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3.3.6. Adverbial postmodification
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This section discusses postnominal modification by means of adverbials; see also, e.g., Haeseryn et al. (1997: 849-50) and Barbiers (1995: 4.7). We will start with a discussion of nouns postmodified by adverbial phrases, an option which seems to be restricted to adverbial phrases of place and time. After that, we will continue the discussion of postnominal adverbial clauses, which is possible with a variety of adverbial functions.

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[+]  I.  Adverbial phrases of time and place

Typical examples of adverbial postmodification involve temporal adverbs like gisteren'yesterday' and the place adverbs daar/hier'there/here'. Examples (561a&b) show that the adverb must occur postnominally; placing the adverb in prenominal position gives rise to an ungrammatical result.

Example 561
a. <*Gisteren> de krant <gisteren> deed uitgebreid verslag van het schandaal.
  yesterday  the newspaper  did  elaborate report  of the scandal
  'The newspaper yesterday gave a detailed account of the scandal.'
b. De <*daar/*hier> regering <daar/hier> is democratisch gekozen.
  the     there/here  government  is democratically  elected
  'The government over there/over here has been elected democratically.'
[+]  A.  Temporal adverbs

At first sight temporal adverbial modifiers gisteren/morgen'yesterday/tomorrow' may seem to be synonymous with PP-modifiers like van gisteren/van morgen'of yesterday/of tomorrow' given that they can often be used in the same contexts; cf. example (562). This subsection will show, however, that the two constructions differ both semantically and syntactically.

Example 562
a. De krant (van) gisteren deed uitgebreid verslag van het schandaal.
  the newspaper   of  yesterday  did  extensive report  of the scandal
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper gave a detailed account of the scandal.'
  'The newspaper yesterday gave a detailed account of the scandal.'
b. De vergadering (van) morgen begint om drie uur.
  the meeting   of  tomorrow  starts  at three oʼclock
  'Tomorrowʼs meeting will start at three oʼclock.'
  'The meeting tomorrow will start at three oʼclock.'
[+]  1.  Meaning

From a semantic point of view, van-PPs (whether restrictive or non-restrictive) can be said to denote a property of the head noun. They simply have the function of providing the hearer with sufficient information to properly identify the intended referent. This means that the complement of the van-PP in (562) can be replaced by any time denoting expression that can perform this function. The examples in (563) show that the substitution possibilities of the adverbial phrase are more restricted in this respect.

Example 563
a. De krant *(van) 3 januari deed uitgebreid verslag van het schandaal.
  the newspaper      of  3 January  did  extensive report  of the scandal
  'The newspaper of January 3 gave a detailed account of the scandal.'
b. De vergadering *(van) 3 januari begint om drie uur.
  the meeting      of  3 January  starts  at three oʼclock
  'The meeting on January 3 will start at three oʼclock.'

In addition to this identifying function, postmodifying adverbs also seem to situate the entity referred to by the noun phrase at a particular place or time. As a result, the examples in (562) with the adverbial modifiers are semantically more or lesss equivalent to the examples in (564), where we are dealing with regular adverbial phrases; the main difference is that the adverbial phrases in (564) do not play a role in identifying the referent of the noun phrase for the hearer. For completeness’ sake, The examples in (564) also show that the van-PPs cannot be used adverbially in these cases.

Example 564
a. De krant deed (*van) gisteren uitgebreid verslag van het schandaal.
  the newspaper  did  of yesterday  extensive report  of the scandal
  'Yesterday, the newspaper gave a detailed account of the scandal.'
b. De vergadering begint (*van) morgen om drie uur.
  the meeting  starts  of tomorrow  at three oʼclock
  'The meeting will start at three oʼclock tomorrow.'
[+]  2.  Tense agreement

If used postnominally, the adverbial phrase must agree in tense with the finite verb of the clause. In other words, in (565a) and (566a) the adverb gisteren'yesterday' has scope outside the noun phrase of which it is a part, with the result that the finite verb of the main clause must be in the past tense, just as in the primed examples where we are dealing with a regular adverbial phrase. With the van-PPs, on the other hand, there is no such restriction, so that (565b) and (566b) are acceptable both in the past and in the present tense.

