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2.2.5.6.Application of the complement/adjunct tests
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Now that we have discussed the status of the PPs that occur with noun phrases headed by a picture/story noun and established that extraction of PP-complements is only possible from indefinite noun phrases selected by non-affective verbs, we can apply the four tests provided in Section 2.2.1 to distinguish complement PPs from adjunct PPs to picture/story noun constructions. As these tests are designed to distinguish between complements and adjuncts within the noun phrase, we will restrict ourselves to those cases in which the van/over-PPs can be assumed to form part of the noun phrase; see Section 2.2.5.5 for discussion.

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[+]  I.  Obligatoriness of the PPs

Complements are normally obligatorily present, whereas adjuncts are optional. This subsection will show, however, that this test does not provide conclusive evidence for assuming that the agent and theme act as arguments of the picture/story noun.

[+]  A.  Picture nouns

As illustrated in example (562) the agent argument of a picture noun need not be overtly expressed, even though it will always be semantically implied.

562
a. Ik heb een tekening van de Westertoren (van Rembrandt) gekocht.
  have  a drawing  of the Westertoren   of Rembrandt  bought
  'Iʼve bought a drawing of the Westertoren by Rembrandt.'
b. Jan heeft een tekening van zijn broer gemaakt.
  Jan has  a drawing  of his brother  made
  'Jan has made a drawing of his brother.'

Example (563) shows that theme PPs can sometimes be left out as well, even in cases in which the picture noun is derived from a transitive verb requiring a theme complement, such as schilderij'painting' or tekening'drawing'.

563
a. Ik heb gisteren een schilderij (van Leiden) gezien.
  have  yesterday  a painting   of Leiden  seen
  'I saw a painting (of Leiden) yesterday.'
b. Jan heeft een tekening (van de Westertoren) gemaakt.
  Jan has  a drawing  of the Westertoren  made
  'Jan has made a drawing (of the Westertoren).'

Leaving out the theme arguments does not always yield an acceptable result: with a noun like afbeelding'picture' in (564) leaving out the theme normally gives rise to a degraded result. The difference between (563) and (564) is probably related to the degree of lexicalization: picture nouns like schilderij and tekening'drawing' are highly lexicalized as a result of which they may have lost their argument structure; the picture noun afbeelding'picture', on the other hand, exhibits a lower degree of lexicalization and can be said to have retained the argument structure of the verb, even though its denotation has changed. For more a detailed discussion of this issue, see Section 2.2.5.2.

564
a. Ik heb een afbeelding *?(van de Westertoren) aan de muur gehangen.
  have  a picture     of the Westertoren  on the wall  hung
  'Iʼve put a picture (of the Westertoren) on the wall.'
b. Jan heeft een afbeelding *?(van de Westertoren) gekocht.
  Jan has  a picture     of the Westertoren  bought
  'Jan has bought a picture (of the Westertoren).'
[+]  B.  Story Nouns

As pointed out in Section 2.2.5.2, sub II, in some cases the complements of story nouns with a verbal counterpart cannot felicitously be left out, whereas in others explicit mention of the complement(s) is not required. Thus, where the noun has abstract reference, that is, refers to the contents of some object, mention of at least one argument is preferred. This argument need not be the subject matter (theme), but may instead be the creator (agent). This is illustrated in example (565a). In cases such as (565b), where the referent is a concrete object, on the other hand, there is no need for an argument. Finally, in (565c), where the creator of the story noun is also the agent of the whole construction, the story noun can appear without complements.

565
a. Ik heb naar een lezing ??(over/van Mulisch) geluisterd.
  have  to a lecture     about/of Mulisch  listened
  'Iʼve listened to a lecture (on/by Mulisch).'
b. Ik heb een lezing (over/van Mulisch) uitgetypt.
  have  a lecture   about/of Mulisch  typed.out
  'Iʼve typed out a lecture (on/by Mulisch).'
c. Ik heb een voordracht (over Mulisch) gehouden.
  have  a lecture   about Mulisch  kept
  'Iʼve given a lecture (on Mulisch).'

