• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
Modification and Degree Quantification of APs

Adjectives can be modified by adverbial elements which quantify the degree to which the adjective is applicable. In addition to adverbs as such, such adverbial elements may also manifest in the form of functional items introducing phrases and clauses. An example of a high degree intensifier adverb is uiters extremely below:

'n uiters gevaarlike persoon
an extremely dangerous person

A functional element introducing an infinitive argument is te too, as in this example:

Hulle is te lui om te werk.
they be.PRS too lazy for.COMP PTCL.INF work.INF
They are too lazy to work.

Adjectives can be modified by adverbial elements which have a quantificational effect on the degree of the adjective. In the example below, the intensifier baie very brings about a high degree interpretation:

Hy is baie versigtig.
he be.PRS very cautious
He is very cautious.

In addition, adjectives can be modified by functional elements. Such elements entail their own construction type, and occasionally license extra arguments in the form of phrases and clauses. One such element is the functional word so so which specifies the nature of the high degree. In the example below, so so is responsible for the licensing and interpretation of the constituent following the adjective:

so dom dat hy daaroor lag
so stupid that.COMP he about.it laughs
so stupid as to laugh about it

A second such element is the functional word te too, which is used for a high degree that is excessive in some sense. In the example below, te too at the start of the phrase is responsible for the licensing and interpretation of the infinitival clause:

too cautious to be caught out
te versigtig om betrap te word
too cautious for.COMP caught.out PTCL.INF be.INF

In the example below, te is responsible for the licensing and interpretation of the NPmy me:

Vir my is hy te versigtig.
for me he be.PRS too cautious
I think he is too cautious.

A third such element is genoeg enough, which is used for sufficient degree quantification, as shown in the example below:

Hy is versigtig genoeg.
he be.PRS cautious enough
He is cautious enough.

A fourth element in the context of quantification is that of comparability, where a particular adjective may apply, for example, in equal measure to two referents, in combination with adverbs such as ewe equally and net so just as, as in the following examples:

Hulle is ewe fluks.
they be.PRS equally diligent
They are equally diligent.
Ons is net so verlig.
we be.PRS just as relieved
We are just as relieved.

Some minor constructions of high degree are discussed in in the last paragraph of this section. An example is given below, where exclamative hoe how is responsible for a high degree interpretation:

Hoe versigtig is hy nie!
how cautious be.PRS he not
He is so cautious!

For more information on modification and degree quantification, see:

    printreport errorcite