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Binominal constructions: Quantificational constructions
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In this section the focus is on the syntactic, semantic and functional features of quantificational constructions in Afrikaans. We will discuss the characterization and classification of nouns and noun phrases of Afrikaans.

Syntactically, binominal quantificational constructions (abbreviated to: QCs) typically have the following structure:

Example 1

[NP [NP1...[N1]...][NP2...[N2]...]]

The ordering of the two nouns can be presented by appealing to their linear order: the two NPs are dominated by a NP node; the first NP in the QC will be referred to as NP1 and the second one as NP2. For example:

Example 2

a. twee rye (numeral + noun) bome (noun)
two rows[of] trees
b. hierdie bank (demonstrative + noun) wolke (noun)
this bank [of] clouds
c. 'n rits (article + noun) voorbeelde (noun)
a lot [of] examples
d. Jan se (proper noun + genitive) spul (noun) goed (noun)
Jan's stuff/goods
e. drie mooi huisies (numeral + adjective + noun) knoffel (noun)
three nice house+DIM+PL [of] garlic
f. ‘n liter (article + noun) water (noun) [PP uit daardie bottel]
a liter [of] water from that bottle

In QCs, N1's share the semantic property that they can be used to refer to a certain number of entities, or a certain quantity of a substance denoted by N2 (Broekhuis, Hans; Den Dikken, Marcel 2012). For example, in the QC ‘n paar voorbeelde a couple [of] examples NP1 ('n paar a couple) expresses the quantity of the set of objects denoted by NP2, i.e. voorbeeldeexamples. In this regard, the string'n paara few is comparable to the cardinal numeral tweetwo or the quantifier enkelesome in (3b):

Example 3

a. 'n paar voorbeelde
a couple [of] examples
b. twee/enkele voorbeelde
two/a few examples

Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012:583 ff.) subcategorise QCs semantically into five subcategories based on the semantic contribution of the NP1 to the QC. The label used to present each subcategory is indicative of the semantic contribution of the NP1 to the QC:

(i) Quantifier NPs (abbreviated to: QNPs), for example, [NP1‘n aantal] [N2 toeskouers]a number [of] spectators (NP1 expresses a (numerically) unspecified quantity of N2)

(ii) Measure NPs (abbreviated to: MNPs), for example, [NP1'n kilo] [N2 botter]a kilo [of] butter (NP1 expresses a measure of N2 (the substance/entity))

(iii) Container NPs (abbreviated to: CONNPs), for example, [NP1 'n emmer] [N2 water]a bucket [of] water (NP1 expresses a container of N2 (the substance/entity))

(iv) Part NPs (abbreviated to: PARTNPs), for example, [NP1'n stukkie] [N2 koek]a piece [of] cake (N1 expresses a part of N2)

(v) Collective NPs (abbreviated to: COLNPs), for example, [NP1'n dosyn] [N2 eiers]a dozen eggs (NP1 expresses a numerically specified quantity of N2)

Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012) reduce these five subcategories to three types of NP1 in the QC based on their semantic function:

  • the quantifier nouns, which are used purely quantificational

  • the container, collective and part nouns: they are always used referentially; the descriptive content of these nouns can, however, be backgrounded in favour of a more quantificational reading

  • the measure nouns, which seem to be hybrid in nature as they can have either a purely quantificational or a referential, package unit reading (with the former probably being the unmarked case). In the quantificational case the measure noun behaves like a quantifier noun, a container, or a part noun.

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[+] Introduction

Ponelis (1979) provides a rather brief analysis of the Afrikaans QCs. Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012:586-633) provide an in-depth analysis of the QC in Dutch. The N1 + N2 QC in Dutch, however, corresponds syntactically, semantically and functionally to a large extent to the N1 + N2 QC in Afrikaans. Therefore, Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012:586-683) is used extensively in analysing grammatical features of the Afrikaans QC.

In addition, three sources of data on the Afrikaans QC were used:

  • the examples of Afrikaans QCs provided by Ponelis (1979)

  • the examples of Dutch QCs provided by Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012), but translated to Afrikaans QCs and tested for its relevancy to Afrikaans

  • the numerous examples of Afrikaans QCs harvested from the (VivA Consulted: 2017)VivA Corpus portal (abbreviated to: VKP).

Both Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012) and Ponelis (1979) base the classification of QCs on the basis of their syntactic, semantic and functional characteristics. To illustrate this practice, a number of these relevant grammatical characteristics are discussed, before their classification is presented. After the classification, a discussion follows of the general syntactic, semantic and functional characteristics of QCs in Afrikaans.

