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The transitive verb of predication hawwe have

The verb hawwe have is able to provide the outer structure for a transitive complementive predication.


The verb hawwe have is able to provide a complementive structure for a direct object and an Adjective Phrase (AP) predicated of it. The verb hawwe introduces an extra argument, expressed as a subject which entertains a relation of involvement or possession with respect to the direct object (of which the AP is predicated). Argument and predicate have been bracketed in the first example:

a. Ik haw [de frou siik]
I have the wife ill
My wife is ill
a.' Ik haw de bân lek
I have the tire flat
I've got a flat tire
a.'' Hy hat de earm stikken
he has the arm broken
he is got a broken arm
a. Ik haw de kwast noch net skjin
I have the brush still not clean
I do not have the brush clean yet
a.' Hy hat it rút lang om let iepen
he has the window long about late open
At long last, he has the window open

In examples denoting possession, a possessive pronoun is preferably not introduced in the argument of the AP, although this becomes more common under the influence of Dutch:

a. *Ik haw [myn frou siik]
I have my wife ill
My wife is ill
b. *Ik haw myn bân lek
I have my tire flat
I've got a flat tire
c. *Hy hat syn earm stikken
he has his arm broken
he is got a broken arm

In examples denoting involvement, a possessive pronoun may be introduced, and it may be coreferential with the subject or it may not. The verb hawwe have is the neutral verb in the transitive complementive construction, as is wêze be in the intransitive one. Just as in the intransitive one, the relation between argument and adjective may be moderated by a different verb. In (4b) below, the brush becomes clean, and in (4c) below the brush stays clean:

a. Hy hat de kwast skjin
he has the brush clean
The brush is clean
b. Hy krige de kwast skjin
he got the brush clean
He got the brush clean
c. Hy hold de kwast skjin
he kept the brush clean
He kept the brush clean

These complementive verbs may also occur with non-referential it it:

a. Hy hat it waarm / kâld
he has it warm cold
He is warm / cold
b. Hy krige it waarm / kâld
he got it warm / cold
He became warm / cold
c. Hy hold it waarm / kâld
he kept it warm / cold
He stayed warm / cold

However, Frisian has a strong tendency, with some adjectives, to use wêze be rather than it hawwe it have, although there is pressure from Dutch to use the construction involving it hawwe:

a. Ik bin waarm / kâld
I am warm cold
I am warm / cold
b. ?Ik haw it waarm
I have it warm
I am warm
c. Do bist mis
you are wrong
You are wrong
d. ?Do hast it mis
you have it wrong
You are wrong

Analogously, intransitive wurde become is preferred over pseudo-transitive it krije it get:

a. Do wurdst kâld
you become cold
You are becoming cold
b. Do krigest it kâld
you get it cold
You are getting cold

There are also cases where Frisian chooses to construct an idiom with to have, where Dutch prefers to be.


More details can be found in Hoekstra (1986).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1986It hawweFriesch Dagblad25-10Taalsnipels 6
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