1s that are more referential in nature. Quantifier nouns belong to the first kind; container, part and collective nouns all belong to the second type; and measure nouns are ambiguous between the first and the second type.

The fact that all N1s have some quantificational force is consistent with the fact that in all cases, N2 can be interpreted as the semantic head of the construction. Syntactic properties: determiners and prenominal modifiers Section 4. This section will show that the classification is also reflected by their syntactic properties, especially in the type of determiners and quantificational modifiers they may have; the purely quantificational nouns are more restricted in this respect than the referential ones.

For example, given that a definite article is used to identify a specific entity that is part of the denotation of the noun, we expect that they can only combine with referential nouns, which have such a denotation, and not with purely quantificational nouns, which lack such a denotation. Articles Example 50 illustrates again that all N1s can be preceded by the indefinite article een. When we are dealing with a quantifier noun, however, the definite article cannot be substituted for the indefinite one. The remaining types of N1s can all be preceded by both the definite and the indefinite article.

Observe that it is N1 that agrees in gender and number with the article: the N2s in 50 would all select the article de, not het; cf. This suggests that the construction in 51b is similar to the quantified constructions in 52 , where the article is undisputedly selected by the noun. The idea that we are dealing with a spurious article should not be dismissed given that there are many contexts in which een clearly does not function as an article; cf.

It is tempting to relate this use of een to that in een boel mensen in 50a. This is illustrated in 55 ; note especially the difference between 55a and 55e , which form a minimal pair provided we abstract away from the agreement on the finite verb. Ik heb helemaal geen ons kaas gezien.

Ik heb helemaal geen kistje sigaren gestolen. Ik heb helemaal geen stuk zeep gepakt. Er staat helemaal geen groep studenten op straat. In 50a , the element een is a spurious indefinite article, which is possibly related to the modifier een in examples like The other types of N1 occur both with the indefinite and the definite article. Demonstrative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns exhibit a pattern similar to the definite article.

Example 56a shows that a quantifier noun like boel never occurs with a demonstrative pronoun, whereas other quantifier nouns, like paar in 56b , are more readily acceptable with demonstrative pronouns especially the proximate ones. Note that it is not necessary to modify the QC in 56b , which may be due to the fact that the demonstratives themselves function as modifiers in the sense that they imply some partitioning of the set denoted by N2; cf.

This can be readily illustrated by means of the minimal pair in In 57a , the QC refers to two shoes that form a pair: the neuter noun paar is therefore referential and the demonstrative agrees with it. In 57b , the QC refers to a set of two or more shoes: the neuter noun paar is therefore purely quantificational and the demonstrative agrees with N2.

Container, part and collective nouns can readily be combined with demonstrative pronouns, and agree with them in number and gender. Measure nouns, again, show a more hybrid behavior. Possessive pronouns Example 60a shows that possessive pronouns always seem to give rise to a degraded result with quantifier nouns, regardless of whether a modifier is present or not.

The use of a possessor is at least marginally possible with a measure noun like pond in 60b : the measure noun must receive a referential interpretation in this case. Possessive pronouns are readily possible with the referential nouns in 60c-e. Hier ligt mijn pond kaas, en daar het jouwe.

The examples in 62 show that container, part and collective nouns freely co- occur with quantifiers. It must be noted, however, that these nouns have lost their quantificational property in the sense that in these cases the QCs refer to concrete cups, pieces and flocks. Binominal constructions 62 a. Given the observations above, we expect that the addition of a quantifier will have a disambiguating effect. In both cases the QC refers to exactly eight shoes, but the examples differ in the implication that the shoes make up four pairs: this is implied by 64b but not by 64a.

It is tempting to account for this difference by claiming that the noun paar is purely quantificational in 64a and referential in 64b. However, if this is indeed the case, we must conclude that there is no general ban on using a cardinal numeral with purely quantificational nouns. The distributive quantifier elk does not trigger this reading and gives rise to a perfectly acceptable result. In the latter case, the quantifier noun is clearly used as a referential noun with a package unit reading: 66b refers to four discrete quantities of milk of one liter each; in 66a , on the other hand, it refers to one quantity of milk, further specified as a quantity of four liters.

This supports the suggestion above 64 that there is no general ban on using cardinal numerals with purely quantificational nouns. An example is given in The N1 man must appear in its singular form. Attributive adjectives On the basis of what we have seen so far, we may expect modification of N1 by means of an attributive modifier to be impossible in the case of purely quanti- ficational nouns; attributive modifiers are used to restrict the set denoted by the modified noun, but purely quantificational nouns do not denote any such set.

As shown in 68a , this expectation is indeed borne out. The remaining examples in 68 show that modification of the other N1s is possible. Er stroomden vele liters wijn. Summary Table 3, which summarizes the findings of this section, shows that quantifier nouns can entertain far fewer syntagmatic relations than container, part and collective nouns. The latter can be preceded by all sorts of determiners, quantifiers and numerals, and do not exhibit special restrictions concerning attributive modification.

