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8.2 Modification of VPs by adverbial APs

VP adverbs modify the VP. They pass the following test: they can be used in an afterthought sentence as follows: ‘and they did so ADVERB’. An example is given below:

Bidääftig ‘slowly’ passes the test, and thus this AP functions as an adverbial modifying VP in the sentence above and in the sentence below:

Hie ron uur de Sträite un dät died hie bedääftich.
he walked on the street and that did he slowly
He walked on the street and he did so slowly.
Hie ron bedääftich uur de Sträite.
he walked slowly over the street
He walked slowly down the street.

Various types of adverbials modifying VP are briefly touched upon in the sections below.

[+]1. Adverbs of manner

Everything that happens in the world can happen or be done in many ways. It is therefore not surprising that one finds a multitude of adverbs used to express all of this. The list below is anything but complete. Some adverbs have pronominal properties, e.g. so ‘so, in this way’. However, the vast majority have a more specific meaning (e.g. stapfouts ‘walking pace’). Many such specific adverbs are adverbially used adjectives (such as fluch ‘beautiful’). Adverbially used adjectives can also be comparative or superlative, as in the examples below:

Fluch sjonge, flugger sjonge, ap ‘t fluchste sjunge.
nice sing nicer sing on.the nicest sing
Sing nice, sing nicer, sing nicest.

Note that the adverbial superlative may be expressed as a PP consisting of the preposition ap ‘on’, the definite neuter article and the superlative of an adjective. PP superlatives are also found in West Frisian. The word ieuwen ‘in short’ may function in certain contexts as an existential quantifier of manner:

Wan dät ieuwen kon, dan dwo iek et.
if that somehow can then do I it
If that is somehow possible, then I’ll do it.’

Below some adverbs of manner are given:

So; wo; uurs; ieuwen; liesken.
so how differently somehow softly
So how differently somehow softly.

An interesting manner adverb is stilkens ‘silently’, as it has the form of the plural diminutive of the adjective stil ‘quiet’. This phenomenon is also found in Dutch and West Frisian. Another interesting case is fräiwäch ‘bluntly’, which consists of the adjective fräi ‘free’ followed by the adposition wäg ‘away’. The latter is an old loan from Low German, but this type of compound also exists in West Frisian. Note that stilken ‘silent’ is an adjective in present-day Saterland Frisian, and it may exhibit agreement. Perhaps it is a back formation from the adverbial stilkens, in which the adverbial burden shifted from the plural diminutive to the plural, so that the diminutive was reanalysed as apart of the adjectival stem.

[+]2. Adverbs of time

Temporal adverbs refer to time, chronology, duration, or frequency. There are some temporal adverbs with pronominal or quantificational properties, see 8.1: these clause adverbials can also be used to modify VPs. The difference is subtle between a reading in which a clause is modified and the reading in which a VP is modified. Other temporal adverbs include:

aleer in the past
domoals in the past
juust just
kuuts recently
knu recently
läästens recently
dälich now, today
nu now
stuunds immediately
fluks immediately
ätters later
wiederwai in the future
ädder early
jäärsene yesterday
jäärsene Mäiden yesterday morning

It can be noted that jäärsen occur without a schwa when used attributively, whereas it is marked with a schwa in case it occurs on its own.

[+]3. Adverbs of frequency

See also 8.1. Some examples of frequency adverbs include:

wätseldeges on work days
smäidens (morgens) in the morning
foaremiddeges in the early afternoon
smiddeges in the afternoon
seeuwends in the evening
snoachenss in the night

These frequency adverbs are all marked with –s, which historically derives from a genitive plural. It is unclear whether the determiner fuul ‘much, many’ can also be used as a frequency adverb. The following example shows that adverbs of time precede adverbs of frequency:

Hie napkoppet aaltied wier in sin Kroakstoul.
he dozes.off always again in his armchair
He keeps dozing off in his armchair.
[+]4. Adverbs of place

All adverbs of place are similar in meaning: they refer to places. Adverbs of place appear in different categories and forms. Some can be used deictically, interrogatively, negatively, and indefinitely, just like pronouns.

wier where
deer, der there
kedeer, kreer there
allerwegense everywhere
uursainewainde somewhere else
hier here
junner, kjunner over there
ainewainde somewhere
iek-wit-nit-wier who knows where
uurswier somewhere else

Wier ‘where’ is used as the adverbial interrogative of place. In addition, it is also used as the adverbial relative of place, instead of deer ‘there’, which has become antiquated. To illustrate, consider the following:

Dät is ju Stede, deer / wier iek dät funden häbe.
that is the place where I that found have
That is the place where I found it.

The deictic prefix ke- in kedeer ‘there’ and similar cases is derived from kiek ‘look’. Note that adverbials of place are not derived from APs.

[+]5. Adverbs of degree

Degree adverbs provide information about the degree of the situation or event described by the Verb Phrase (VP). Adverbs of degree are words like the first element of the following phrases: aiske groot ‘very big’ or 'n bitjen leet ‘a bit late’. Expressions such as hoast dood ‘almost dead’ are also included in this overview. High degree adverbs are very numerous. The reinforcing element jo ‘absolutely’ is a particle that shades off in being a very frequent filler without much meaning. See also AP, chapter 3.

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