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Binominal phrases: Classificatory constructions

(Ponelis, F.A. 1979) distinguishes semantically between four types of binominal (NP1+NP2) constructions in Afrikaans:

- Quantificational constructions (abbreviated to: QC), for example,

Example 1

a. 'n liter melk
a liter [of] milk
b. 'n dosyn eiers
a dozyn [of] eggs

- Genitive constructions (abbreviated to GC), for example,

Example 2

a. Thuli se hare
Thuli's hair
b. die ouers van Thuli
the parents [of] Thuli

-Name constructions (abbreviated to: NC), for example,

Example 3

a. die stad Pretoria
the city of Pretoria
b. die planeet Mars
the planet Mars

- Classificatory constructions (abbreviated to: CC), for example,

Example 4

a. 'n tipe benadering
a type [of] approach
b. 'n paar nommer 10 swart skoene
a pair [of] size 10 black shoes

Syntactically these constructions all belong to the category NP1+NP2/binominal constructions in Afrikaans, but they differ syntactically and semantically. In this section the focus falls on the grammatical features of the CC.

In CCs, NP1 classifies the construction in either (i) lexical items that denote/refer to a (sub)category, for example,soortsort, klasclass, tipetype, kalibercaliber, and NP2 denotes a specific category such as persoonlikheidpersonality) to which the construction belongs. For example, the NP1 ('n tipea type [of]) identifies the subcategory of a CC, and NP2 refers to a specific category which the CC denotes/refers to, for example, persoonlikheidpersonality) in (5):

Example 5

[NP1 'n tipe][NP2 persoonlikheid]
[NP1 a type [of]][NP2 personality]

or (ii) by using a lexical item/ items as NP1 which denote(s)/refer(s) to a feature/features from which the relevant subcategory can be identified, for example, its grade, colour, smell/odour, make/brand, etc. as in (6):

Example 6

a. [NP1 'n nommer 12][NP2 skoen]
a size 12 shoe
b. [NP1 'n nommer 36][NP2 bloes]
a size 36 blouse

Constructions such these, presuppose that language users distinguish categories of shoes and blouses and that these categories are subcategorised in terms of any one or more of the features of the category shoes or blouses, viz. its size. Subcategories can be differentiated by lexical items that denote any of its features. In (7) more than one such feature is used to denote a specific subcategory of skoenshoe:

Example 7

[NP1 'n nommer 10 swart Gucci][NP2 skoen]
a size 10 black Gucci shoe

This construction presupposes that language users distinguish the category of shoes, and that this category is subcategorised according to the brand of shoes (and whatever conglomorate of features such a brand may have).

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x Folk and scientific categories

CCs as discussed below, consist of lexical items in Afrikaans that are used to refer to the common understanding and categorization of persons, things, and events into categories and subcategories. As such, these lexical items denote/refer to so-called 'folk categories' which differ from the terms used by experts (in the various (sub)disciplines of science or scientific knowledge) to refer to/denote scientific categories. The latter are described as 'expert categories' (cf. Taylor 1995: 68-74), coined and defined by any type of expert and, in some disciplines, according to the (set)rules of a nomenclatrue designed for labeling (sub)categories.

Sometimes, however, terms make their way into the standard language, for example, spesiespecie(s) and prototipeprototype, and are therefore used both as terms and as (common) lexical items.

(Taylor,John,R. 1995) hypothesizes that expert categories are defined by the imposition of a set of criteria/characteristics for category membership. Usually these categories are constructed according to Aristotelian principles, i.e. the categories have necessary and sufficient conditions for membership of the category. The latter implies that separate members meet the set of imposed criteria of a category) or not (i.e. they do not meet (all of) the set of imposed criteria).