The former, on the other hand, exhibit all kinds of restrictions: the element een preceding quantifier nouns may not be an indefinite article but must be something else, and definite determiners, quantifiers, numerals, possessive pronouns, and attributive modifiers do not occur at all; demonstrative pronouns may appear with some but not all quantifier nouns.

The findings in Table 3 are consistent with the classification given in 38 , which groups the five noun types into the three supercategories in the top row. The examples given so far always contain two nouns, but it is possible to have more complex cases in which a QC is embedded in a larger QC, which results in sequences of three or more nouns. Given the fact that the second part of a QC must denote a set, it is predicted that the embedded QC cannot be purely quantificational.

The examples in 73 suggest that this expectation is indeed borne out. In these examples, N1 is a quantifier noun and it can be followed by any QC as long as the N1 of this QC is not a quantifier noun itself. However, an alternative analysis seems possible. We have seen that these examples differ in that 74a simply refers to four kilos of cheese without any implication concerning the package units, whereas 74b implies that we are dealing with four separate package units of one kilo each.

Binominal constructions 74 a. The contrast between the examples can be accounted for by the fact that the elided part corresponds to a single constituent in 76b , but not in 76a. Jan heeft [[vier kilo] [kaas]] en ik heb er [vijf [e]]. Jan has four kilo [of] cheese and I have ER five b. Jan has four kilos [of] cheese and I have ER five The other examples in 73 are ambiguous in the same way.

We will show this for container nouns. The apparent counterexample een aantal kilo suiker can be analyzed as involving a complex quantifier and therefore need not be considered a recursive QC. In 78 we give examples of recursive QCs, in which N1 is a measure noun. We find the same contrast as in 73 : whereas container, part and collective nouns can be used as the N1 of an embedded QC, quantifier nouns cannot. The main difference between the examples in 73 and 78 concerns the measure nouns: a measure noun cannot be followed by another measure noun in the singular.

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The examples in 79 show that container nouns behave just like measure nouns. Example 79e may again be weird for reasons concerning our knowledge of the world, but seems otherwise completely well-formed. This is, of course, due to the fact that they can only be followed by a non-count noun while the referential N1s heading the embedded QCs are count nouns. Binominal constructions 80 a. Some semantic properties This section discusses some of the semantic properties of the different types of N1s, focusing on their quantificational meaning. We will see that quantifier nouns are quite similar to cardinal numerals in various respects.

The quantificational force of N1s In the previous sections it has repeatedly been claimed that all N1s are quantificational in the sense that they indicate a certain amount or quantity of the denotation of N2. If N1s indeed have quantifier-like properties comparable to cardinal numerals or quantifying adjectives, we expect them to yield felicitous answers to the question in 82a as well.

Hoeveel boeken heb je gelezen? Note that the N1s can undergo pluralization and diminutivization, and can be preceded by a cardinal numeral. This clearly shows that we are dealing with referential nouns. Hoeveel bier heb je gedronken? Hoeveel cake heb je gegeten? Hoeveel toeristen heb je rondgeleid? On the weak reading, exemplified in the primeless examples in 86 , these noun phrases get a nonspecific indefinite interpretation, that is, they simply refer to a set of new discourse entities. Er zijn een aantal studenten verdwenen. Een aantal studenten zijn verdwenen.

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For 6 , with a caseless possessor in Spec,IP, on the other hand, size matters. In april volgt nog een derde deel over dit onderwerp. Social History of Muslims in Bengal down to A. Consider the difference between he subjective and him objective , as in "He saw it" and "It saw him"; similarly, consider who , which is subjective, and the objective whom. In the first list you always use nominative form: kitab, kitaben beti, betiyan. For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, grammatical function is indicated only by word order , by prepositions , and by the " Saxon genitive or English possessive " -'s. Bibliographical notes [-]Chapter 5 [-]Determiners: articles and pronouns [-]5.

Er is twee kilo vlees verdwenen. Twee kilo vlees is verdwenen. Definite and indefinite N1s All N1s indicate a certain amount or quantity. The difference between quantifier nouns and the other types of N1s is that quantifier nouns indicate an indefinite amount or quantity, whereas the other types indicate an often conventionally or contextually determined definite amount or quantity. The fact that 89a is fully acceptable with the singular form of kilo shows that a phrase like twee kilo does not function as a plural noun phrase; it simply refers to a definite quantity.

Some similarities between N1s and cardinal numerals Section 4. Therefore, it seems useful to compare the two types of element in other respects as well. The primeless examples in 90 show, however, that this expectation is borne out for the quantifier and the measure nouns only. I have ER still a liter or two c. Ik heb nog twee liter s.