Syntactically, binominal quantificational constructions typically have the following structure:

(4) [NP [NP1...[N1]...][NP2...[N2]...]]

i.e a nominal quantificational constructions is a [NP] (Nominal Phrase) consisting of two NPs, NP1 and NP2, which are each headed by a N (Noun), N1 and N2. The ... preceding and following each N, i.e. ...N1... and ...N2... provides for any constituent(s) that pre- or postmodify N1 and N2.

The ordering of the two nouns can be presented by appealing to their linear order: the two NPs are dominated by a NP node; the first NP in the QC will be referred to as NP1 and the second one as NP2.

NP1 can belong to a number of premodified noun categories (N1 and N2) and premodified as well as postmodified NPs (NP2) (Ponelis 1979:153-154).

[+] Classification of QCs

Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012:583 ff.) subcategorise QCs semantically into five subcategories based on the semantic contribution of the N1 to the QC. The label used to present each subcategory is indicative of the semantic contribution of the N1 to the QC:

Example 4

Quantifier NPs(QNPs), for example, (N1 expresses a (numerically) unspecified quantity of N2)
a. [N1‘n aantal] [N2 toeskouers]
a number [of] spectators
Measure NPs (MNPs), for example, (N1 expresses a measure of N2 (the substance/entity))
b. [N1'n kilo] [N2 botter]
a kilo [of] butter
Container NPs (CONNPs), for example, (N1 expresses a container of N2 (the substance/entity))
c. [N1 'n emmer] [N2 water]
a bucket [of] water
Part NPs (PARTNPs), for example, (N1 expresses a part of N2 (the substance/entity))
d. [N1'n stuk(kie)] [N2 koek]
a piece [of] cake
Collective NPs (COLNPs), for example, (NP1 expresses a numerically specified quantity of N2 (the substance/entity))
e. [N1 'n dosyn] [N2 eiers]
a dozen eggs

Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012) reduce these five subcategories to three types of N1 in the QC based on their quantificational and referential function:

Example 5

the quantifier nouns, which are used purely quantificational
the container, collective and part nouns, which are always used referentially; the descriptive content of these nouns can, however, be backgrounded in favour of a more quantificational reading
the measure nouns: these seem to be hybrid in nature as they can have either a purely quantificational or a referential, package unit reading (with the former probably being the unmarked case). In the quantificational case the measure noun behaves like a quantifier noun, a container, or a part noun
[+] The three-way classification of QCs

Ponelis (1979:156-158) divides the category of quatificational constructions in two major subcatogories on semantic grounds: the collection construction and the measure construction, each subcategory divided into further subcategories:

the collective construction, which can be divided into

(i) collective constructions in which N1 refers to a collection, which can be structured from loose to tight, for example,

Example 6

Unstructured > Structured
a. 'n [N1 bos] blomme > 'n [N1 ruiker] blomme
a [N1 bunch/bouquet] [of] flowers
b. 'n [N1 horde] toeskouers > 'n [N1 groep] toeskouers
a [N1 hord/group] [of] spectators
c. 'n [N1 spul] navorsers > 'n [N1 span] navorsers
a crowd/team [of] researchers

(ii) collective constructions in which N1 refers to entitities which can be subdivided according to the form of the collection it refers to, for example,

Example 7

a. 'n [N1 plaat x laning x ry] bome
a [N1 stretch/patch x hedge x row][of] trees
b. 'n [N1 tou x ry] mense
a [N1 queue x row] [of] people
c. 'n [N1 ry x kolom] syfers
a [N1 row x column] [of] figures
d. 'n [N1 streep x klont x laag] modder
a [N1 streak x clod x layer] [of] mud
e. 'n [N1 plaat x dam x poel] water
a [N1 stretch x dam x pool] [of] water
f. 'n [N1 sliert x bos x vlegsel] hare
a [N1 streak x bush x braid] [of] hair

Precisely how the lexical variants of N1 (for example, streep x klont x laagstreak x clod x layer) differ with regard to their formal semanctic features (and/or the differences they exhibit with regard to the perspective they embody on the quantity they refer to) can be seen in their definitions in (Hanks, P (Chief editor) 1998) NODE:

Example 8

a.streak [of] mud, streak:"long, thin line..." (Hanks 1998: 1838)
a clod [of] mud, clod:"a lump of earth" (Hanks 1998: 345)
a layer [of] mud, layer:"a sheet...of materiaal, typically one of several, covering a surface..."(Hanks 1998:1045).