Folk categories, it seems, can be defined in two ways: either by imposing a set of criteria (necessary and sufficient criteria), of which the result is called a 'devised classification systems', or by means of prototypes. Prototype categorisation is contrasted with schema/schematic categorisation. Taylor (1995: 66) quotes (Langacker, Ronald 1987) to explain the difference between prototypes and schemas: A prototype is a typical instance of a category, and other elements are assimilated to the category on the basis of their perceived resemblance to the prototype; there are degrees of membership based on degrees of similarity. A schema, by contrast, is an abstract characterization that is fully compatible with all the members of the category it defines (so membership is not a matter of degree) - it is an integrated structure that embodies the commonality of its members, which are conceptions of greater specificity and detail that elaborate the schema in contrasting ways.

Taylor (1995: 72) further explains the concept of 'folk prototype categories': Folk categories are structured around prototypical instances and are grounded in the way people normally perceive and interact with the things in their environment. We only note here, but do not discuss in any depth, that the formation, content, structure and function of folk categories are topics which are vigouressly researched in such diverse disciplines as Linguistics, Sociology, Social psychology, Anthropology and the Computer Sciences (especially the automatic extraction of (lexical labels for) (sub)categories from text corpora).

[+] Sort/kind of CCs

Ponelis (1979: 158) provides a number of examples to make the difference between the two semantic subcategories of the CC clear: (i) NP1 consists of a lexical item(s) that denote(s) a category, for example, 'n tipea type [of],'n soorta sort [of],'n klasa class [of],'n kalibera caliber, and NP2 denotes the (overarching) category which the construction denotes. For example, in the construction'n soort honda sort/kind [of] dog NP1 signifies that the language user is categorising a phenomenon (by the use of the category label/lexical item soortkind [of]that denotes a (sub)category), and NP2 indicates precisely what category is at stake, viz. dogs:

Example 8

[NP1 'n soort ][NP2 hond]
a kind of dog

For heuristic purposes, the term sort/kind of CCwill be used to refer to this kind of CC.

Ponelis (1979: 158) provides the following examples of sort CCs:

Example 9

a. [NP1 'n tipe][NP2 benadering]
a type [of] approach
b. [NP1 'n soort][NP2 mens]
a kind [of] person
c. [NP1 'n klas][NP2 wol]
a class [of] wool
d. [NP1 hierdie kaliber][NP2 patroon]
this caliber [of] bullit
e. [NP1 'n draaitipe][NP2 wasgoeddraad]
a rotating type [of] washing line
f. [NP1 'n AKN-tipe ligte][NP2 geweer]
a AKN type [of] light machine gun
g. [NP1 'n Polarisklas][NP2 duikboot]
a Polaris class [of] submarine

(We follow the convention throughout of bracketing ofwhen it is required in the English translation, but no translation equivalentvanappears in the Afrikaans construction.)

In (9 e-g) the reader is provided with more information on the (sub)category the CC denotes, but more specific information is provided in the NP2 of the CC. The reference is not simply to 'n klasa class [of]or 'n tipea type [of]but 'n draaitipea rotating type [of], 'n AKN-tipea AKN type [of]and 'n Polarisklasa Polaris class [of]. These examples therefore have a higher degree of specificity than the typical Sort CC's.

The semantics of the second type of CC functions differently: NP2 refers to the relevant category (as in the case of the sort CC above), but the relevant subcategories themselves are identified by the use of lexical items that denote other features of the subcategory than its subcategory. For example, in hierdie grootte spykersthis size [of] nails the NP2 indicates the general category, viz. nails, and NP1 refers to the feature according to which nails are subcategorised, viz. their size. But note that precisely what size of nails are referred to in this example, one has to deduce from the context (for example, a language user could just hold up a nail (as exemplar) for her partner to deduce precisely what size of nail is meant (in this context)). For heuristic purposes, this type of CC is referred to by the term Feature CC. Ponelis (1979: 158) provides a number of examples of Feature CCs. The feature(s) according to which categories are subcategorised, are indicated in capital letters between parentheses.