Ik heb nog twee dozen. Ik heb nog twee repen. Ik heb nog twee kuddes. The primed counterparts with quantitative er, on the other hand, are compatible with plural agreement only, which shows that in these constructions the verb agrees with the phonetically empty N2 that we postulated for these constructions. We added example 92c to show that in constructions without quantitative er agreement is always triggered by N1. Ik heb nog een aantal mededelingen. Ik heb nog twee stukken chocolade. Ik heb er nog [twee [e]]. Modification Cardinal numerals can be modified by variety of modifiers; cf.

Section 6. The modifiers in 94c have an approximate meaning. This will be clear from the fact that in examples like 96a the modifier must be adjacent to the modified numeral. Finally, it can be noted that in cases in which N1 is preceded by a numeral, it is the numeral and not N1 that is modified. Scope and coordination The examples in 97 show that cardinal numerals and quantifiers may take scope over nominal phrases of different sizes: in the primeless examples, their scope is restricted to one conjunct, whereas in the primed examples they may have both conjuncts in their scope.

The quantifier noun hoop has the same property as the quantifier veel: whereas 98a implies 98b , the implication does not hold the other way round. The collective nouns also behave in this way, but this will go unillustrated here. Conclusion This section has compared the three types of N1s with numerals and quantifiers. Quantifier nouns have been shown to pattern with quantifiers. Container, part and collective nouns, on the other hand, rather pattern with cardinal numerals, notwithstanding the fact that the latter, but not the former, license quantitative er.

Measure nouns again exhibit ambiguous behavior. The projection of N2 This section discusses the projection headed by N2. It will be argued that this projection is not a DP, but a phrase that is somewhat smaller. Determiners One reason to assume that the phrase headed by N2 is not a DP is that it can never be preceded by an article, a demonstrative or a possessive pronoun. This is shown in both for count and for non-count nouns. By way of contrast, the primed examples give the corresponding partitive constructions, in which the projection of N2 does act as a full DP; see Section 4.

Binominal constructions a. It must be noted, however, that an indefinite article cannot be used either, as is shown by a ; compare this QC with the partitive construction in b , in which the indefinite article must be expressed. I got from Peter a glass [of] an exquisite cognac b.

Syntax of Dutch: Verbs and Verb Phrases (vol. 1 and 2)

I got from Peter a glass of an exquisite cognac II. Proper nouns and pronouns Another reason for assuming that N2 does not head a DP is that substituting a pronoun for the projection of N2 yields an unacceptable result. Example c shows, however, that existential quantifiers are excluded as well.

Complementation and modification Although the examples above support the idea that N2 does not head a DP, we cannot conclude that N2 is a bare noun. Finally, note that a pseudo-superlative like alleraardigste could be used, but these do not necessarily trigger a definite interpretation. Numerals and quantifiers Cardinal numerals and quantifiers cannot precede N2. This, however, has no bearing on what the size of the projection of N2 is, given that a plausible explanation for the impossibility of can be found in the fact that they are in the scope of the N1, which also has quantifying force; cf.

Initial coordination The claim that N2 heads a projection that is somewhat smaller than a DP can also be supported by evidence involving initial coordination, that is, coordination by means of discontinuous coordinators like of As is shown in the primed examples in for quantifier and collective nouns by means of zowel Movement The primeless examples in show that the projection headed by N2 can never be moved independently from N1; the noun phrase consisting of N1 and N2 cannot be split.

The primed examples show that the same thing holds for numerals and quantifiers: Standard Dutch does not allow this so-called split topicalization construction. That the judgments on the primeless and the primed examples are related is clear from the fact that those dialects that do allow the primeless examples also allow the split patterns in the primed examples. We refer the reader to Coppen , Vos , and Van Hoof for a discussion of split topicalization.

Pole b. Quantitative er That the phrase headed by N2 and the nominal projection following a numeral sometimes exhibit similar behavior is also clear from the fact already discussed in Section 4. This again shows that the projection of N2 is smaller than DP, given that DPs cannot be replaced in this way. Ik heb er aan de Zuidpool [NP een heleboel [e]] gezien. I have ER at the South.

Pole a lot seen b. Ik heb er aan de Zuidpool [NP drie [e]] gezien. Pole three seen 4. Modification of quantificational binominal constructions This section investigates modification of the nouns in a QC. We will discuss attributive adjectives, PP-modifiers and relative clauses.

Attributive adjectives Section 4. In other cases, attributive adjectives preceding N1 actually modify N2 see Section 4. This is clear from the fact, illustrated in , that the —e ending must be present when the adjective follows N1. This shows, again, that if N2 functions as the semantic head of the QC, this does not imply that it also functions as the syntactic head.

This is shown for a in : note that we replaced the non-neuter N2 wijn by the neuter N2 bier in order to block interference of the gender feature of this noun. Placing an adjective that does not belong to this group in front of N1 normally gives rise to a degraded result. If this is indeed correct, the structure of these noun phrases is as indicated in the primed examples. Consequently it is N1, and not N2, that acts as the semantic head of the examples in This also clear from the fact that examples like , where the verb forces a reading in which N2 acts as the semantic head of the QC, are semantically anomalous when a PP- modifier of N1 is present.