Where the story noun does not have a verbal counterpart, both the agent and the theme arguments can normally be left out, even if it is the contents of the story noun that is relevant. This is illustrated in example (566).

566
a. Ik heb gisteren een boek/artikel (over/van Mulisch) gelezen.
  have  yesterday  a book/article   about/of Mulisch  read
  'I've read a book/article (about/by Mulisch) yesterday.'
b. Ik heb gisteren een film (over Nixon/van Hitchcock) gezien.
  have  yesterday  a film   about Nixon/of Hitchcock  seen
  'Iʼve seen a film (about Nixon)/a (Hitchcock) film yesterday.'

Sentences like the ones in (566) are quite common with modified story nouns, as in (567a). Such sentences typically serve to start a discourse, with the speaker waiting for encouragement from the hearer, and evoke questions like (567b) from the addressee concerning the identity of the agent or the theme of the story noun, which shows that these are still somehow implied.

567
a. Ik heb gisteren een interessant artikel gelezen.
speaker A
  have  yesterday  an interesting article  read
  'I read an interesting article yesterday.'
b. O ja? Van wie/Waarover?
speaker B
  oh yes  of who/what.about
  'Did you? Who by/What about?'
[+]  II.  Occurrence of the van-PPs in postcopular predicative constructions

This subsection shows that both possessive and agentive van-PPs behave like adjuncts in being able to occur in the postcopular predicative position. The theme, on the other hand, behaves more like a complement.

[+]  A.  Picture nouns

Since Section 2.2.1, sub III, has shown that van-PPs in postcopular predicative constructions are typically interpreted as possessors, it does not come as a surprise that example (568a) can be interpreted with Jan as the possessor of the painting. What is surprising, however, is that Jan can also be interpreted as the agent of the construction. In fact, the examples in (568b&c) are also ambiguous with regard to the distribution of the agent and possessor roles: the preferred interpretation indicated by the labels and given in the translations is entirely based on our knowledge of the world.

568
a. Dit schilderij van de WestertorenTheme is van JanPoss/Agent.
  this painting  of the Westertoren  is of Jan
  'This painting of the Westertoren belongs to/is made by Jan.'
b. JansPoss schilderij van de WestertorenTheme is van RembrandtAgent.
  Janʼs  painting  of the Westertoren  is of Rembrandt
  'Janʼs painting of the Westertoren was made by Rembrandt.'
c. RembrandtsAgent schilderij van de WestertorenTheme is van JanPoss.
  Rembrandt's  painting  of the Westertoren  is of Jan
  'Rembrandt's painting of the Westertoren belongs to Jan/was made by Jan.'

Example (569a) shows that placing a theme PP in predicative postcopular position normally yield a degraded result (although some people do accept this example). Examples such as this improve, however, in contrastive contexts with strong emphasis on the subject noun phrase, as is shown in (569b); they are especially acceptable if the agent argument is present.

569
a. ?? Het schilderij is van de WestertorenTheme.
  the painting  is of the Westertoren
b. Dit schilderij ?(van RembrandtAgent) is van de WestertorenTheme (en dat van de Zuidertoren).
  this painting    of Rembrandt  is of the Westertoren and that of the Zuidertoren
  'This painting (by Rembrandt) depicts the Westertoren (and that one the Zuidertoren).'
[+]  B.  Story nouns

As expected, the possessor of story noun constructions can be used as the predicative part of copular constructions. As with picture nouns, however, the van-PP in this position can also be interpreted as the agent argument. Examples are given in (570). As in the case of picture nouns, knowledge of the world will affect the preference for one interpretation or the other; cf. example (568).