Example 10

a. [NP1 hierdie nommer][NP2 skoen]
this size [of] shoe
b. [NP1 'n nommer 10][NP2 skoen]
a size 10 shoe
c. [NP1 hierdie grootte][NP2 spyker]
this size/ length [of] nail
d. [NP1 'n 1960-model][NP2 Citroen]
a 1960 model Citroen
e. [NP1 'n mooier kleur][NP2 Jerseystof]
a more beautiful/nice colour Jersey.material
f. [NP1 graad-1][NP2 skaapvleis]
(first) grade 1 mutton
g. [NP1 'n keurgraad][NP2 vrug]
a choice grade [of] fruit
h. [NP1 die beste gehalte][NP2 tee]
the best quality tea

In both types of CC, NP2 refers to the semantic and syntactic head noun:[NP1'n tipe] [NP2 persoonlikheid]a type of personality.

'NP1 in CCs is a plural or singular common noun and NP2 can either be a singular/plural common noun or a mass noun:

Example 11

(common noun, singular)
a. 'n kroegtipe swaaideur
a bar type [of] revolving door
(common noun, plural)
b. nommer agt skroewe
size eight screws
(mass noun)
c. 'n goeie gehalte viniel
a good quality vinyl

(Ponelis 1979: 158.)

There is, however, more variation possible when both NP1 and NP2 are common nouns. See the following examples and explanation of the semantics of the singular and plural forms of common nouns used in CCs:

Example 12

(= one type, one example)
a. daardie tipe (singular) kind (singular)
that type [of] child
(= one type, more than one example)
b. daardie tipe (singular) kinders (plural)
that type [of] children
(= more than one type, more than one example, altough the singular form is used)
c. daardie tipes (plural) kind (singular)
those types [of] child
(= more than one type, more than one example)
d. daardie tipes (plural) kinders (plural)
those types [of] children

According to(Ponelis, F.A. 1979) these constructions vary freely in the speech of some Afrikaans speakers (possibly due to their semantic equivalence), while others use only one of these forms. In the VKP, examples of al possible (four) variants were found:

Example 13

a. 'n ander tipe (singular) bemagtigingstransaksie (singular)
another type [of] empowerment transaction
b. die mees algemene tipes (plural) servikale kanker (singular common noun or mass noun)
the most common types [of] cirvical cancer'
c. verskillende tipe (singular) vuurwapens (plural) is gesteel '
different type [of] weapons were stolen
d. dodelike tipes (plural) senu-gas (mass noun)
deadly types [of] nerve gas

To get an idea of the syntactic and semantic variation that the two types of CCs exihibit, further data from the VKP are provided and analysed below.


In all the examples from VKP discussed in this section, NP1 refers to the lexical items commonly used in Afrikaans to refer to the concept of (SUB)CATEGORY, for example, the lexical items tipetype [of],soortsort/kind [of],klasclass [of], and kalibercaliber [of]. Secondly, it illustrates the wide range of semantic categories that function as NP2 in sort CCs (things, persons, events) referring to folk categories (in Afrikaans) which have the general meaning CATEGORY X. The list of synonyms from the Viva Woordeboekportaal (specifically from: Tesourus: Afrikaanse Skryfgoed 5) gives an indication of the large category of words in Afrikaans which refer to the concept of CATEGORY. As they are listed as synonyms in the following example of the lemmatipetype [of]one could make the deduction that they largely (but not completely) overlap in meaning. See the following examples. (In the data below, irrelevant parts of entries from dictionaries have been ommitted.)