Jan has yesterday a box [of] cigars with a lid smoked b. I have yesterday a crate [of] beer with deposit prt. This can be made clear by the examples in Despite its complexity, example a seems acceptable: the PP zonder pitten must be interpreted as a modifier of N2, and met een deksel as a modifier of N1. Relative clauses Just like PP-modifiers, relative clauses never intervene between N1 and N2, regardless of whether it is N1 or N2 that is modified. Some examples are given in : the relative clauses in these examples can only be construed with the container nouns doos and krat, which is clear from the fact that N1 triggers singular agreement on the finite verb of the relative clause, and from the fact that N2 can be dropped.

Nevertheless, the relative clauses must follow N2. The fact that the relative clause cannot be placed between N1 and N2 suggests that it modifies a phrase containing both N1 and N2, not just N1. If this is correct, the structure of these noun phrases is as indicated in the primed examples. This accounts for the fact that examples like , where the verb forces a reading in which N2 acts as the semantic head, are semantically anomalous when the relative clause is present.

Jan has yesterday a box [of] cigars that broken is smoked b. Jan has just a crate [of] beer where-on deposit. Note that example b with the relative pronoun die improves when the indefinite article is replaced by the definite article de, which is of course due to the fact that N1 is then construed as a referring expression. First, recall from Section 4. The crucial point is that the definite article is licensed on the antecedent of the relative pronoun, and this suggests that in b it is the full QC that acts as the antecedent of the relative pronoun: the definite article precedes N1, not N2.

This suggests that the structures in the primed examples in are possible alongside the primeless ones. It seems, however, that the primed structures are not available when N1 is referential. This can be made clear by means of the examples in Binominal constructions ? Conclusion This section has shown that both N1 and N2 can be modified. When N1 is modified, it seems that the complete QC is in the scope of the modifier.

When N2 is modified either the complete QC or the projection of N2 can be in the scope of the modifier, depending on the status of N1: when N1 is purely quantificational, both structures seem available; when it is referential the scope of the modifier seems restricted to the projection of N2. A note on partitive and pseudo-partitive constructions This section discusses the partitive and pseudo-partitive construction, which are exemplified in a and b respectively.

The primed examples show that these constructions occur not only with cardinal numerals but also in the quantificational binominal constructions QCs discussed in the previous sections. Although the partitive and pseudo-partitive constructions seem identical at first sight, we will show that they behave quite differently. More specifically we will argue that, as the name already suggests, pseudo-partitive constructions are in fact not partitive constructions; despite appearances, the phrase van die lekkere koekjes in the b -examples is not a PP but a noun phrase.

After a brief general introduction of the constructions in 4. Vier van de koekjes lagen op tafel. Een paar van de koekjes lagen op tafel. Ik wil graag vier van die lekkere koekjes. Ik wil graag een paar van die lekkere koekjes. Partitive and pseudo-partitive constructions This section briefly discusses the partitive and the pseudo-partitive construction.

Partitive constructions Partitive constructions are noun phrases that refer to a subset of some set presupposed in discourse. They consist of a cardinal numeral or a quantifier expressing the cardinality or size of the subset, followed by a van-PP the complement of which denotes the presupposed set. In a the cardinal numeral vier indicates that the cardinality of the subset is 4, and in b the quantifier veel expresses that the subset is bigger than some implicitly assumed norm.

When these N1s are preceded by a cardinal numeral, the result is usually acceptable, despite the fact that most speakers interpret the N1s with the exception of twee kilo primarily as referential. This holds both for expressions in which N1 is preceded by an indefinite article and expressions in which it is preceded by a numeral.

This is shown in for all marked examples in This also holds for the partitive constructions in and with part, container, and collective nouns. The quantifier and measure nouns behave differently, however: they allow agreement between the verb and the complement of the van-PP. The fact that the agreement pattern of the partitive construction in is identical to that of the constructions discussed in Section 4. It therefore will not come as a surprise that these examples may have a partitive reading. In passing note that constructions with the singular, neuter demonstrative dat trigger the same ambiguity; cf.

Ik wil een paar van die lekkere koekjes. I want a couple of those tasty cookies b. Ik wil twee liter van dat lekkere bier. I want two liter of that nice beer c. Ik wil een stuk van dat lekkere gebak. I want a piece of that nice cake d. Ik wil een kistje van die geurige sigaren. I want a boxdim of those aromatic cigars e. Ik wil opnieuw een stelletje van die enthousiaste studenten.