The other four subcategories of measure phrases, together with the collection construction that Ponelis (1979:156-158) distinguishes (referenced by the B-subheadings), correlate with the (self-explanatory) subcategories of quantificational constructions of Broekhuis and Den Dikken (2012:586-632):

Quantificational NPs

Broekhuis and Den Dikken's (2012:586-632) QNPs corresponds to two of Ponelis's (1979:156-158) categories of QCs, divided by the meaning difference of N1s:

(b.i) Measure phrases: N1 refers to an unspecified measure

(b.ii) Measure phrases: N1 refers to an unspecified amount.

The differences between these constructions are indicated in (9) - (11):

Example 9

QNPs
a. [N1'n aantal] toeskouers
a number [of] spectators
b. 'n (hele) boel probleme
a lot [of] problems
c. 'n paar probleme
a few/couple [of] problems
Example 10

(b.i) Measure phrases: N1 refers to an unspecified measure
a. 'n groep toeskouers
a group [of] spectators
b. 'n aantal/klomp/menigte/paar verskonings
a number/lot/many/few [of] excuses
Example 11

(b.ii) Measure phrases: N1 refers to an unspecified amount
a. 'n dosis medisyne
a dose/dosage [of] medicine
b. 'n besending boeke
a consignment [of] books

VivA Korpusportaal (VivA Consulted: 2017)(abbreviated to: VKP) lists some of the following quantifier NPs:

Example 12

a. 'n aantal parlementêre komitees
a number [of] parlentary commitees
b. 'n hele boel naamlose filmmakers en ander geraamtes
a whole lot [of] movie directors and other skeletons
c. 'n hoop studieskuld
a lot [of] study debts
d. 'n lot begaafde mense
a lot [of] bright/talented people
e. 'n paar maande se salarisse
a few months' salary
f. 'n stel vingerafdrukke
a set of finger prints
g. 'n stel vertroulike dokumente
a set [of] confidential documents

The classification of QCs: MEASURE NOUN PHRASES (MNPs)

Broekhuis and Den Dikken's (2012:586-632) MNPs corresponds to Ponelis's (1979:156-158) category of MNPs. In both categories N1 specifies a measure (number, volume, weight or surface):

Example 13

MNPS (Broekhuis and Den Dikken 2012:586-632)
a. 'n kilo appels
a kilo [of] appels
b. 'n liter water
a liter [of] water
c. 'n meter materiaal
a meter [of] material
d. 'n dosyn eiers
a dozen [of] eggs
e. 'n gros klereborsels
a gross [of] clothes brushes
e. (where 'gross' refers to 144, or twelve dozen)
f. 'n kilo bone
a kilo [of] beans

VKP list a number of container NPs. A number of examples are provided to present the wide variety of premodifiers and the categorisation of N.

Example 14

CONTAINER NOUN PHRASES (CONNPs)
a. 'n doos snesies
a box [of] tissues
b. 'n doos versuikerde droëvrugte
a box [of] sugared dried fruit
c. die dosie kolwyntjies
the boxdim cup cakes
d. veertig boksies vals wimpers
forty boxdimpl false eye lashes
e. 'n hele emmer yswater
a whole bucket [of] ice water
f. emmers vol trane
buckets full [of] tears
g. die drie kratte met petrolbomme
the three crates with petrol bombes

As Broekhuis and den Dikken (2012) argue, it is not clear whether the classification presented in Tables 3 to 7 is exhaustive. Occasionally it may be difficult to decide to which semantic class a certain NP1 belongs (Broekhuis and Den Dikken 2012:588). Furthermore, NP1s tend to shift from one class to another (especially in the direction of quantifier nouns) when their referring force weakens, which is what probably happened to the nouns paarfew and aantalnumber in (12) and the same thing may be true for the quantifier NP1 'n hoop, which is related to the collective noun 'n hoopa heap. In this subsection, such N1s will mainly be discussed in their (unmarked) function as quantifier nouns.

Many nouns that normally do not occur as NP1 can enter QCs if they are followed by the unstressed adjective volfull in (16a); some formations, like 'n handvola handful, are even fully lexicalized. The quantificational adjective hele/heelcomplete and some other attributive adjectives may have a similar effect. Some examples are given in (16b and c).