570
a. Dit boek (over de oorlogTheme) is van JanPoss/MulischAgent.
  this book   about the war  is of Jan/Mulisch
  'This book (about the war) is Janʼs/by Mulisch.'
b. Deze film (over NixonTheme) is van mijPoss/Oliver StoneAgent.
  this film   about Nixon  is of me/Oliver Stone
  'This film (about Nixon) is mine/by Oliver Stone.'

This test cannot be used in order to establish whether the theme of story nouns functions as a complement of the noun given that it does not have the form of a van-PP. Example (571) shows, however, that the theme-PP can be used in constructions with the verb gaan'to go'.

571
Dit boek/Deze film gaat/*is over de oorlogTheme.
  this book /this film  goes/is  about the war
'This book/film is about the war.'
[+]  III.  R-pronominalization

According to this test the impossibility of R-pronominalization indicates adjunct status.

[+]  A.  Picture nouns

That PP-adjuncts cannot undergo this pronominalization process is illustrated in (572): example (572b) is only acceptable if the phrase er ... mee is construed as an independent instrumental adverbial phrase.

572
a. Ik heb een schilderij met een vergulde lijst gezien/beschadigd.
  have  a painting  with a gilded frame  seen/damaged
  'Iʼve seen/damaged some painting with a gilded frame.'
b. # Ik heb <er> een schilderij <er> mee gezien/beschadigd.
  have  there  a painting  with  seen/damaged

The fact that it is impossible to pronominalize possessive van-PPs, illustrated in (573b), therefore supports the conclusion from Subsection I that these van-PPs function as adjuncts.

573
a. Ik heb enkele beelden van dit museumPoss gezien.
  have  some sculptures  of this museum  seen
  'Iʼve seen some of this museumʼs sculptures.'
b. * Ik heb <er> enkele beelden <er> van gezien.
  have  there  some sculptures  of  seen

The acceptability of R-pronominalization in (574a'&b') with the verb zien'to see', on the other hand, may be taken as evidence in favor of the claim that van-PPs with the role of agent and theme function as complements of the picture noun. However, the fact that both the unsplit and the split patterns are acceptable suggests that, at least in the latter case, we may be dealing with a restrictive adverbial phrase; cf. Section 2.2.1, sub IV. That the examples may not involve PP-complements of the picture noun is also suggested by the fact that the acceptability of the examples decreases when we use affective verbs like beschadigen'to damage', which normally do not license the presence of dependent PPs; cf. Section 2.2.5.5. The results of the test are therefore not conclusive.

574
a. Ik heb enkele beelden van dit kunstenaarscollectiefAg gezien/beschadigd.
  have  some sculptures  of this artistsʼ collective seen/damaged
  'Iʼve seen/damaged some sculptures by this group of artists.'
a'. Ik heb <er> enkele beelden <er> van gezien/??beschadigd.
  have  there  some sculptures  of  seen/damaged
  'Iʼve seen/damaged some sculptures by them.'
b. Ik heb een tekening van de WestertorenTheme gezien/beschadigd.
  have  drawing  of the Westertoren  seen/damaged
  'Iʼve seen/damaged a drawing of the Westertoren.'
b'. Ik heb <er> een tekening <er> van gezien/*?beschadigd.
  have  there  drawing  of  seen/damaged
  'Iʼve seen/damaged a drawing of it.'
[+]  B.  Story nouns

That PP-adjuncts cannot undergo this pronominalization process is illustrated in (575): (575b) is acceptable, but only if the phrase er ... mee is construed as an independent instrumental adverbial phrase.

575
a. Ik heb een boek met een harde kaft gelezen.
  have  a book  with a hard cover  read
  'Iʼve read a book with a hard cover.'
b. # Ik heb <er> een boek <er> mee gelezen.
  have  there  a book  with  read

Again, the finding that it is impossible to pronominalize possessive van-PPs with story nouns, illustrated in (576), supports the conclusion from Subsection I that these van-PPs function as adjuncts.