This is illustrated in : in a the van-phrase is used as the subject of the clause and in b as the object. Er liggen van die lekkere koekjes op tafel. Marie geeft altijd van die grappige voorbeelden. Under this analysis both the partitive and the pseudo- partitive construction are QCs, but they differ in that in the former case N2 has the form of an empty noun, whereas in the latter case it is a spurious PP that functions as N2. This is exemplified in for the noun phrase een paar van die lekkere koekjes in a.

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Partitive: [een paar e [PP van die lekkere koekjes]] b. Pseudo-partitive: [een paar [NP van die lekkere koekjes]] 4. This follows from the analysis proposed in the previous section. Een aantal van die studenten verenigen zich. It is furthermore important to note that example b is pragmatically odd due to the fact that it only allows a reading in which both the plate and the spinach have been eaten by Jan; apparently the complement of the PP- adjunct cannot satisfy the selection restriction imposed by the verb.

Jan heeft een bord spinazie opgegeten. Jan has a plate [of] spinach prt. Jan has a plate with spinach prt. Again, this follows from the proposed analysis. The structure associated with the partitive reading is given in b : the quantifier noun is followed by an empty noun functioning as N2, which is construed as identical to the complement of the van-PP, and since this empty N2 can satisfy the selection restriction of eten in the same way as an overt N2 in a QC the result is pragmatically felicitous.

Jan heeft een bord van die heerlijke spinazie opgegeten. Jan has a plate of that delicious spinach prt. Jan heeft [een bord [e] [PP van die heerlijke spinazie]] opgegeten. Jan heeft [een bord [NP van die heerlijke spinazie]] opgegeten. We have already seen that we can appeal to the meaning of the complete construction: a partitive construction denotes a subset of a presupposed superset, whereas a pseudo-partitive construction denotes set of entities of a kind familiar to the addressee. In addition, the following subsections will show that we can appeal to a number of more syntactic properties of the two constructions.

The preposition van The analyses of the partitive and pseudo-partitive noun phrases given above imply that the status of van differs in the two constructions: in the former it is a regular preposition, whereas in the latter it is a spurious one. To substantiate this claim, we will investigate in more detail constructions in which the spurious van-PP is used as an argument of a verb or a preposition, and show that it behaves as a noun phrase. The fact that the spurious van-PP functions as the subject in is especially telling: genuine PPs normally cannot have this syntactic function.

Er zitten nog van die vieze koekjes in de trommel. Hij bakt vaak van die vieze koekjes. Again, this is revealing given that prepositions normally do not take PP-complements. An example is given in a. This again supports the claim that we are actually dealing with a noun phrase. PP- over-V can then serve to disambiguate the example: after extraposition of the van- phrase only the PP-complement reading survives. Jan heeft van dat lekkere brood gegeten. Jan heeft gegeten van dat lekkere brood. This is illustrated in Jan has a number of those cookies prt.

Example furthermore shows that R-pronominalization can also be used to disambiguate examples like After pronominalization of dat lekkere brood only the PP- complement reading survives. These facts again support the suggestion that van is not a true preposition in the spurious van-PP. This finding is consistent with the analysis proposed in Section 4. Quantitative er Section 4.

If the partitive and the pseudo- partitive readings of example a indeed correlate, respectively, with the interpretation of the van-phrase as a genuine PP and a concealed noun phrase, we correctly predict that corresponds to a on the pseudo-partitive reading only: quantitative er requires that the empty element e be interpreted as a noun phrase. Something similar holds for the demonstrative.

As is shown in , the presence of this adjunct has a disambiguating effect on potential ambiguous examples; the presence of daar blocks the pseudo- partitive reading. The demonstrative in the pseudo-partitive construction, however, resists accent: the examples in can only be interpreted as true partitive constructions. Jan heeft die drie lekkere taarten gebakken. Definiteness of the complement of van Since the partitive construction refers to a subset of a presupposed set, the complement of van must be definite.

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As is shown in , this prediction is indeed borne out; the noun phrases following van only have a type- reading and in that sense resemble the pseudo-partitive reading. Conclusion This section has discussed the partitive and pseudo-partitive construction. It has been argued in 4. The partitive construction, on the other hand, is a noun phrase headed by an empty noun followed by a partitive van-PP. Due to the fact that the empty noun may function as the N1 of a QC, the partitive construction may have the same morphological shape as a pseudo-partitive construction.

These non-quantificational examples typically involve the noun soort. As in Section 4. That the constructions in differ from the quantificational constructions discussed in Section 4. Where possible we will show that the examples in behave more or less like the noun soort in a. Gender demonstratives That we are dealing with three different, but homophonous, nouns in is not only clear from the meaning differences between the three constructions but also from the fact that the nouns have different genders.

The third use of soort is also compatible with both neuter and non-neuter N2s. Schermer-Vermeer All these examples occur frequently on the internet. The plural examples in a and b impose different selection restrictions on N2: N2 must be plural in the former, but can be singular in the latter. We leave this for future research. We leave establishing the precise status of examples like to future research as well. Articles The constructions in are similar in that they normally do not allow a definite determiner. The binominal construction in c is acceptable but only under a reading comparable to a or b.

