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Avoiding two identical complementisers

A sequence of two superficially identical function words is avoided, even though their semantic function seems to be different.


The comparative complement is introduced by the function word as as. In case the constituent following this function word also begins with the function word as as, then the first instance of as as is replaced by the function word dan as. This is shown in the examples below.

Example 1

a. Noch iensumer dan as se kommen wie ried Iet werom
even lonelier than like she come was drove Iet back
Iet drove back even lonelier than when she had come
b. As amtner hiene de lju him heger dan as minske
as civil.servant had the people him higher than as person
He was held in higher regard as a civil servant than as a human being
c. Hy is dêryn it bêst op dreef …, better dan as er útlânske stoffe bearbeidet
he is in.that the best in action better than if he foreign subject.matter adapt
He is best at that … better than if he works with foreign subject matter

The weird thing about this phenomenon is that the complementiser dan than seems to be a loan from Dutch, though the vowel is pronounced according to Frisian phonology, that is, rounded before the nasal.

The following two examples show that other sequences of dissimilar complementisers may also be found:

Example 2

a. Noch iensumer as dat se kommen wie ried Iet werom
even lonelier than that she come was drove Iet back
Iet drove back feeling even lonelier than when se came
b. Boaiemsanearing is in folle gruttere operaasje as at oant no ta oannommen waard
Soil.cleaning is a much bigger operation than as until now PTC assumed was
Soil cleaning is a much bigger operation than has been assumed until now