Example 15

a. 'n tafel (vol) geskenke
a table full [of] presents
b. 'n (hele) tafel geskenke
a whole table [of] presents
c. 'n (lang) brief (vol met) jobstydings
a long letter (full) [of] bad news

Some quantifier nouns act as belonging to more than one group, which may give rise to ambiguity between ones which are purely quantificational (that is, without any descriptive content), or more referential, that is, with descriptive content that enables them to refer to an entity, for example:

Example 16

a. 'n paar skoene
a pair [of]/couple [of]/a few shoes

(where 'n paar is ambiguous and either translates as a pair or a few.

However, NP1 can have either (i) a quantificational or (ii) a referential interpretation.

In quantificational NP1+NP2 constructions, NP1 refers to a certain quantity of (specified or unspecified) entities or a certain quantity of a substance denoted by NP2 (Broekhuis and Den Dikken 2012:587):

Example 17

a. [NP1'n swerm] [NP2 bye]
a swarm [of] bees
b. [NP1'n baksel] [NP2 brood]
a batch [of] bread

The quantificational function of the N1+N2 construction is obvious in cases where a mass noun is used as N2: the referents of mass nouns have neither individuality or discreteness (cf. Ponelis 1979: 155-156):

Example 18

Undifferentiated Discrete
a. seep
a. >
a. 'n koekie seep
soap
a cake [of ] soap
b. wyn
b. >
b. 'n bottel wyn
wine
a bottle [of] wine
c. hout
c. >
c. 'n stapel hout
wood
a pile [of] wood
d. sand
d. >
d. 'n hopie sand
sand
a heap [of] sand

In the quantificactional interpretation NP1 merely indicates a certain amount or quantity. In the referential interpretation N1 refers to an actual object in the domain of discourse. Only if N1 has a referential interpretation, can it be a discourse referent, to which one can refer to by means of a pronoun.

Example 19

a. Jan hou 'n glas'i' melk'j' vas.
Jan holds a glass'i' [of] milk'j' prt.
Jan holds a glass [of] milk.
b. Dit'i' is mooi versier.
It'i' is beautifully decorated.
('i' and 'j' refer to the coreferential Ns/NPs.)
c. Dit'j' is suur.
It'j' is sour.

In (20a) the sentence contains two referential nouns and noun phrase expressions, and, as is shown in (20b and c), pronouns can be used to refer back to either of these expressions: ditit in (20b) refers back to the noun glasglass and in (20c) refers back to substance noun melkmilk.

NP1 in (21a) is also ambiguous between the two readings. On the first reading, the noun 'n paar acts as a quantifier noun and can be translated as a couple/number of: the noun has a purely quantificational function and refers to a number of shoes. On the second reading, the noun acts as a collective noun and must be translated as a pair of: the noun has descriptive content that enables it to denote a certain set of entities, and the QC refers to two shoes that form a pair.

Example 20

'n paar skoene
a few shoes'/' a pair [of] shoes

The same point can be illustrated with the examples in (22).The examples in (22) illustrate this also for the collective noun paarpair . Example (22a) represents the — probably unmarked — quantificational reading: the QC refers to a quantity of eight shoes/books that consists of four sets of two shoes, which may or may not form a pair. Example (22b) also refers to eight shoes, but now it is implied that the shoes make up four pairs; the markedness of (22c) is due to the fact that books normally do not come in pairs.

Example 21

a. vier paar skoene/boeke
four pairs [of] shoes/books
b. vier pare skoene
four pairs [of] shoes
c. *vier pare boeke
four pairs [of] books

(22a) refers to exactly eight shoes/books, while the QC ‘n paar skoene/boeke may refer to any small number of books; the cardinality can be equal or larger than two. Another example involves the noun aantalnumber in (23). Example (23a) shows that the noun aantal can be used as a quantifier noun if it is preceded by the indefinite article 'na: the QC refers to a small, but unspecified number of students. However, if aantal is preceded by the definite article diethe, as in (23b), it must refer to an actual number; in this case it probably acts as a measure noun.

Example 22

a. Daar stap 'n aantal studente oor die grasperk.
there walk a number [of] students across the lawn
A number of students are walking across the lawn.
b. Die aantal/getal studente het hierdie jaar weer gedaal.
the number [of] students has this year again decreased
The number of students has decreased again this year.