576
a. Ik heb enkele boeken van deze bibliotheekPoss gelezen.
  have  some books  of this library  read
  'Iʼve read some books from this library.'
b. *? Ik heb <er> enkele boeken <er> van gelezen.
  have  there  some books  of  read

The acceptability of R-pronominalization in (577a'&b') with the verb lezen'to read', on the other hand, may be taken as evidence that PPs with the roles of agent and theme do function as complements of the story noun. However, the fact that both the unsplit and the split pattern are acceptable suggests that, at least in the latter case, we may be dealing with a restrictive adverbial phrase; cf. Section 2.2.1, sub IV. That the examples do not involve PP-complements of the story noun is also suggested by the fact that the acceptability of the examples decreases when we use affective verbs like verscheuren'to tear up', which do not license the presence of dependent PPs; cf. Section 2.2.5.5. The results of the test are therefore not conclusive.

577
a. Ik heb enkele boeken van dit schrijversduoAgent gelezen/verscheurd.
  have  some book  of this writerʼs duo  read/torn.up
  'Iʼve read/torn up some books by these writers.'
a'. Ik heb <er> enkele boeken <er> van gelezen/??verscheurd.
  have  there  some books  of  read/torn.up
  'Iʼve read/torn up some books by them.'
b. Ik heb een boek over de middeleeuwenTheme gelezen/verscheurd.
  have  a book  about the Middle Ages  read/torn.up
  'Iʼve read/torn up a book about the Middle Ages.'
b'. Ik heb <er> een boek <er> over gelezen/??verscheurd.
  have  there  a book  about  read/torn.up
  'Iʼve read/torn up a book about it.'
[+]  IV.  Extraction of PP

According to this test adjunct PPs cannot be extracted from noun phrases. That this also holds for noun phrases headed by a picture/story noun is illustrated by the examples in (578), which involve topicalization of adjunct PPs introduced by, respectively, met'with' and uit'from'.

578
a. Ik heb twee schilderijen met een vergulde lijst gezien.
  have  two paintings  with a gilded list  seen
a'. * Met een vergulde lijst heb ik twee schilderijen gezien.
b. Ik heb vorige week een boek uit 1986 vertaald.
  have  last week  a book  from 1986  translated
  'Last week I translated a book from 1986.'
b'. * Uit 1986 heb ik vorige week een boek vertaald.
[+]  A.  Topicalization

Preposing the possessor van-PP of a picture or story noun always leads to unacceptable or, at best, questionable results. In example (579a), for instance, the preposed van-PP can only be interpreted as the theme or the agent of the picture noun. On the intended reading, the examples in (579b&c) are at best marginally acceptable on a contrastive reading.

579
a. * Van JanPoss heb ik een tekening gezien.
  of Jan  have  a drawing  seen
b. ?? Van JanPoss heb ik een tekening van RembrandtAgent gezien.
  of Jan  have  a drawing  of Rembrandt  seen
  'Iʼve seen a drawing by Rembrandt belonging to Jan.'
c. ?? Van JanPoss heb ik een tekening van de WestertorenTheme gezien.
  of Jan  have  a drawing  of the Westertoren  seen
  'Iʼve seen a drawing of the Westertoren belonging to Jan.'

In (580) we provide similar examples with the story noun boek'book': in (580a), the preposed van-PP can only be interpreted as the agent (the author), not as the possessor of the book. Examples (580b&c) are again at best marginally acceptable on a contrastive reading.

580
a. * Van JanPoss heb ik een boek gelezen/verbrand.
  of Jan  have  a book  read/burnt
b. ?? Van JanPoss heb ik een boek van HuizingaAgent gelezen/verbrand.
  of Jan  have  a book  of Huizinga  read/burnt
c. ?? Van JanPoss heb ik HuizingaʼsAgentboek gelezen/verbrand.
  of Jan  have  Huizingaʼs book  read/burnt

Section 2.2.5.5 already came to the conclusion that PP-complements of picture/story nouns can be topicalized provided that the noun phrase is selected by a non-affective verb like zien'to see'. However, several other factors apparently seem to influence the acceptability of extraction of the postnominal PPs in picture/story noun constructions: we will discuss the role of focus, the choice of the determiner, and the presence of numerals/quantifiers or other arguments. Given that picture and story nouns exhibit more or less the same behavior we will discuss them simultaneously.

