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Auditory perception

The unmarked verbs of auditory perception are hearre hear and harkje nei listen to. They can both be used as intransitive evidential copulas.


The verb of auditory perception hearre hear can be used in an evidential construction:

Example 1

Dat heart goed (dat se meiwurkje wolle)
that hears well that they co-operate want
That sounds like good news (that they want to co-operate)

In case the theme is not propositional, the construction is more propertly analysed as medial, as in the following example, although it still involves a theme:

Example 2

It lûd fan dizze lûdsprekker heart goed
the sound of this loudspeaker hears well
The sound of this loudspeaker sounds well

In the following example, the medial construction involves an instrument, as is clear from its paraphrase:

Example 3

a. Dizze lûdsprekker heart goed
this loudspeaker hears well
This loudspeaker sounds well
b. It heart goed mei dizze lûdsprekker
it hears well with this loudspeaker
This loudspeaker sounds well

In its evidential meaning, the auditory verb cannot be used in a transitive structure, although the sentences are grammatical under a mere perceptual interpretation:

Example 4

a. *Ik hear watsto seist goed
I see what.you say good
What you say sounds like good news
b. *Ik hear goed watsto seist
I see good what.you say
What you say sounds like good news

The verb of visual perception required the addition of a meaningless idiomatic Adposition Phrase (PP) whereas this PP must be absent with the verb of auditory perception:

Example 5

*It heart der goed út
it hears R good out
It sounds good

The evaluative structure is questioned with the Adjective Phrase (AP) hoe how:

Example 6

Hoe heart dat?
how hears that
How does that sound?

The evaluator argument usually remains implicit, but it may be expressed in a PP introduced by the preposition neffens according to or by the preposition foar for, as in the example below.

Example 7

Hoe heart dat foar dy?
how hears that for you
How does this sound for you?

The evidential derived from auditory perception cannot be put in the perfect tense, unlike the evidential derived from visual perception:

Example 8

*Dat hat goed heard (dat se meiwurkje wolle)
that hears good heard that they co-operate want
That has sounded like good news (that they want to co-operate)

The ungrammaticality does not involve negative polarity, since negation does not render the sentence grammatical:

Example 9

?*Dat hat net goed heard (dat se net meiwurkje wolle)
that hears not good heard that they not co-operate want
That did not sound like good news (that they did not want to co-operate)

The auditory verb strongly prefers the presence of a neuter 3SG pronoun in the structural subject position, unlike the verb of visual perception.

The verb harkje nei listen to may also be used as the verb of auditory perception and it can marginally be used as an evidential copula. An example of its evidential use is given below:

Example 10

Ja, dat harket goed, dat leit yn 't gehoar
yes that listens well that lies in the hearing
Yes, that sounds well, that is easy on the ear