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7.1 Universal quantification

The universal quantifier is aal or alle. Alle is the normal attributive determiner, whereas aal is an adverbial sitting either in the position of pre-determiners or in the position of adverbials in the VP. Aal can refer indiscriminately to persons, things, quantities and degrees. On degrees, see especially: AP.


The following examples show that the short form can be used as a floating quantifier, that is, as an adverbial that modifies an argument:

Wät däd me nit aal uum wier ap’e Beene tou kumen.
what did ARB not all for again on.the legs to come
What wouldn’t one do in order to be healthy again.
Weset aal bliede!
be all happy
Rejoyce, all of you!

In the first example, the universal quantifier functions as an adverb modifying the question word. In the second example, the adverbial modifies the silent subject of the imperative. It can also be used as a predeterminer in front of the definite article, in the following examples:

Dät spriek sik gau hääruume unner aal do Bäidene uum uus tou.
that soke REFL soon around under all the children round us to
The word soon got out among all the children around us.
Aal do fuulen Ljude häbe gräzich luud laached.
all the many people have awful loud laughed
All the many people laughed awfully loud.

The last example is peculiar as it combines the universal quantifier with the quantifier of high quantity. The quantifier of high quantity is used in this example as an adjective, although it doesn’t have the ending which would be expected. The ending of the high quantity quantifier is simply wrong. However, the German equivalent is perfectly grammatical: die vielen Leute, so this seems to be a case of interference, because fuul ‘much’ is not inflected in Saterland Frisian. Apart from this, the examples show that aal ‘all’ is used as a predeterminer, and as an adverbial quantifier. Alle, in contrast, is a normal determiner inside NP.

Wät blöiden do Bloumen un Struke in alle bunten Faawen!
what blossomed the flowers and shrubs in all bright colours
How the flowers and shrubs blossomed with all sorts of bright colours!

Nevertheless, it is also possible to have aal directly in argument position, as a nominalised quantifier. The first example has the quantifier sitting in the position of a prepositional object, in the second example it heads a topic which is resumed as the subject:

Foar aal kon neen Moanske nit suurgje.
for all can no human not take.care
Nobody can take care of all people.
Aal wät mienen is, dät is ook dienen.
all what mine is that is also yours
All that is mine, is yours as well.

Note that aal may refer indiscriminately to persons (the first example above) and to things (the last example above). There is also a distributive universal quantifier: älk ‘each’. It can either be used by itself, or it can be used in a phrase: älk-un-een ‘everyone’. It can function as a determiner, as a nominalised determiner and as an adverbial inside VP. An example of each of these uses is given below:

So kon älke Seelter ze fluks leze.
so can each Seelter them fast read
In this way each Saterlander can easily read them.’
Älk oarbaidede sik ätter de Dore.
each worked REFL to the door
Each worked his way to the door.
Wie betoalje älk dän Haildeel.
we pay each the half.part
We pay half each.

When used attributively, the determiner always has a schwa. The determiner älke is not inflected in the attributive construction, not does it trigger agreement on following APs (see AP). However, it is inflected in some recent written work, which features many interferences which are characteristic of present-day speech.

In addition, we encounter the universal reciprocals: enefoaruur ‘each in the presence of the other’ and enemäddänuur ‘the one with the other’, see: the reciprocal pronoun. These may be used as arguments with a universal interpretation. An example of each is given below (there is variation in the past tense of the modal verb):

Enefoaruur wüül ätter buten.
one.for.other wanted to outside
They all wanted to go outside.
Enemäddänuur wiel färespielje.
one.with.other wanted further.play
Everyone wanted to continue playing.

These are rather peculiar constructions, not to mention the variation in the past tense of wolle ‘want’ which need not concern us here There is also a phrase with a similar structure signifying: ‘every second one’: een uum t uur ‘one around the other’. Two examples are given below:

Do Hokken sunt een uum ‘t uur fon mie apstoald.
the stooks are one round the other of me up.set
Every second stook has been set up by me.
Wie häbe een uum ‘t uur säddend.
we have one round the other churned
We took turns churning.

A stook is a group of three or four sheaves supporting each other. The second example shows that the idiom is also used to express the concept of taking turns. In both examples, the phrase is used as an adverbial phrase. It does not directly occupy an argument position like the subject or the object position.

The universal quantifier allemon (literally: all man) has a slightly pejorative sound, because of the expression Jan un allemon ‘Jan and everybody’

Hie is wät moor as Jan un allemon.
he is what more as Jan and everyone
He is a bit above every Jack and Jill.

In the examples above, the quantifier applies to persons or things. A universal quantifier can also refer to places. The universal quantifier for places is: allerwegense ‘everywhere’.

Allerwegense wädt Brood boaken.
everywhere becomes bread baked
Bread is baked everywhere.

It is homophonous to the R-pronoun which may function as an adpositional object meaning ‘everything’, see: R-pronouns (9). The universal quantifier for time and frequency is: aaltied ‘always’, or alledege ‘always’. In addition, there’s the negative polarity item: silläärge ‘ever’. It may combine with negation to express temporal negation, see Negative quantification. But by itself, it can also mean ‘still, always’, as in the following example:

Dän Nome unthoolde iek silläärge.
the name remember I ever.yet
I still remember the name.

In the example above, the universal quantification is restricted to the past and the present.

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