Example 565
a. In de krant gisteren stond/*staat een artikel over Japanse kunst.
  in the newspaper yesterday  stood/stands  an article about Japanese art
  'In the newspaper yesterday there was an article on Japanese art.'
a'. In de krant stond/*staat gisteren een artikel over Japanse kunst.
b. In de krant van gisteren stond/staat een artikel over Japanse kunst.
  in the newspaper of yesterday  stood/stands  an article about Japanese art
  'In yesterdayʼs newspaper there was/is an article on Japanese art.'
Example 566
a. De krant gisteren meldde/*meldt de laatste ontwikkelingen.
  the newspaper yesterday  reported/reports  the latest developments
  'The newspaper yesterday reported the latest developments.'
a'. De krant meldde/*meldt gisteren de laatste ontwikkelingen.
b. De krant van gisteren meldde/meldt de laatste ontwikkelingen.
  the newspaper of yesterday  reported/reports  the latest developments
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper reported/reports latest developments.'

That the adverb has scope outside the PP is also shown by example (567a) where the simultaneous expression of the postnominal modifier gisteren and the regular adverb vandaag'today' leads to a contradiction. Example (567b) shows that we do not find a similar contradiction in the case of a postnominal van-PP.

Example 567
a. Die man gisteren vertelde (*vandaag) de waarheid.
  that man  yesterday  told      today  the truth
  'That man yesterday told the truth (today).'
b. Die man van gisteren vertelde vandaag de waarheid.
  that man  of yesterday  told  today  the truth
  'Yesterdayʼs man told the truth today.'
[+]  3.  Syntactic function of the noun phrase

Another restriction concerns the syntactic function that noun phrases containing an adverbial postmodifier or a van-PP can fulfill in the clause. The examples in (568a&b) show that these noun phrases can function as the subject of the clause, and the one in (568c) that the same thing holds if these noun phrases act as the complement of a preposition.

Example 568
a. De krant (van) gisteren meldde de laatste ontwikkelingen.
  the newspaper of yesterday  reported  the latest development
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper reported the latest development.'
  'The newspaper yesterday reported the latest developments.'
b. De krant (van) gisteren bestond grotendeels uit advertenties.
  the newspaper of yesterday  consisted  largely  from advertisements
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper consisted largely of advertisements.'
  'The newspaper yesterday consisted largely of advertisements.'
c. In de krant (van) gisteren las ik een artikel over Japanse kunst.
  in the newspaper of yesterday  read  an article about Japanese art
  'In yesterdayʼs newspaper I read an article on Japanese art.'

However, these constructions turn out to be acceptable only if the main verb denotes a state of affairs relating to properties of the newspaper itself, either its contents or its appearance. In all other cases, only constructions with the van-PP are acceptable. For noun phrases functioning as subject, this is shown in (569).

Example 569
a. De krant *(van) gisteren lag op de keukentafel.
  the newspaper of yesterday  lay  on the kitchen table
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper was lying on the kitchen table.'
b. De krant *(van) gisteren is niet gekomen.
  the newspaper of yesterday  is not  come
  'Yesterdayʼs newspaper didnʼt come.'

For noun phrases functioning as prepositional objects, this is shown in (570). Observe that (570b) is acceptable, but only with the adverb gisteren functioning as a regular adverbial phrase, which is shown by the fact in (570b') that topicalization of the PP is only possible with van-PPs: since in Dutch only one constituent can be topicalized, the sequence de krant gisteren cannot appear in initial position (the constituency test).

Example 570
a. Ik heb de plant op de krant *(van) gisteren gezet.
  have  the plant  on the newspaper of yesterday  put
  'Iʼve put the plant on yesterdayʼs newspaper.'
b. Ik heb met de krant #(van) gisteren een mug dood geslagen.
  have  with the newspaper of yesterday  a mosquito  dead  beaten
  'I killed a mosquito with yesterdayʼs newspaper.'
b'. Met de krant *(van) gisteren heb ik een mug dood geslagen.
  with the newspaper of yesterday  have  a mosquito  dead  beaten

      Noun phrases functioning as direct objects never contain an adverbial modifier. Thus, in (571a) the object can only contain a van-PP; without van the element gisteren can only be interpreted as a regular adverbial phrase. This means that the sequence de krant gisteren does not form one constituent, which accounts for the fact that it cannot be topicalized. Noun phrases containing a van-PP, on the other hand, can be topicalized.

Example 571
a. Ik heb de krant #(van) gisteren niet gelezen.
  have  the newspaper of yesterday  not  read
  'I didnʼt read yesterdayʼs newspaper.'
b. De krant *(van) gisteren heb ik niet gelezen.
  the newspaper of yesterday  have  not  read
[+]  4.  Extraposition of the modifier

Finally, extraposition of the modifier out of the noun phrase is possible only in the case of van-PPs; an example is given in (572a). Adverbial modifiers in extraposed position can only be interpreted as regular adverbial phrases, as can be seen from the English translation in example (572b).