[+]  1.  Focus constituents

Section 2.2.1, sub V, has discussed a number of contexts that may allow topicalization of (sometimes alleged) argument PPs in nominalizations that would otherwise not be eligible for this form of extraction. Similar exceptions seem to be found in the case of picture/story nouns. The examples in (581), for example, show that, if the fronted constituent has contrastive or restrictive focus, topicalization of apparently agentive van-PPs is even possible with affective verbs like beschadigen'to destroy' or verbranden'to burn'.

581
a. Van Rembrandt heb ik een tekening beschadigd (niet van Frans Hals).
  of Rembrandt  have  a drawing  damaged   not of Frans Hals
  'Iʼve seen/damaged a drawing by Rembrandt (not by Frans Hals).'
b. Van Huizinga heb ik een boek verbrand (niet van Pleij).
  of Huizinga  have  a book  burnt   not of Pleij
  'Iʼve burnt a book by Huizinga (not by Pleij).'

The examples in (582) show, however, that the van-PPs should not be considered agents of the noun phrases given that we have seen that only independent PPs can be preceded by the negator niet, so that it is only the negated form of these independent PPs that can be topicalized. This suggests that the affective verbs can be combined with a restrictive adverbial phrase after all, provided at least that it is assigned contrastive focus.

582
a. Niet van Rembrandt heb ik een tekening beschadigd (maar van F. Hals).
  not of Rembrandt  have  a drawing  damaged  but of Frans Hals
  'Iʼve seen/damaged a drawing not by Rembrandt but by Frans Hals.'
b. Niet van HuizingaAgent heb ik een boek verbrand (maar van Pleij).
  not of Huizinga  have  a book  burnt   but of Pleij
  'Iʼve burnt a book not by Huizinga (but by Pleij).'

The impression that we are dealing with topicalization of the agent argument of the noun phrase is probably due to the fact that the restrictive adverbial phrase provides the context from which the identity of the agent can be deduced. Note that the unacceptability of the examples in (583) shows that a restrictive adverbial PP apparently does not succeed in making the theme of the noun phrase recoverable.

583
a. * Niet van de Westertoren heeft Jan een schilderij beschadigd (maar van de Zuidertoren).
  not of the Westertoren  has  Jan a painting  damaged  but of the Zuidertoren
b. * Niet over de middeleeuwen heeft Jan een boek verbrand (maar over de Oudheid).
  not about the Middle Ages  has  Jan  a book  burnt  but about the antiquity
[+]  2.  The choice of determiner

The choice of determiner also seems to influence the acceptability of PP-topicalization. The contrast between some of the primeless and primed examples in (584) and (585) suggests that dependent PPs can be more easily extracted from indefinite noun phrases than from definite ones and that, as a result, variation in the degree of acceptability of topicalized constructions occurs even between constructions with the same verb. The examples in (584) and (585) further illustrate that the difference in acceptability mainly show up with theme van/over-PPs, as in the (b)-examples; topicalization of agent van-PPs from the (a)-examples does not seem sensitive to the choice of determiner.