Example 14

a. tipe (noun)/tiep aap: soort, prototipe (van die kategorie), klas, kategorie, groep, subdivisie, onderafdeling, tipologie, eksemplaar/voorbeeld (van kategorie X), model, spesie
a type of ape: sort, prototype (of the category), class, category, group, subdivision, subsection, typology, exemplar/example (of category X), model, species
b. tipe (noun)/tiep (wat 'n tipe/tiep mens): geaardheid, persoonlikheid, karakter', koddige persoon, hanswors, eksentriek, sonderling (where tiep is an informal variant of tipe 'type)
type (what a type (of person)): nature, personality, character, comic person, clown, eccentric, exceptional)

(Hanks, P (Chief editor) 1998) lists the various senses of tipetype [of], most of which captures the meaning also of the synonyms oftipetypelisted above. The meaning oftipe type corresponds to the basic, prototypical sense of type; the other subsenses expand on the subsense referring to the character of persons or the (sub)characterisation of things:

Example 15

category of people or things having common characteristics...this type of heather...
a person, thing or event considered as a representative of such a category (= ( a), also prototype, example)
a person of a specified character or nature
a person or thing symbolizing or exemplifying the ideal or defining characteristics of something (= the prototype of the category): She characterized his witty sayings as the type of modern wisdom

The following data from VKP testifies to the fact that N2/NP2 in sort [of] CCs shows variation between singular and plural forms of common nous and (numberless) mass nouns, but not that singular and plural forms are in free variation. Where the singular or plural form leads to ungrammaticality, it is indicated in the examples below.

Example 16

a. watter [N1 tipe] [N2/NP2 plofstof/*plofstowwe]
'what type [of] X (= N2/NP2 explosives/*explosive)
b. watter [N1 tipe] [N2persoonlikheid/persoonlikhede]
'what type [of] personality/personalities
c. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 mens/mense] (is hulle)
what type [of] human (beings)(are they)
d. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 vroumens(e)] (is hulle)/*watter [N1 tipe] [N2 vroumense] (is sy)/watter [N1 tipe] [N2 vroumens] (is sy)
what type [of] ?woman/women (are they)
e. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 programme/program]; watter [N1 tipes] [N2 program/programme]
what type [of] programs/program; what types [of] programs/*program
f. watter [N1 tipe] [NP2 humanitêre hulp] (mass noun)
what type [of] humanitarian support/help
g. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 goedere] (mass noun)
what type [of] goods
h. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 man/*mans] (is hy); watter [N1 tipe] [N2*man/mans] (is hulle)
what type [of] man/*men (is he); what type [of] *man/men (are they)
i. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 fotografie] (mass noun) interesseer jou?
In what type [of] photography are you interested?
j. watter [N1 tipe] [N2 werk] (mass noun)
what type [of] work

As Ponelis (1979: 158) points out, if NP2 refers to a (sub)category, its meaning is generic (= 'the category of') and not referential, i.e., NP2 does not refer to a specific examplar of the category. He explains the difference in meaning/function with the following example sentences:

Example 17

(referential and determinate; reference is to a specific car)
a. Ek hou van [hierdie kar]
I like this car
(generic; no specific example of the category is referenced)
b. Ek hou van [hierdie soort/tipe/klas, etc. kar]
I like [this sort/type/class, etc. [of] car

With regard to the premodification of tipetype in these examples, the variation between watter tipewhat type and (the informal) wat se tipe/tiepwhat type (thus the stylistic differentiation) has to be pointed out. Compare the watter tipewhat type in the examples above to the wat se tipewhat type used in (15):

Example 18

a. [NP1 wat se tipe] [NP2 vleis]
what type [of] meat
b. [NP1 wat se tipe][NP2 helling]
what type [of] slope
c. [NP1 wat se tipe][NP2 meetinstrument]
what type [of] measuring instrument
d. [NP1 wat se tipe][NP2 versteuring]
what type [of] distortion
e. [NP1 wat se tipe] [NP2 kak] soek julle
what type [of] shit are you looking for'

Only a few examples (four to be exact) of the ttipe van Xtype of X construction was found in the data of VKP. Most probably, this constructions is a direct translation in Afrikaans of the construction in English, for example,watter tipe van programwhat type of program (also see Ponelis 1979: 160 on the influence of English on CCs):

Example 19

a. watter tipe van neerslag
what type of sediment'
b. watter tipe van programdienste
what type of program services
c. watter tipe van poes (moet jy wees)
what type of cunt (must you be)
d. wat se tipe van ontwikkeling (hou jy van)
what type of program (do you like)