Example 572
a. Ik heb [de krant ti] gelezen [*(van) gisteren]i.
  have  the newspaper  read  of yesterday
  'I read yesterdayʼs newspaper.'
b. Ik heb [de krant] gelezen gisteren.
  have  the newspaper  read  yesterday
  'I read the newspaper yesterday.'
[+]  B.  Locational adverbs

The locational adverbs hier and daar can be used in a number of ways. In (573a&b), the adverbs are simply used to indicate location, and in (573c) to indicate origin. In these functions the adverbs clearly head a phrase, which is clear from the fact that they themselves can be modified.

Example 573
a. De autoʼs [daar in Engeland] rijden aan de linkerkant van de weg.
  the cars   there in England  drive  on the left side  of the road
b. De fietsers [hier in Nederland] houden zich aan geen enkele regel.
  the cyclists   here in Holland  keep  refl  to not a single rule
  'The cyclists here in Holland ignore all the rules.'
c. De jongens [hier in het dorp] zijn gewend hard te werken.
  the boys  here in the village  are  used  hard  to work
  'The boys from here are used to working hard.'

In addition, the adverbs can be used deictically, as in the examples in (574): the modified noun is then typically preceded by a proximate demonstrative pronoun if the adverb is hier and by a distal demonstrative pronoun if the adverb is daar. If the adverbs are modified they tend to lose their deictic force in favor of a regular locational function.

Example 574
a. Ik heb dit huis hier/*?daar gekocht.
  have  this house  here/there  bought
  'Iʼve bought this house over here.'
a'. Ik heb dat huis daar/??hier gekocht.
  have  that house  there/here  bought
  'Iʼve bought that house over there.'
b. Deze jongens hier/*?daar zijn mijn vrienden.
  these boys  here/there  are  my friends
b'. Die jongens daar/??hier zijn mijn vrienden.
  those boys  here/there  are  my friends

The examples in (575) show that, unlike when it is used as a regular adverbial phrase within the clause, the place adverb daar/er'there' must appear in its strong form in postnominal position, which is due to the fact that it always receives stress.

Example 575
a. De regering wordt daar/er democratisch gekozen.
  the government  is  there  democratically  elected
  'The government is democratically elected over there.'
b. De regering daar/*er wordt democratisch gekozen.
  the government  there  is  democratically  elected

      Unlike temporal adverbs, locational adverbs are not readily confused with postnominal van-PPs due to the fact that they can only be used in the sense of “from here/there”. As a result, there are very few contexts in which both types of modifier can be used. Examples of constructions allowing both are given in (576).

Example 576
a. De jongens (van) hier zijn gewend hard te werken.
  the boys  of here  are used  hard  to work
  'The boys (from) here are used to working hard.'
b. Mensen (?van) daar zijn bijna allemaal erg arm.
  people     of  there  are  almost  all  very poor
  'People (from) over there are almost all very poor.'

In (577a&b), where the adverb cannot be interpreted as indicating origin (for reason related to our knowledge of the world), only the adverbial modifiers can be used. Note that in these cases, the examples involving postnominal modification are also semantically more or lesss equivalent to those in the primed examples where the adverbial phrases modify the clause: the main difference is that the postnominal modifier is needed to properly identify the intended set of cars, whereas this is not the case in the primed example.

Example 577
a. De autoʼs (*van) daar rijden aan de linker kant van de weg.
  the cars  from there  drive  on the left side of the road
a'. De autoʼs rijden daar aan de linker kant van de weg.
  the cars  drive  there  on the left side of the road
b. De fietsers (*van) hier in Nederland houden zich aan geen enkele regel.
  the cyclists here in Holland  keep  refl  to not a single rule
  'The cyclists here in Holland ignore all the rules.'
b'. De fietsers houden zich hier in Nederland aan geen enkele regel.
  the cyclists  keep  refl  here in Holland  to not a single rule

For completeness’ sake, (578a) shows that the van-PP cannot be used in deictic contexts either. Example (578b) with the distal demonstrative die'that/those' perhaps seems to contradict this but that is only apparent given that the demonstrative does not have deictic force in this example: it refers to a type rather than to a token.

Example 578
a. Deze jongens (*?van) hier zijn gewend hard te werken.
  these boys from here  are used  hard to work
  'These boys here are used to working hard.'
b. Die jongens van daar/hier zijn gewend hard te werken.
  those boys  from there/here  are  used  hard to work
[+]  II.  Adverbial clauses

Adverbial clauses, too, can be used as modifiers. In contrast to relative clauses, they do not contain an interpretative gap, and the linker introducing the clause may take many forms, depending on the adverbial relation prevailing between noun and clause, such as time, reason, condition, etc. Generally, adverbial clauses are used non-restrictively or appositionally; as indicated in the examples in (579), restrictive adverbial clauses seem somewhat marked.