From the above one can deduce that functionally three types of N1s should be distinguished (Broekhuis and Den Dikken 2012):

  • purely quantificational: quantifier nouns

  • referential: container, part and collective nouns

  • mixed: measure nouns

The morphological properties of N1 and N

Morphological properties of N1

The morphological properties of N1 focus on

  • pluralisation

  • diminutivisation

  • nominal compounding

  • quantificational/referential function

The morphological properties of N1 constituents of Afrikaans QCs can be summarised in Table 8. It shows that a distinction should be made 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.

Pluralization

Ponelis (1979:153-154) states that all N1s can be singular and plural and that N1s can be determined or undetermined (cf. 27),

Example 23

[NP1 (Determinate) hierdie/daardie/die/oom Jan se/ (Undeterminate)'n [N1 trop]] skape
this/that/the/uncle Jan's/a the sheep'

However, Broekhuis and den Dikken (2012) show that pluralization could be more complicated than suggested by Ponelis (1979).

The examples in (25), for example, show that all N1s can be preceded by the indefinite determiner 'na, which indicates count nouns that can be pluralized. However, this is indeed possible with most N1s, but the quantifier noun in (25b) resists the formation of a plural; (25d) shows that the plural marking on the measure noun liter is optional:

Example 24

a. 'n klomp mense
[QN] a lot [of] people
b. *vier klomp(e) mense
four lot(s) [of] people
c. 'n liter melk
a liter [of] milk
d. twee liter(s) melk
two liter(s) [of] milk

The general pattern in (25) is compatible with the classification of quantificational and referential nouns:

  • quantifier nouns lack a plural form, whereas the referential nouns do allow plural formation

  • measure nouns show mixed behaviour: they may or may not take the plural suffix depending on whether they have a quantificational or a referential nouns and noun phrases package unit reading.

Measure nouns like liter in (25d) are ambiguous between a purely quantificational and a referential reading. On the quantificational reading the measure noun takes the singular form and the QC in (25d) simply refers to a certain quantity of milk without any implication about the packaging units of the milk; on the referential, package unit reading the measure noun takes the plural form and the QC refers to two separate units of milk of one liter each. In some cases, however, the referential reading seems to be blocked: this is illustrated in (26) for measure nouns involved in linear measurement.

Example 25

a. Daar het twee meter sneeu geval
there fellsg two meter [of] snow
b. ?Daar het twee meters sneeu geval.
there fellpl two meters [of] snow

The dubious status of (26b) could be due to the fact that the noun phrase twee meter sneeutwo meter [of] snow does not refer to a fixed quantity of snow given that the quantity depends on the surface area talked about: the NP twee meter two meter is related to the height of the snow, but the length and width of the area covered with snow is left open. 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.

This is illustrated in (27): (27a) leaves open the question of how many pieces of rope we are dealing with, but the NP in (27b) refers to five pieces of rope of 1 meter each.

Example 26

a. Daar was vyf meter tou oor.
There was five meter [of] rope left/over.
b. Daar was vyf meters tou oor.
there were five meters [of] rope left

The examples in (28) show that pluralization of measure nouns does not necessarily give rise to a referential, package unit interpretation: this is only the case if the measure noun is preceded by a numeral; if a numeral is lacking and the measure noun is given accent, a purely quantificational, in this case "high quantity", reading is again possible. On the intended reading, the properties of N2 do not affect acceptability: in contrast to (26b), example (28b) is fully acceptable.

Example 27

a. Hy het LITERS melk gedrink.
he drank liters [of] milk
b. Daar het METERS sneeu geval.
there fell meters [of] snow
c. Daar het METERS tou gelê.
there lay meters [of] rope

The "high quantity" reading is also available with container nouns like emmerbucket. However, in (29a) the container noun must still be considered a regular, referential noun. The part nouns and collective nouns do not allow this "high quantity" reading, which is indicated in (29b and c). 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.

Example 28

a. Daar het EMMERS pere gestaan.
there stood buckets [of] pears
but
b. ?Daar het REPE vleis gelê.
there lay pieces [of] meat
c. Daar het GROEPE studente gestap.
there walked groups [of] students

Besides the fact that N1s belong to the category of common nouns, N1s are drawn mostly from a lexical set that refers to the number, measure, or quantity of N2 (cf. Ponelis 1979:156):

Diminutive formation

The three types of N1s also differ with respect to diminutive formation: referential nouns allow it, but quantifier nouns do not, and measure nouns show mixed behavior: diminutivization is possible if they are interpreted referentially, but not if they are interpreted quantificationally. That the diminutive is derived from the referential and not the quantificational measure noun is clear from the fact illustrated by (30c) that they must be pluralized if preceded by a cardinal numeral.