584
a. Van Rembrandt heb ik een prachtig schilderij/al veel schilderijen gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  a beautiful painting/already many paintings  seen
a'. Van Rembrandt heb ik het onlangs beschadigde schilderij gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  the recently damaged painting  seen
b. Van de Amstel heb ik een prachtig schilderij/veel schilderijen gezien.
  of the Amstel  have  a beautiful painting/many paintings  seen
b'. ? Van de Amstel heb ik gisteren het onlangs beschadigde schilderij gezien.
  of the Amstel  have  yesterday  the recently damaged painting  seen
585
a. Van Oliver Stone heb ik een spannende film/al drie films gezien.
  of Oliver Stone  have  a exciting film/already three films  seen
  'Iʼve seen an exciting film/three films by/*?belonging to Oliver Stone.'
a'. Van Oliver Stone heb ik gisteren de nieuwste film gezien.
  of Oliver Stone  have  yesterday  the newest film  seen
  'I saw the latest film by Oliver Stone yesterday.'
b. Over Nixon heb ik een spannende film/al drie films gezien.
  about Nixon  have  a very exciting film/already three films  seen
  'Iʼve seen a very exciting film/three films already about Nixon.'
b'. ? Over Nixon heb ik de nieuwste film (nog niet) gezien.
  about Nixon  have  the newest film   not yet  seen
  'Iʼve (not yet) seen the latest film about Nixon.'

      The contrast between agents/possessors and themes seems even clearer if the noun phrase contains a demonstrative determiner: the (a)-examples in (586) and (587) show that topicalization of the apparently agentive van-PP is possible, provided that the demonstrative noun phrase is given a contrastive or deictic reading; topicalization of the theme PP in the (b)-examples, on the other hand, yields a questionable construction, although contrastive emphasis on both the theme ( Westertoren/Nixon) and the demonstrative ( dat/dit'that/this') may somewhat improve the result. Bear in mind that these differences are real but subtle.

586
a. Van Rembrandt heb ik dat schilderij nog nooit gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  that painting  yet never  seen
b. ?? Van de Amstel heb ik dat schilderij nog nooit gezien.
  of the Amstel  have  that painting  yet never  seen
587
a. Van Oliver StoneAgent heb ik die film (nog niet) gezien.
  of Oliver Stone  have  that film  not yet  seen
  'Iʼve (not yet) seen that film by Oliver Stone.'
b. ?? Over NixonTheme heb ik deze film al gezien.
  about Nixon  have  this film  already  seen
  'Iʼve already seen this film about Nixon.'

      The apparent contrast between topicalization of the agent/possessor and the theme may be due to fact that only in the latter case are we dealing with a complement of the picture/story noun. That this is probably the case is clear from the fact, illustrated in the (a)-examples in (588) and (589), that the apparently agentive/possessive van-PP in initial position can be combined with a coreferential possessive pronoun. The unacceptability of the (b)-examples shows that in this case the van-PP cannot have been extracted from the noun phrase, as it cannot occur in what would have been its original position. Consequently, the van-PP must be regarded as a restrictive adverbial phrase.

588
a. (?) Van Rembrandti heb ik zijni laatste schilderij gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  his last painting  seen
b. * Ik heb zijni laatste schilderij van Rembrandti gezien.
  have  his last painting  of Rembrandt  seen
589
a. (?) Van Oliver Stonei heb ik zijni laatste film nog niet gezien.
  of Oliver Stone  have  his last film  not yet  seen
b. * Ik heb zijni laatste film van Oliver Stonei nog niet gezien.
  have  his last film  of Oliver Stone  not yet  seen

The idea suggested earlier that the restrictive adverbial phrase makes the agent of the noun phrase recoverable may also account for the somewhat marked status of the (a)-examples in (588) and (589); since the agent is contextually recoverable, explicit mention of it in the form of a possessive pronoun is not needed and may therefore be disfavored. On this account the degraded status of (584b') and (585b') may also fall out given that example (583) has already established that restrictive adverbial PPs do not readily succeed in making the theme of the noun phrase recoverable.
      With affective verbs like verbranden'to burn' and vernietigen'to destroy', the possibilities for topicalization are far more restricted than with non-affective verbs. Only the apparent agent PP can be topicalized, and then only in constructions like (590a'') and (591a''), with a demonstrative determiner and on a highly contrastive reading. The contrast between the (a)- and (b)-examples in this respect again suggests that the topicalized phrase is actually not a dependent PP, but functions as a restrictive adverbial phrase.

