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Complementive constructions
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In a complementive construction, the presence of the predicate is required by the larger structure in which it occurs. This larger structure generally involves a verb, which may be either intransitive (mostly - although not limited to - copula verbs), or transitive main verbs. An example each of these major classes follow below:

  1. Intransitive copula:
    Example 1

    Jy is verkeerd.
    You are wrong.
  2. Intransitive main verb:
    Example 2

    Sy voel hartseer en alleen.
    she feels sad and alone.
  3. Transitive main verb:
    Example 3

    Jy het die antwoord verkeerd.
    you have the answer wrong
    You've got the answer wrong.

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[+] Intransitive predication

The following types of intransitive verbs may be involved in a predication relation between a predicate and an argument which functions as a subject in simple sentences:

  1. Copulas, which include verbs such as weesbe and blyremain
  2. Modals as main verbs, including verbs such as moetmust
  3. Resultatives, mainly in idiomatic use, such as krom getrekbecame bent

Verbs indicating a state or change of state (traditionally referred to as copulas), such as weesbe, wordbecome, raakbecome, blyremain, lykseem and skynappear, are able to provide the outer structure for an intransitive complementive predication. They can combine with all sorts of set-denoting adjectives, in addition to other parts of speech and syntactice constructions.

One example of the prototypical copula weesbe is:

Example 4

Hulle nekke is lank.
Their necks be·FIN long
Their necks are long.

Other copulas are exemplified below:

Example 5

Die baba het nat geword.
the baby has wet become
The baby got wet.
Example 6

Nou raak die debat interessant.
now becomes the debate interesting
Now the debate is getting interesting.
Example 7

Haar oë het jonk gebly.
her eyes have young remained
Her eyes remained young.
Example 8

Hy lyk ouer as wat hy is.
he looks older than what he is
He looks older than he really is.

In addition to the last example, lyklook/seem, two copula verbs, namely blykprove to be and skynappear, could be compared, since they occur in different syntactic patterns.

Lykseem can combine with a predicative AP, and often with a subordinate clause containing such an AP, by means of the conjunction ofifor asofas if:

Example 9

Hy lyk verskriklik..
He looks terrible.
Example 10

Hulle lyk of hulle jammer is.
they seem if they sorry are
They seem to be sorry.
Example 11

Dit lyk asof daar iets verkeerd is.
it seems as.if there something wrong is
It seems as if there is something wrong.

The verb skynappear, sometimes used as a synonym of lykseem in particular contexts, is formally marked, and is not used with a predicative adjective (possibly because a homonym of the verb skyn with the meaning shine). It mostly combines with a subordinate clause by means of ofif, but occasionally also with the infinitive construction te weesto be in conction with an adjective:

Example 12

Dit skyn of sy krag weg is.
it appears if his power is gone
It appears as if his power is gone.

As mentioned, it is not used with a predicative adjective:

Example 13

*Sy krag skyn weg .
his power appears gone
His power appears (to be) gone.

An example of the construction with te weesto be:

Example 14

Sy skyn tot oor haar ore verlief te wees.
she appears to over her ears in.love to be
She appears to be in love head over heels.

Modal verbs are able to provide the outer structure for an intransitive complementive predication. (It should be noted that, although not uncommon, the frequency or their independent usage with adjectives is significantly lower as in Dutch. These verbs include moetmust, magmay, kancan, wilwant (to), hoefneed (to), and are used in sentences such as these:

Example 15

Die werk moet vandag nog klaar.
the work must today still finish
The work must be completed still today.
Example 16

Dit moet eenvoudig beter.
it must smply better
It must simply be (done) better.

It should be noted that modal verbs like those illustrated above are mostly complemented by a main verb to form phrasal verbs, such as klaarkomget finished, as in example (15) below.)

In the case of intransitive resultatives, the action described by the verb is causally involved in establishing the relation between argument and adjectival predicate:

Example 17

Sy vingers is kromgetrek.
his fingers are bent.pulled
His fingers are bent.

The predicative form of the adjectives as used above (which can also operate as past participles in passive constructions) are derived from the relevant resultative verbs.

[+] Transitive predication

Certain types of transitive verbs may be involved in a predication relation between a predicate and an argument which functions as a direct object. Three types are identified here:

  1. Transitive stative verbs
  2. Transitive resultative verbs
  3. Transitive evaluative verbs
  4. Pseudo-transitive verbs

These include verbs like have, verkiesprefer and hou vanlike, as illustrated below:

Example 18

Ek het dit verkeerd.
I have it wrong
I am wrong on this.
Example 19

Carien verkies haar koffie swart.
Carien prefers her coffee black.
Example 20

Hy hou van sy whisky oud en sy vroue jonk.
he holds of his whisky old and his women young
He likes his whisky old and his women young.

Just as in the intransitive one, the relation between argument and adjective may be modulated by choosing a different verb. In the first example below, the brush becomes clean, and in the second the brush stays clean:

Example 21

Hy kry die kwas skoon.
He gets the brush clean.
Example 22

Hy hou die kwas skoon.
He keeps the brush clean.

These complementive verbs may also occur with non-referential (or expletory) ditit

Example 23

Hy kry dit hotagter.
he gets it left.hind
He has a difficult time.
Example 24

Ek kry dit nie uitgepluis nie.
I get it not out.teased PTCL.NEG
I cannot get it figured out.

Afrikaans has a strong tendency, with some adjectives, to use weesbe rather than hethet, in other words, to use an intransitive verb of predication instead of a transitive verb (as in Dutch), possibly following the English pattern:, as can be seen in the examples below:

Example 25

Ek is honger.
I am hungry.
Ik heb honger.
Example 26

Jy is verkeerd.
You are wrong.
Jij hebt ongelijk.

Resultative verbs provide the outer structure for a transitive complementive predication, and include verbs where the predication denotes the result of the action described by the mediating verb, as illustrated below:

Example 27

Hy praat my koponderstebo.
he talks me head.upside.down
He talks me out of my mind.
[Cape Afrikaans expression]
Example 28

Sy verf die deur groen.
She paints the door green.

In evaluatives, the predication involves a subjective evaluation or assignment of properties to an argument. Evaluative verbs combine with evaluative adjectives, and provide the outer structure for a transitive complementive predication as illustrated in these examples:

Example 29

Hy beskou homself as verhewe bo kritiek.
He regards himself as superior to criticism.
Example 30

Hulle vind dit moeilik om hom te glo.
they find it difficult PTCL.INF him to believe
They find it difficult to believe him.

Pseudo-transitives involve examples in which the object must be an anaphoric pronoun referring back to the subject. The predication seems resultative, but its literal meaning is lost. Instead, the predication receives a high degree reading, although the high degree may be viewed as the result of the action denoted by the verb.

Example 31

Ons lag ons besimpeld.
we laugh us silly
We are laughing ourselves silly.
Example 32

Sy het haarself doodgewerk.
she has herself dead.worked
She worked herself to a standstill.
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