The examples in (20) also refer to a subcategory (evoked by tipetype [of]) of the category specified by NP2. For example, (20a) states that the relevant illness is caused by a subcategory of the category die dodelike H5N1 virusthe deadly H5N1 virus. Notice, however, that the meaning of some of the CCs are ambiguous: the CC specifies that the relevant subcategory does not quite meet die criteria for the (overarching) category refered to by NP2. For example. (20c-h) may also refer to an object/event (subcategory) that looks like, adheres partially, but is not completely like, the category specified by NP2. For example, 'ladies night' in (20c), as specified by NP2, is a regular category, but what subcategory the whole CC refers to is something that cannot be considered a prototypical example or subcategory of the category 'ladies night'.

Example 20

a. 'n tipe van die dodelike H5N1 virus
a type of the deadly H5N1 virus
b. 'n tipe van ontgroeningseremonie
a type of inisiation ceremony
c. 'n tipe van 'ladies night'
a type of ladies night
d. 'n tipe van ('n) verstandhouding
a type of understanding
e. 'n tipe van straf
a type of punishment
f. .'n tipe van assessering
a type of assessment
g. 'n tipe van "gemiddelde"
a type of 'aggregate
h. 'n tipe van oorgang
a type of transition

In other words, a difference in meaning seems to charaterise the opposition betweentipetype [of]and tipe vantype of.

More examples of sort CCs from VKP follow. The metaphorical extension ofkleurcolour to denote subcategories of the human race (cf. the metaphor RACE is a COLOUR; or, THE NATURE/CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EVENT/OBJECT IS ITS COLOUR) are exemplified by the following):

Example 21

a. [NP1 watter kleur] [NP2 man]
what colour man
(literal use)
b. [NP1 watter kleur] [NP2 panty]
what colour panty

The following examples from the dataset of VKP illustrate the premodifiers and postmodifiers of N1 and N2 in CCs withtipetype [of].Tipetype [of]is the head noun of NP1 and the constituent referring to the (overarching) category is the head noun of NP2 (and of the CC as a whole). The examples below illustrate the variation within NP1:

Example 22

a. [NP1 die rarer [N1tipe een]] [NP2 [N2 diabete]]
the rarer type one diabetics
b. [NP1 die H-vyf-N-een tipe] [NP2 voëlgriep]
the H-five-N-one type [of] avian flu
c. [NP1 'n tipe van] [NP2 die dodelike H5N1 virus]
a type of the deadly H5N1 virus
d. [NP1 enige ander tipe] [NP2 voorval]
any other type [of] event
e. [NP1 die tipe] [NP2 voëlgriep wat onlangs 'n epidemie veroorsaak het]
the type [of] avian flu that recently caused an epidemic
f. [NP1'n militêre tipe] [NP2 opleiding vir veiligheidspersoneel]
a military type [of] training for security staff
[NP1 die behandeling van tipe] [NP2 twee diabetes]
h. [NP1 die behandeling van tipe twee] [NP2 diabetes]
the treatment of type two diabetes
i. [NP1 slagoffers van alle tipe] [NP2 grondregteskendings]
victims of all type(s) [of] violations [of] land.rights

According to (Broekhuis, Hans; Den Dikken, Marcel 2011), there is a (slight) difference in meaning between the referential uses of soort 'sort' CCs in the following three cases:

Example 23

a. hierdie/daardie soort aap/ape
this/that sort/species [of] monkey/monkeys
b. hierdie/daardie soort motor/motors
this/that kind [of] car/cars
c. ‘n soort appel/appels
a kind [of] apple/apples/an apple-like thing/apple-like things

