• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
Predicative, not partitive

The following types of adjectives occur in the predicative construction without occurring in the partitive construction:

  • adjectives predicated of [+ANIMATE] entities
  • weather adjectives


It is not the case that all adjectives that can be used as predicates to copulas can be used in the partitive adjective construction. There are two classes of exceptions:

  1. Human subjects

    Adjectives selecting [+ANIMATE] entities cannot as partitive adjectives:

    a. *Wat dronkens
    something drunk
    Something drunk
    b. *Wat rimpens
    something brusque
    Something brusque

    However, such examples may improve in case they are embedded in the subjective idiom wat oer jin hawwe something about one have. In the case of dronken drunk, the literal meaning is lost, and the adjective is interpreted as a description of appearances. In the case of rimpen brusque, the interpretation likewise is a description of appearances:

    a. Hy hat wat rimpens oer him
    he has something brusque about him
    He acts as if he is brusque
    b. Hy hat wat dronkens oer him
    he has something drunk about him
    He is acting as if he is drunk
    This fits in with the fact that the adjective may take an impersonal subject:
    Dat is wat rimpen fan him
    that is something brusque of him
    That is a bit brusque of him
    Some adjectives taking an additional (hence non-nominative) argument take an animate subject. Correspondingly, such adjectives are excluded in the partitive adjective construction:
    a. (Hy is) it paad bjuster
    he is the path lost
    (He is) lost
    b. (Hy is) it gesanger ba
    he is the whining fed.up
    (He is) fed up of the whining
    c. *Wat bjusters
    something lost
    Something lost
    d. *Wat bas
    something fed.up
    Something fed up

    The form *bas fed up is also less acceptable for phonological reasons. Note incidentally that the noun paad path may be morphologically incorporated in the adjective, leading to the formation paadbjuster path.lost. This adjective can occur in the idiom wat oer jin hawwe something about one have:

    Hy hat wat paadbjusters oer him
    he has something lost about him
    He looks a bit as if he is lost
  2. Weather adjectives

    Weather adjectives do not normally occur in the partitive adjective, although examples can be constructed using the idiom:

    a. Wat oer jin hawwe
    something about one have
    Something about one have
    b. *Wat reinichs
    something rainy
    Somewhat rainy
    c. It waar hat wat reinichs oer him
    the weather has something rainy about him
    The weather looks a bit like it is going to rain

    printreport errorcite