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The default complementiser dat that

The complementiser dat that can be used to introduce a non-interrogative embedded clause:

Example 1

Hy wist dat er te let wie
he knew that he too late was
He knew that he was too late

The complementiser dat that is occasionally found in the company of interrogative phrases, for example, in the following sentence:

Example 2

Alles fertelde lytse Hazze...En hoe dat greate Jouwer en Jonker har werom brocht hiene
everything told little hare and how that big Jouwer and Jonker her back brought had
Little Hare told everything... And how big Jouwer and Jonker had brought her back

The example above consists of a series of sentences (of which only the last has been given) which involve paratactic ellipsis of the verb fertelle to tell. The sentence is an indicative from a semantic point of view.


Older Frisian seems to feature more instances of the complementiser dat that following question words, though they are also attested in present-day Frisian:

Example 3

a. Ik wol 't dy wol sidse wêrom dat ik hier ben (1864)
I want it you DcP say why COMP I here am
I do not mind telling you why I am here
b. Ik soe wier net witte wêrom dat it net mei (1989)
I would truly not know why COMP it not may
I truly would not know why it is not allowed
c. 't Soe my benije wêr dat er telâne kaam as dûmmy (1985)
it would me interest where COMP he toland came as vicar
It would interest me to know where he would get a job as a vicar