In (23a) the noun soortsort [of] is used as a referential expression, and the CC refers to a contextually determined species of monkey. This, however. is less clear in the other two uses: example (20b) has a type reading in the sense that it refers to a set of cars that resemble a certain car/cars that is/are under discussion; example (20c), on the other hand, does not refer to an apple/apples but to an entity/entities that resemble an apple in a certain way. If one translates their supporting argument for Dutch CCs to Afrikaans, it boils down to the fact that the category N2 can in each case be represented by a singular and plural form. In this respect, CCs differ from quantificational clauses (abbreviated to: QC) in that N2 in QCs cannot be a singular noun (i.e. it must be a plural or a noncount noun). The referential noun soortsort [of] in (20a) seems to be part of a larger paradigm that includes more or less synonymous expressions like tipetype, modelmodel and merkbrand. Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2011: 643) thus hypothesize that (in the nonquantificational use of) soort in CCs we have to do with three different, but homophonous nouns in (23). However, as the postulated meaning differences between the sort-constructions are difficult to detect, to determine their (un)grammaticality, and to formalise the meaning differences for the Afrikaans soortconstructions, we leave this topic for further research.

Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2011:643) further hypothesize that for the Dutch equivalent of (23a), there seems to be a broadening of the sort CCs in that a growing set of nouns may enter this construction and that there is a movement towards the Feature CCs in that both a category noun and a feature noun may be used in CCs. In Afrikaans, though, both of these kinds of CCs have already been established with clear semantic differences between them (cf. Ponelis 1979:158).

Ponelis (1979: 159) mentions that the 'n vorm van X a form/kind of X CC is a very productive construction in Afrikaans, used to refer to (sub)categories. Data from the VKP in (24) give an impression of the wide range of 'things' that are categorised in Afrikaans folk taxonomies with the vorm vanform of/kind of' CCs:

Example 24

a. 'n ernstige vorm van asma
a serious kind of asthma
b. 'n meer gesentraliseerde vorm van regering in Suider-Afrika
a more centralised form/kind of government in Southern Africa
c. sonder enige vorm van sanitasie
without any form/kind of sanitation
d. 'n nuwe vorm van insulien-toediening
a new form/kind of insuline administration
e. die eetstaking as 'n vorm van selfmoord
the hunger strike as a form/kind of suicide

Feature CCs

A generalised feature of a category, for example, its kleurcolour, maatsize,genretype/genre and tipetype, or lexical items referring to its more specific (subcategory) type, for example, pienkpink (colour), nommer 10size 10 (size), and 'n doringbooma thorn tree (part of a whole) can function as NP1 in a Feature CC to indicate a specific subcategory; NP2 specifies the (overarching) category, as indicated in the following examples:

Example 25

a. [NP1 hierdie/daardie kleur] [N2 hemp]
'this/that colour shirt
b. [NP1`'n pienk/geruite/'slim line'/Gucci] [NP2 hemp]
a pink/chequered /slim line/Gucci shirt
c. [NP1 hierdie/daardie maat/grootte/'n medium /nommer16 ][NP2 hemp]
this/that size/ a medium/ a size 16 shirt

Examples (25) illustrate that any relevant feature of a category can be used to denote a subcategory at different levels of specifity (colour, pattern, cut, brand). What is a relevant feature for a category, is obviously tied to the system of differentiation used (within a culture) to differentiate (and refer generically to) subcategories of a category. The following examples from VKP illustrate this generalisation with constructions containing the Afrikaansnommer/groottesize in a variety of construction types to refer to subcategories:

Example 26

a. 'n nommer elf-skoen /vyf-slot/3-yster/dertien spanner
a size eleven shoe/ five lock /3 put(/iron)/ thirteen spanner
b. 'n extra large matriekbaadjie
an extra large matric jacket
c. 'n nommer veertig rok/2-trui
a number forty dress/ 2 jersy
d. 'n nommer agt breinaald
a size eight knitting needle
e. kanonne van hierdie grootte
canons of this size

The (Anon. 1985)Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (abbreviated to: WAT) defines the lexical itemsnommer(s)/grootte(s)size(s) as follows:

Example 27

1 Syfer of reeks syfers wat aan iem. of iets toegeken ... word as aanduiding v.d. persoon of saak se plek in 'n bep. rangorde, reeks, span, of syfer of syfers waarmee 'n persoon of saak ... geïdentifiseer of van ander onderskei word... Grootte, bv. van 'n skoen, kledingstuk, e.d., in syfervorm.
Number or series of numbers given to a person or a (some)thing to indicate their position in a certain hierarchy, series, team, or a number/numbers given to a person or thing to identify them or distinguish them from other persons/things, size, for example, a shoe, garment, etc. in the form of a number

The examples WAT provide, show the classificatory function of nommer/groottesize, but also how the constituents of classificatory constructions can be spread over a sentence, i.e. that CCs do not always appear in the order NP1 + NP2. Note that some of the examples illustrate the generic use of CCs (no specific thing/exemplar of the (sub)category is referred to; cf. (28a)); some illustrate the use of the CCs to refer to a specific exemplar of an identified (sub)category (cf. (28b):

Example 28

a. [NP1Watter nommer] [NP2 broek] dra jy?
What size [of] pants do you wear?
b. .[NP2 Die baadjie] was [NP1 'n paar nommers te groot]
The jacket was a few sizes to large
c. Ek het [NP2 skoene] gaan soek, maar hulle het nie [NP1 my nommer] gehad nie
I looked for shoes, but they did not have my size
d. Vir [NP2 'n pak] sal daar ... [NP1 nommers (wees) vir die man se lengte, borsmaat en middellyf]
For a suit there will be sizes to cater for a man's length, chest and waist
e. [NP2 Die pak] wat ek verlede week vir my gekoop het, is [NP1 nommer 38]
The suit that I bought last week (for myself), is a size 38.

In the following examples, the ordering NP2 + NP1, as in the examples in (28), the focus is on the head noun, denoting the overarching category (= NP2), followed by the constituent denoting the subcategory (of the overarching category) (= NP1)

Example 29

a. [NP2 wiskunde en wetenskap] op [NP1 hoër graad]
maths and science on high grade/level
high grade/level maths and science
b. [NP2 drie vleissoorte] [NP1 van die beste gehalte]
three kinds of meat of the best quality/grade
three of the best quality kinds of meat
c. [NP2 'n tuisteater] [NP1 van die beste gehalte]
a home theatre of the best kind
the best kind [of]/quality home theatre
d. [NP2 suiwer olyfolie] [NP1 van die heel beste gehalte]
pure olive oil of the best quality
the best quality pure olive oil
e. [NP2 die A-klas] is [NP1 die beste gehalte]
the A class is [of] the best quality
the best quality A class

The following examples show that size is not always expressed in a size + number construction (for example, nommer 10size 10 - in the VKP one also finds examples of constituents in which the number is expressed as smaller or larger than an unspecified, specific size, or it is expressed relatively to a number which can be derived from the broader context of a discussion, for example,

Example 30

a. 'n nommer te klein
a size too small
b. hierdie nommer is te klein
this size is too small
c. 'n nommer groter
a bigger/larger size
d. 'n baadjie wat 'n nommer te klein is
a jacket that is a size too small

These examples differ from the use of nommer 'size' (specified or unspecified) as a shortened/epiliptical construction of sort or feature CCs to refer to (sub)category + category (for example,'n nommer tien skoena size ten shoe . Again, the correct interpretation of these constructions is dependent on one's ability to deduce the category referred to from the wider context of language use.

  • Botma, E.D., Sebregts, K. & Smakman, D2012The phonetics and phonology of Dutch mid vowels before /l/Laboratory Phonology3273-298
  • Eijkman, L.P.H1937Phonetiek van het NederlandsHaarlemDe Erven F. Bohn N.V.
  • Jacobi, Irene2009On Variation and Change in Diphthongs and Long Vowels of Spoken DutchUniversity of AmsterdamThesis
  • Langacker, Ronald1987Foundations of Cognitive GrammarStanford, CaliforniaStanford University Press
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