• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
5.1.2.Noun phrases without an article

This section discusses noun phrases that normally do not contain an article, proper nouns and vocatives, as well as a number of more special cases. Note that we will not discuss here the types of language use that favor economizing on language in the sense that only the most important chunks of information are spelled out, as in telegrams or newspaper headlines. Articles are typically suppressed in these cases. A telegram informing the recipient that the car has broken down and that the dog has run away would get the form in (81a). The same thing holds for headlines: (81b) is much preferred to Een man heeft een hond gebeten'A man has bitten a dog'. Article drop also occurs on signposts, in titles of paintings and books, etc.

Example 81
a. Auto kapot. Hond weggelopen.
  car  broken  dog  run.away
b. Man bijt hond.
  man  bites  dog