The examples in show that this is readily possible in examples like c. Examples like a sound somewhat marginal. They can be found on the internet but the number of cases is relatively small: A Google search on the string [deze soort van] resulted in about 7, hits, many of which did not instantiate the relevant construction. Judgments on examples like b vary among speakers, but examples of this construction do occur frequently in informal spoken Dutch and can readily be found on the internet; a Google search performed in November on the string [dit soort van] resulted in more than 50, hits, and a cursory look at the results revealed that most cases instantiated the relevant construction.

Note that addition of an attributive adjective triggers a more referential reading of the noun soort, which makes the example unacceptable. The syntactic status of N2 number agreement The constructions in also differ with respect to the question what the syntactic head of the construction is. In b , on the other hand, agreement can be triggered either by N1 or by N2, which shows that either of the two nouns can act as the syntactic head of the construction.

When the relative pronoun takes N2 as its antecedent, as in b , agreement between N2 and the finite verb becomes perhaps slightly better, but the result is still marked. The semantic status of N2 The examples in show that, as in the QCs, N2 may act as the semantic head of all binominal soort-constructions. The requirement that the verb verzamelen takes a plural count noun or a substance noun as its direct object is satisfied by N2; when N2 is a singular count noun, the result is ungrammatical. Conclusion This section has discussed some of the properties of the non-quantificational constructions in , and it has been shown that the three homophonous forms are different in various respects.

Since these forms have not been investigated systematically in the literature, future research on the three constructions in question will undoubtedly reveal more systematic differences. Other constructions Besides the binominal constructions discussed in Sections 4. Although we are generally dealing with a modification relation between the two nouns, it is sometimes not immediately clear in which direction the modification relation goes. The two readings seem to differ in the intonation patterns they trigger: on the first reading, accent is preferably given to N2, whereas on the second reading it is instead N1 that receives contrastive accent.

It seems that the most common modification relation is that in which N2 has a modifying function with respect to N1. Some typical examples, which are often given in the literature, are given in This section will discuss a number of systematic types of examples. Binominal constructions that can be used as vocatives and arguments In this construction type, N2 is a proper noun referring to a person.

Some examples, mainly adapted from Haeseryn et al. The examples in show that in this respect they crucially differ from constructions in which the N1s occur on their own. I have the Queen Beatrix seen b. I have the Queen seen It is also clear from the fact illustrated in that, like proper nouns, binominal constructions can be used both as vocative, and in regular argument position. Docter Jansen, kunt u even komen? Jansen can you for. Kan dokter Jansen even komen?

In cases like these, the projection of N2 necessarily contains the definite article. N1, on the other hand, is never preceded by a definite article, which again suggests that the construction as a whole functions as a proper noun. Their normal use is that of vocative, and they can only be used in argument position when the person referred to is physically present.

So, whereas b can be uttered in the absence of the intended person, example b seems to require that the intended person be physically present. Mevrouw de voorzitter, kunt u uitleggen waarom Kan mevrouw de voorzitter uitleggen waarom Since this requires that a determiner be present, it is not clear whether we are dealing with a construction of the type in here. The fact illustrated in b that such plural noun phrases cannot be used as vocative suggests that we are dealing with a binominal construction of the type discussed in the next subsection.

Professoren Chomsky and Kayne, kunt u even komen? Professors Chomsky and Kayne can you for. This is immediately clear from the fact that the latter cannot be used as a vocative; see the contrast between the c -examples in For a more extensive discussion of appositions, see Section 3. Tante Jeanne is ziek. Mijn zuster Els is ziek.

Aunt Jeanne is ill my sister Els is ill b. Mijn zuster, Els, is ziek. Tante Jeanne, bent u boven? Binominal constructions that can only be used as arguments When the construction as a whole refers to a geographical entity, N1 can be a noun that denotes the set of geographical entities that the referent of the entire binominal construction is a member of.

Some typical examples are given in In examples like these the modification relation is typically bidirectional: while it is clear that the proper noun enables the hearer to identify the intended river, state or city, it is at the same time expressed that the proper noun refers to a river, a state and a city, respectively. Whether both directions are indeed activated may also be related to the extra-linguistic knowledge of the hearer: in b , it will be prominent for those speakers who are aware of the fact that the proper noun Utrecht is used both for the province Utrecht and its capital city.

Note that in these cases N1 is typically preceded by a definite article, and that the proper noun may also be preceded by an article, provided that it also has one when used in isolation. This is perhaps not so clear in a , where it is clearly the proper noun that modifies the noun familie and not vice versa, but it is in b , where it is simultaneously expressed that we are dealing with a poetess called Vasalis, and that Vasalis is a poetess. Again, the use of a definite article seems obligatory. By using this example we are referring to the person Jan Wolkers in his capacity as a writer as opposed to his quality as, e.