Example 579
a. De protesten ?(,) [nadat het nieuws bekend werd], waren tevergeefs.
  the protests   after the news known became  were  in.vain
  'The protests(,) after the news had come out, were in vain.'
b. De protesten ?(,) [omdat we over moesten werken], waren tevergeefs.
  the protests  because  we prt.  must  do.overtime  were  in.vain
  'The protests, because we had to do overtime, were in vain.'
c. De protesten ?(,) [hoewel de directie toezeggingen had gedaan], bleven voortduren.
  the protests  although  the management  promises  had  done  kept  continue
  'The protests(,) although the management had made promises, were continued.'

In what follows we will look at some specific characteristics of adverbial clauses. Note that the adverbial clauses in (579a&b) are clearly part of the noun phrase: first, they share the first position with the noun phrase (constituency test); second, placing the adverbial clauses in clause-final position, which is normally possible with adverbial clauses, gives rise to the ungrammatical structures in (580a&b). That this test does not always give rise to a clear result is evident from the fact that (580c) is fully acceptable; this is due to the fact that the adverbial clause can also be used to modify the verb phrase, whereas this is impossible in (580a&b).

Example 580
a. * De protesten waren tevergeefs [nadat het nieuws bekend werd].
b. * De protesten waren tevergeefs [omdat we over moesten werken].
c. De protesten bleven voortduren [hoewel de directie toezeggingen had gedaan].
[+]  A.  Conjunctions

As mentioned before, adverbial clauses do not contain an interpretative gap coreferential with the modified noun phrase. Adverbial clauses are therefore full, finite clauses, introduced by a conjunction indicating the semantic relation between the clause and the antecedent. Postnominal adverbial clauses can cover virtually the same range of relations as regular ones; cf. Paardekooper (1986: 509). Some examples are given in (581); more examples will follow in the later subsections. The examples in (582) show that the conjunction can also be phrasal.

Example 581
a. De protesten, [toen we moesten overwerken], waren vrij hevig.
time
  the protests   when  we must  do.overtime  were  pretty fierce
b. De protesten, [als de plannen doorgaan], zullen hevig zijn.
condition
  the protests   if  the plans  continue  will  fierce  be
  'The protests, if the plans are implemented, will be fierce.'
c. De protesten, [omdat de plannen doorgaan], waren zeer hevig.
reason
  the protests   because the plans  continue  were  very fierce
  'The protests, because the plans are implemented, were very fierce.'
Example 582
a. Die protesten, [ingeval (dat) ze overwerk moeten doen], zijn voorbarig.
  those protests   in case that they overtime have to do  are premature
  'Those protests in case they have to do overtime are premature.'
b. Die protesten, [voor het geval dat ze overwerk moeten doen], zijn voorbarig.
  those protests   for the case that they overtime have to do  are premature
  'Those protests in case they have to do overtime are premature.'
[+]  B.  Restrictions on the use of adverbial clauses
[+]  1.  The antecedent

Antecedents of adverbial clauses are always abstract nouns denoting, e.g., a state of affairs. In many cases the head of the construction is a deverbal noun. The adverbial clause can, in such cases, be seen as being inherited from the original verbal expression, where it would have a regular adverbial function. This is illustrated in example (583), where the primed examples give a verbal construction denoting the same state of affairs as the modified DP in the primeless examples.

Example 583
a. de protesten, [toen we moesten overwerken], ...
time
  the protests   when  we  must  do.overtime
a'. We protesteerden toen we moesten overwerken.
  we  protested  when  we  must  do.overtime
  'We protested when we had to do overtime.'
b. die verzakking van het huis, [doordat het zo geregend had], ...
cause
  the subsidence of the house   because  it  so  rained  had
b'. Het huis verzakte doordat het zo geregend had.
  the house  subsided  because  it  so  rained  had
  'The house subsided because it had rained so much.'
c. de verdubbeling van de olieprijs, [omdat de productie stil lag], ...
reason
  the doubling of the oil price  because  the production  still lay
c'. De olieprijs verdubbelde omdat de productie stil lag.
  the oil price  doubled  because  the production  still  lay
  'The oil price doubled because production was suspended.'

The examples in (584) and (585) show, however, that adverbial clauses can also be used to modify a non-derived antecedent that denotes a state of affairs, as in (584). This is related to the fact that the corresponding clauses in the primed examples can be modified by the same adverbial clauses.

