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Selecting a present participle

The copula of being selects a small number of present participles denoting a way of getting from one place to another. These present participles cannot be syntactically expanded.


In earlier stages of Frisian and Dutch, the copula of being could directly combine with a present participle. This is no longer possible:

Example 1

a. *Foppe is fuotbaljende
Foppe is soccer.playing
Foppe is playing soccer
b. *Jouke is griente keapjende
Jouke is vegetables buy.PRESP
Jouke has gone to buy vegetables

Some present participles have been lexicalised. A coherent subclass is the class of verbs denoting a type of movement. These may still be found with the copula of being:

Example 2

Jouke wie rinnende mar Antsje wie fytsende
Jouke was walking but Antsje was cycling.PRESP
Jouke came on foot, but Antsje came by bicycle

These present participles are also selected by the auxiliaries gean go and komme come.