It seems reasonable, however, to not consider this example as a binominal construction but as the restrictive counterpart of the construction in b , where we are clearly dealing with an appositive noun phrase. Jan Wolkers de schrijver is erg geliefd in Nederland. Jan Wolkers the writer is much loved in the. Netherlands b. Jan Wolkers, de beroemde schrijver, houdt hier vanavond een lezing. Paulus de Boskabouter Paulus the wood. Jan de Bakker As a result of the addition of the proper noun, the binominal phrases discussed so far are uniquely identifying.

The same effect can be attained by the noun phrases that contain a numeral in a , where the numeral identifies the referent of the full noun phrase. Het woord boek is een enkelvoudig nomen. In taalkundige artikelen wordt altijd de naam Jan gebruikt. Unclear cases Occasionally, it is not so clear whether we are dealing with true binominal constructions.

Take a as an example. This example differs from the examples above in that it is not a uniquely referring expression. Furthermore, it is possible to express the same meaning by means of a postnominal PP. This suggests that the binominal construction is simply an abbreviated version of the noun phrase with a PP-modifier. The second noun is normally the family name of some person who is intimately related to the referent of the noun phrase as a whole.

In cases like these, the binominal construction comes pretty close to a compound, which is also clear from the fact that, in writing, the two nouns are generally linked by means of a hyphen. In present-day Dutch such noun phrases would normally be realized by means of a postnominal van-phrase instead of the genitive noun phrase.

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The Syntax of Dutch will be published in at least seven volumes in the period and aims at presenting a synthesis of the currently available syntactic . The first two volumes in this series, "Nouns and Noun Phrases", are co-authored by Evelien Keizer (volume 1) and Marcel den Dikken (volume.

Binominal constructions with a preposition In the previous section, we were mainly concerned with binominal constructions in which the two nouns may or must be adjacent. In this section, we will deal with binominal constructions that contain a preposition. This is followed in Section 4. The examples in a and b show that there are two semantic subtypes of this construction; cf.

Den Dikken ch. Example a involves some form of metaphoric comparison: the size of the referent of the noun phrase is compared to a tree, that is, he is huge. In many cases, however, it is not easy to distinguish between the two subtypes. For example, example c is a case of evaluative metaphoric comparison; the referent of the phrase is not only compared with a dike but this comparison is in this case conventionally used to simultaneously express that the referent has certain unspecified properties that are highly desirable for a managing director.

Hij is een boom van een kerel. Hij is een onbenul van een dokter. Hij is een dijk van een directeur. Marie heeft een schat van een kat. Jan bewonderde een schat van een piraat. Marie heeft de schat van een kat. Marie heeft een schat van de kat. Marie heeft de schat van de kat. Jan bewonderde de schat van een piraat. Jan bewonderde een schat van de piraat.

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Jan bewonderde de schat van de piraat. Van een kat heeft Marie een schat. Van een piraat bewonderde Jan een schat. Now that we have seen that the binominal construction in a differs from the modified noun phrase in b , we will investigate the former in more detail. The relation between the two nouns number agreement between the two nouns The most conspicuous property of the N van een N construction is that, as a general rule, the two nouns agree in number: when N1 is singular, N2 must be singular as well; when N1 is plural, N2 must also be plural.

This supports the idea that the two nouns in the N van een N construction are in a predicative relation. Die kat is een schat. Die katten zijn schatten. Die katten zijn een schat. It has been claimed in Bennis et al. If the primed examples are really grammatical we were not able to find any examples of this sort on the internet , this stresses the similarity of the N van een N and the copular construction, and hence supports the idea that N1 and N2 are in a predicative relation in the N van een N construction.

Die feiten zijn een ramp. Die voetbalvandalen zijn tuig. It must be noted, however, that in English, singular mass nouns that trigger plural agreement on the finite verb like the police in The police are coming can occur as the subject in a copular construction with a plural nominal predicate: The police are idiots. The unacceptability of Dutch examples like a may therefore be due to the fact that all Dutch mass nouns trigger singular agreement on the finite verb.

The semantic head of the construction A hotly debated issue with respect to the N van een N construction is whether N1 or N2 is the semantic head of the construction. The fact that in constructions like a , the N van een N construction can be replaced a noun phrase headed either by N1 or by N2 has given rise to the idea that the construction is ambiguous and that either of the two nouns can function as the semantic head of the construction. Jan en Ruud zijn twee schatten van katten. Jan and Ruud are two treasures of cats b. Jan en Ruud zijn twee schatten. Jan en Ruud zijn twee katten.

This conclusion seems to be mistaken, however, since the acceptability of b is just due to the fact that the noun phrase twee schatten is used as a metaphoric predicate, just as in the N van een N construction. The fact that c can be used to refer to the same state of affairs as a , on the other hand, shows unambiguously that it is N2 that acts as the semantic head of the N van een N construction. The syntactic head of the construction number agreement with the finite verb Since the two nouns in the N van een N construction generally agree in number, it is hard to say which of the two nouns triggers agreement on the finite verb.