Example 584
a. die hoofdpijn [sinds ik dat ongeluk heb gehad]
  that headache   since  that accident  have  had
a'. Ik heb hoofdpijn [sinds ik dat ongeluk heb gehad].
  have  headache   since  that accident  have  had
  'Iʼve had headaches ever since I had that accident.'
b. die hoofdpijn [kort voordat ze weer aan het werk moest]
  that headache  briefly  before  she  again  to the work  must
b'. Zij kreeg hoofdpijn [kort voordat ze weer aan het werk moest].
  she  got  headache  briefly  before  she  again  to the work  must
  'She got a headache just before she had to go to work again.'
c. die hoofdpijn [zonder dat de dokter iets kan vinden]
  that headache  without  that  the doctor  something  can  find
c'. Ik heb hoofdpijn [zonder dat de dokter iets kan vinden].
  have  headache  without  that  the doctor  something  can  find
  'I have a headache although the doctor canʼt find anything.'

The same thing is shown in, respectively, (585a) and (585b) for nouns denoting an emotion or a property.

Example 585
a. Die haat [als ik hem zie] is werkelijk enorm.
  that hatred  when  him  see  is really enormous
  'This hatred when I see him is really enormous.'
a'. Ik voel een enorme haat [als ik hem zie].
  feel  an enormous hatred  when  him  see
  'I feel an enormous hatred when I see him.'
b. Zijn verlegenheid [wanneer hij een lezing moet houden] is lastig.
  his shyness   when  he  a talk  must  keep  is troublesome
  'His shyness when he has to give a talk is almost embarrassing.'
b'. Hij is erg verlegen [wanneer hij een lezing moet houden].
  he  is very shy   when  he  a talk  must  keep
  'He is very shy when he has to give a talk.'
[+]  2.  The conjunction

Not all conjunctions that can be used in a verbal environment can appear in a postnominal adverbial clause. In particular, the conjunctions tenzij'unless' and zodat'so that' cannot occur in adverbial clauses; neither can the phrasal conjunction voor zover'insofar as'. Constructions with alhoewel/ofschoon'although' seem to be at best questionable.

Example 586
a. * Die hoofdpijn [tenzij ik mijn medicijnen inneem] is vreselijk.
  that headache  unless  my medicine  prt.-take  is terrible
b. * Die hoofdpijn [zodat ik weer thuis moet blijven] was vreselijk.
  that headache  so that  again  home  must  stay  is terrible
c. * Die bezwaren [voor zover ik goed ben ingelicht] waren niet terecht.
  those objections   insofar as well  am  informed  were  not  justified
d. ?? De protesten [(al)hoewel de directie het plan introk] waren hevig.
  the protests   although  the management  the plan withdrew  were  fierce
  'The protests although the management had withdrawn the plan were fierce.'

It seems that adverbial phrases can only be used postnominally if they have a restrictive function within the clause. The primed examples in (585) express a restriction on the state denoted by the clause: (585a') expresses that the speaker feels an enormous hatred when the speaker sees a certain person, and (585b') that the person referred to is shy when he has to give a talk. It seems that the adverbial clauses headed by the conjunctions in (586) do not have a similar restrictive function in the clause.
      This, however, has no effect on the way the adverbial clause is used, that is, as a restrictive or non-restrictive modifier. Generally speaking, all conjunctions that allow postmodification within the DP can be used both in restrictive and non-restrictive adverbial clauses. An exception seems to be zolang'as long as', which can only be used restrictively in adverbial clauses. Thus, whereas the construction in (587a) is acceptable, construction (587b) is certainly marked. Moreover, the zolang-clause in this latter construction is most likely interpreted as a regular, parenthetic adverbial phrase (like the zolang-clause in (587b')), not as a modifier of the subject DP.

Example 587
a. Die protesten zolang de olieprijs hoog is, zijn wel begrijpelijk.
  those protests  as long as  the oil price  high  is  are  prt  understandable
b. ?? Die protesten, zolang de olieprijs hoog is, zijn wel begrijpelijk.
b'. Zolang de olieprijs hoog is, zijn die protesten wel begrijpelijk.
References:
  • Barbiers, Sjef1995The syntax of interpretationThe Hague, Holland Academic GraphicsUniversity of Leiden/HILThesis
  • Haeseryn, Walter, Romijn, Kirsten, Geerts, Guido, Rooij, Jaap de & Toorn, Maarten C. van den1997Algemene Nederlandse spraakkunstGroningenNijhoff
  • Paardekooper, P.C1986Beknopte ABN-syntaksisEindhovenP.C. Paardekooper
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