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The definite nominal quantifier

The nominal quantifier does not exhibit any agreement with the partitive adjective. The quantifiers appearing in the partitive adjective construction have the following properties:

  • they are definite
  • they are non-count


Numerals are excluded from the partive adjective construction, which bears out its noun-count character. The definiteness of the quantifiers is clear from the following tests. First, they may not appear in the indefiniteness construction which is characterised by the marker of indefiniteness der there:

*Der is al it nuvers te beharkjen
there is all the strange to listen.to
All the strange things can be heard there

Second, these quantifiers, without following partitive, may appear preceding an attributive adjective within a Noun Phrase (NP). In that case, they trigger weak (or indefinite) agreement on the adjective, as illustrated below, and this is characteristic of definite quantifiers:

Al it kâlde bier
all the cold.WA beer.NG
All the cold beer

Only seven quantifers are allowed in this construction. These are the neuter article, the neuter demonstrative, the universal quantifier alle all, and the combinations al it all the and al dat all that:

Table 1
it the
dat that
dit this
al it all the
al dat all that
al dit all this
alle all
All these quantifiers are definite quantifiers, and the construction as a whole is a non-count construction. Count quantifiers such as numerals cannot occur in the construction. The construction is also revealed to be neuter since al it all the contains the neuter article it the and al dit / dat all this / that contains the neuter demonstrative dat that. Using the common gender renders the construction ungrammatical:

*Die moais
that.CG beautiful
That beautiful
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