In order to determine that, we have to take recourse to the more exceptional and perhaps disputable cases in b and b. The data in show that the fact that N2 is the semantic head of the construction does not necessarily imply that it is also the syntactic head of the construction; cf. Die idioten van een regering? Articles and other determiners preceding N1 gender agreement Another way to determine the syntactic head of the construction is by considering what determiner the N van een N construction takes.

If the definite determiner agrees in gender with N1 we conclude that N1 is the syntactic head of the construction, and when it agrees with N2 we conclude that N2 is the syntactic head. Unfortunately, we cannot show this on the basis of the definite articles de and het, since we have already seen in a that definite articles cannot be used in the N van een N construction. According to some speakers the mixed singular examples are excluded. Other speakers do accept at least some of these examples. The judgments on the 9d -examples in , on the other hand, seem clearer: the primed example is generally rejected, whereas the primeless example is accepted by at least some speakers.

We refer the reader to Everaert for a detailed discussion. Examples in which the determiner agrees in gender with the two nouns are always possible. When the two nouns differ in gender, agreement of the determiner and N1 is obligatory for at least one group of speakers. It goes without saying that those cases in which agreement is entirely absent give rise to the most degraded results, which is not reflected by the judgments in the table.

As is shown by a , using demonstratives in their deictic function generally leads to a bad result, just like the use of the definite article does. An interrogative example like b , for instance, seems possible provided that the speaker is, for instance, hugging the cat in question thus showing that he himself is fond of it, but not when he is just pointing at it. In other words, b is only possible when used as a kind of rhetorical question.

Jan bekeek die schatten van katten en Marie bekeek deze. Jan looked. En wat vind je van deze schat van een kat? Some examples involving these indefinite determiners are given in Ruud is een schat van een kat. Jan and Ruud are treasures of cats b. Jan is such a treasure of a cat c.

Is Ruud geen schat van een kat? Wat een schat van een kat! Modification of the nouns Modification of the nouns in the construction is subject to various restrictions. Some examples, taken from Den Dikken b , are given in Although attributively used adjectives may precede N1, postnominal modifiers cannot immediately follow it, as is shown in a. Probably, the impossibility to modify N1 is again due to the fact that N1 is not referential in nature. Example b shows that postmodifiers following N2 are possible, but in these cases we cannot immediately decide whether the PP modifies N2 or the complete N van een N construction.

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The fact that the relative pronoun must agree in gender with N2 suggests that it is this noun that is modified, and not the complete N van een N construction. The article een preceding N2 The indefinite article preceding N2 cannot be replaced by other kinds of determiners. Marie has a treasure of a cat b.

Still, the Npl van een Npl construction is fully acceptable for all speakers in exclamative contexts like a , in which case both nouns are preceded by the indefinite article een. As shown in b , such a combination of een and a plural noun is not restricted to N van een N constructions of this kind, but are typical of this kind of exclamative constructions. Een schatten van een katten dat hij heeft!

Een boeken dat hij heeft! There is, however, a problem with this conclusion; een is also possible with N2s that normally cannot be preceded by an indefinite article. However, a caveat is in order, since speakers tend to no longer construe the N2s in such cases as substance nouns. Instead, the noun wijn will, for instance, be interpreted as referring to a certain kind of N2, and the N2 kaas as referring to an actual object.

Again, these proper nouns must be preceded by een in the N van een N construction; note that the definite article, which is normally present, cannot be used in these binominal constructions. The preposition van Since the preposition van cannot be replaced by any other preposition, it has been suggested that it is a spurious preposition. Alexiadou et al. Another fact that may point in this direction is that this sequence cannot be moved independently of the sequence preceding van.

Jan is een boom van een kerel. Jan is a tree of a fellow b. Jan is a tree there-of Bennis et al. Syntactic distribution The N van een N construction can be used in all regular NP-positions, that is, both as an argument and as a nominal predicate. In , we give examples in which the construction functions as a subject, a direct object, an indirect object, the complement of a preposition, and a predicate in a copular construction. Ik heb een pracht van een vaas gekocht. Jan en Ruud zijn schatten van katten. One of the typical properties of the wat voor phrase is that it can be split by moving the interrogative pronoun wat to clause-initial position while stranding the voor NP string, as in b.

Before we start our discussion we want to point out that the availability of both the unsplit and the split pattern clearly distinguishes example b from the seemingly similar construction in a : the unacceptability of b suggests that wat and aan boeken do not form a constituent.

Wat heeft Jan aan boeken gekocht? In other words, a felicitous answer to a wat voor N question involves a noun phrase denoting a subset of N, whereas a felicitous answer to a welk e N question involves a noun phrase referring to one or more discourse entities for which the predicate in the question holds.