Example 29

a. *'n hele boel(e)tjie mense /'n hele klompie mense
[QN] a lotdim [of] people
[QN] a lotdim [of] people
b. 'n litertjie melk
[MN] a literdim [of] milk
a small liter of milk
c. twee litertjes/*litertjie melk
two litersdim/literdim [of] milk
two small liters of milk

Nominal compounds

The data shows 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 to be 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 noun. This is clear from the fact that a sigaretaanstekercigarette lighter is a kind of lighter, not a kind of cigarette. One can therefore predict that only referential nouns can appear as the head/second member of a compound. The examples in (31) 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 (31c-e) shows that this is indeed the case, although we should note that pere-emmerpere-emmer 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 (31a) 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.

Example 30

a. a. *menseklomp
[QN] people-lot
b. *melkliter
[MN] milk-liter
c. pere-emmer
[ConN] pears-bucket
d. sjokoladereep
[PartN] chocolate-bar
e. studentegroep
[ColN] students-group

The quantificational force of the container, part, and collective nouns has completely disappeared in the compounds in (31c-e). This also holds for nouns that are normally used as quantifier nouns: the meaning of the second member of compounds like studente-getal number of students is not related to the quantificational interpretation of getal, but to its referential interpretation.

The findings of the data analysed so far, is summarised in Table 9. It shows that a distinction should be made 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.

The Gestalt character of QCs

According to Ponelis (1979:154-155) N1 and N2 form semantically a Gestalt/a whole entity. As a result, only N1 can be a determinate expression, for example, hierdiethis conferring determinateness to the Gestalt (consisting of NP1+NP2); for example:

Example 31

a. hierdie beker ertjies/[hierdie [beker + ertjies]]
[this [mug [of] peas]
b. *hierdie beker ertjies/[hierdie beker [ertjies]]
[this mug [[of] peas]

The Gestalt character of the N1+N2 construction also account for the fact that adjectives that can premodify both N1 and N2, also refer to N1+N2 as a Gestalt:

Example 32

X
a. 'n pak duur klere
'n duur pak klere
an expensive suit
X
b. 'n battery beproefde toetse
'n beproefde battery toetse
a battery of tested/proven tests

Attributive modifiers that belong to N2 rather than to N1, can precede N1:

Example 33

a. 'n koue glas bier
a cold glass [of] beer
b. 'n glas koue bier
a glass [of] cold beer

That it is not N1 that is modified, is particularly clear from the examples in (35a and c): the adjectives can only modify the noun glas. Consequently (35c) receives an anomalous interpretation:

Example 34

a. ?'n koue glas met bier
a cold glass with beer
b. 'n glas met koue bier
a glass with cold beer
c. ?'n lekker glas met bier
a tasty glass with beer
d. 'n glas met lekker bier
a glass with tasty beer

The unacceptability of (36) follows from the fact that slegteunsavoury and lekkertasty are antonyms, and the structure results in a contradiction:

Example 35

*'n lekker koppie slegte koffie
a nice cup [of] bad coffee

Example (37a and b), shows that if the adjective and N2 form a fixed collocation, like wit wyn X witwynwhite wine, the adjective must immediately precede N1:

Example 36

a. *'n wit bottel wyn
a white bottle [of] wine
b. 'n bottel wit wyn/witwyn
a bottle [of] white wine

(37a and b) also show that in the case of collective and part nouns, the adjective modifies N2 (and not N1). In fact, N1 can only be modified by a very small class of attributively used adjectives.However, the modifier cannot always precede N1: (38) shows that quantifier and measure nouns do not license this kind of modification; the modifier of N2 must follow N1.

Example 37

'n kilo geel kryt
a kilo [of] yellow chalk
*'n geel kilo kryt
References:
  • Botma, E.D., Sebregts, K. & Smakman, D2012The phonetics and phonology of Dutch mid vowels before /l/Laboratory Phonology3273-298
  • Koopmans-van Beinum, Florina J1994What's in a schwa?Phonetica5168-79
  • Koopmans-van Beinum, Florina J1994What's in a schwa?Phonetica5168-79
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
  • Pols, Louis C. W., Tromp, Herman R. C. & Plomp, Reinier1973Frequency analysis of Dutch vowels from 50 male speakersJournal of the Acoustical Society of America531093--1101
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