• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
7.2.The pre-determiner heel'all/whole'

This section is concerned with the forms and distribution of the modifier heel. This modifier can be found in the two word-order patterns in (160). The modifier heel in (160a) will be referred to as pre-determiner bare heel since it is systematically uninflected and linearly precedes the determiner. The use of pre-determiner bare heel does not seem very common in everyday spoken Dutch; witness the fact that the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal mentions that, even at the time when the lemma heel was written (1901-1912), the construction was found only in somewhat elevated and poetic registers. The modifier heel in (160b) will be referred to as post-determiner inflectible heel, since it is inflected as an attributive adjective (cf. Section 3.2, sub I), and always follows the determiner.

Example 160
a. heel de taart
pre-determiner bare heel
  all  the cake
b. de hele taart
post-determiner inflectible heel
  the  whole  cake

The two cases in (160) differ in that, in present-day Dutch, only the post-determiner heel alternates with the morphological alternant geheel. This is shown in (161); cf. also Section Furthermore, we will show later that post-determiner heel is ambiguous, and may receive a purely adjectival or a quantificational interpretation.

Example 161
a. * geheel de taart
b. de gehele taart

For completeness’ sake, note that heel can also be used in other syntactic functions, for instance, as an amplifier of an adjective, as in een heel/hele lekkere taart'a very tasty cake', where heel is optionally adorned with the inflectional schwa typical of adjectival attributive modifiers. Examples like these will not be discussed here; see Section A3.1.2 for discussion of this use.
      In (160), we glossed pre-determiner bare heel as “all” in order to distinguish it from post-determiner heel and to give recognition to the fact that there are syntactic and interpretative parallels between pre-determiner bare heel and pre-determiner bare al. Post-determiner inflectible heel will be systematically glossed as “whole” even where this gloss is semantically inappropriate, that is, both on its adjectival and its quantificational reading; when necessary, English prose translations will be provided to bring out the semantics of heel in the constructions under discussion.
      Section 7.2.1 will start by addressing the semantics of heel, with the two syntactic patterns in (160) being discussed in separate sections. Section 7.2.2 will discuss the syntactic distribution of heel and its alternants within the noun phrase, and Section 7.2.3 the distribution of noun phrases modified by heel as a whole. Section 7.2.4 will conclude with a discussion of the independent uses of heel.