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Proper names

Proper names are used without the article, unless they are modified.


Modification characteristically occurs if the proper name does not have a unique referent. The dialogue below provides an example of the use of a proper name with and without the definite article:

Example 1

a. Freegje it mar oan Henstra
ask it DcP to Henstra
Ask Henstra
b. De Henstra fan de ôfdieling Algemiene Saken?
the Henstra of the department general affairs
The Henstra of the department of General Affairs?

When proper names are accompanied by the definite article, it is invariably the article of the common gender that is involved. Proper names behave like nouns if they do not have a unique referent. Some examples are given below:

Example 2

a. Dat binne alle Henstras dy't ik ken
that are all Henstra's who I know
Those are all the Henstras that I know
b. Ik ken twa fan de trije Henstras
I know two of the three Henstra's
I know two of the three Henstras
c. Ik kin sjen datsto in echte Henstra bist
I can see that.2SG a true Henstra are
I can see that you are a true Henstra