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3.4 Sufficient degree

The sufficient construction is built on the function word genoug ‘enough’. The function word is special in following the adjective which it modifies instead of preceding it.

Jie skällen riek genouch weze, uum ruum un fräiwillich skoanke tou konnen.
you shall rich enough be for wide and voluntarily donate to can
You will be rich enough to be able to donate generously and voluntarily.

The function word indicates that a specific (high) degree limit of an adjective is sufficient for rendering the proposition true. The degree limit is specified in the following infinitival clause.


The function word itself can be modified by a degree modifier, as in the following example:

Hie is knap oold genouch.
he is barely old enough
He is barely old enough.

Here the word knap ‘just’ indicates that the sufficient degree limit almost doesn’t apply.

The degree limit can be correlated with a proposition which is true above the degree limit, and untrue below it. An example is given below:

Deer sit nit genouch Bierme in dän Dee, dan hie wol nit kwälle.
there sits not enough yeast in the dough for he wants not rise
There is not enough yeast in the dough, because it won’t rise.

Here the degree limit makes a binary division in the quantity of yeast, and this quantitative division correlates with the affirmation or negation of the rising of the dough. Thus this construction involves a correlation between two degree stretches and two contrary states of affairs.

In this respect, it is closely related to the excessive construction. In fact, they are each other’s mirror image. The sufficient construction correlates the degree stretch above the degree limit with an affirmative proposition (‘if it is enough, then a state of affairs holds’), whereas the excessive construction correlates the degree stretch above the degree limit with the negation of the proposition (‘if it is too much, a state of affairs no longer holds’). This is intuitively clear from the synonimity of the two phrases: tou min ‘too little’ and nit genough ‘not enough’.

In example (3) above, the correlative proposition was expressed in an independent clause. It can also be expressed in a pronominal PP, as in the following example:

Hie is deer nit mons genouch tou.
he is it.R not man enough to
He is not man enough for that.

The correlative proposition can also be expressed in an infinitival clause. An example has been given below:

Hie häd genouch tou dwoon, uum bie de Weerhaid tou blieuwen
he had enough to do for at the truth to stay
Just sticking to the truth, was (difficult) enough for him to do.

This example is somewhat idiomatic. In the following example, the correlative infinitival clause has been preposed:

Man Tied, um rundtousnuwen, häd ju genoug.
but time for round.to.sniff had she enough
But she had enough time to spy around.

These examples also make it clear that the sufficient construction does not only apply to degree stretches expressed as adjectives, but also to temporal stretches, expressed by a noun like Tied ‘time’. Infinitives are usually controlled by the subject of the main clause, as in the last two examples above.

However, if there is an argument affected by the sufficient construction, then it may control the infinitival clause as well. Consider the following example:

Ju hied aaltied genouch tou sugen foar do Bäidene.
she had always enough to suck for the children
She always had enough breast-milk for the children.

Here the object argument functions as an evaluator argument controlling the subject of the infinitive. The following example likewise features an evaluator argument:

Hie is mie wisse goud genouch as Buurge.
he is me surely good enough as guarantor
He certainly is good enough as guarantor in my opinion.

The correlative proposition is not expressed in an infinitive, but suggested by the final phrase to be the subject’s functioning as a guarantor.

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