590
a. * Van Rembrandt heb ik een kostbaar schilderij/al drie schilderijen vernietigd.
  of Rembrandt  have  a valuable painting/already three paintings  destroyed
a'. * Van Rembrandt heb ik het onlangs herstelde schilderij vernietigd.
  of Rembrandt  have  the recently restored painting  destroyed
a''. Van Rembrandt heb ik dit schilderij vernietigd (en een ander beschadigd).
  of Rembrandt  have  this painting  destroyed   and some other damaged
b. * Van de Amstel heb ik een kostbaar schilderij/al drie schilderijen vernietigd.
  of the Amstel  have  a valuable painting/already three paintings  destroyed
b'. * Van de Amstel heb ik het onlangs herstelde schilderij vernietigd.
  of the Amstel have  the recently restored painting  destroyed
b''. * Van de Amstel heb ik dit schilderij vernietigd (en een ander beschadigd).
  of the Amstel  have  this painting  destroyed   and some other damaged
591
a. * Van Huizinga heb ik een heel saai boek/al drie boeken verbrand.
  of Huizinga  have  a very dull/already three books  burnt
a'. * Van Huizinga heb ik net het nieuwste boek verbrand.
  of Huizinga  have  just  the newest book  burnt
a''. ? Van Huizinga heb ik dit boek verbrand (en alle andere verscheurd).
  of Huizinga  have  this book  burnt   and all others torn.up
b. * Over de middeleeuwen heb ik een heel slecht boek vertaald.
  about the Middle Ages  have  a very bad book  translated
b'. * Over de middeleeuwen heb ik het nieuwste boek (nog niet) vertaald.
  about the Middle Ages  have  the newest book   not yet  translated
b''. * Over de middeleeuwen heb ik dit boek verbrand (en nog twee andere weggegooid).
  about the Middle Ages  have  this book  burnt and yet two others thrown away
[+]  3.  Numerals and quantifiers

Topicalization of van/over-PPs seems possible from noun phrases containing a quantifier or a numeral. The fact that topicalization of the agent and theme PPs is even possible in clauses with affective verbs like beschadigen'to damage' and vernietigen'to destroy', which normally do not allow PP-topicalization, strongly suggests that we are actually dealing with restrictive adverbial phrases in these cases. This is also supported by the contrast in acceptability between the (a)- and (b)-examples in (592) and (593); restrictive adverbial PPs do not readily succeed in making the theme of the noun phrase recoverable.

592
a. Van Rembrandt zijn nu al veel/negen schilderijen beschadigd.
  of Rembrandt  are  now  already  many/nine paintings  damaged
  'Various paintings (owned) by Rembrandt have been damaged by now.'
b. ? Van de Amstel zijn nu al verschillende schilderijen beschadigd.
  of the Amstel  are  now  already  various paintings  damaged
  'Various paintings of the Westertoren have been damaged by now.'
593
a. Van Oliver Stone hebben we alle/drie films vernietigd.
  of Oliver Stone  have  we  all/three films  destroyed
  'We have destroyed all/three films by Oliver Stone.'
b. ? Over Nixon hebben we alle/drie films vernietigd.
  about Nixon  have  we  all/three films  destroyed
  'We have destroyed all/three films about Nixon.'
[+]  4.  Possessors and noun phrase-internal arguments

The examples in (594) show that the acceptability of examples with fronted PPs may also depend on the presence of a possessor; if present, preposing of the agent or theme PP is excluded. This need not come as a surprise given that these possessed noun phrases are definite, and definite noun phrases do not readily allow extraction. It is, however, not entirely clear what blocks the independent use of the fronted PP as a restrictive adverbial phrase.

594
a. * Van RembrandtAg heb ik JansPoss tekening gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  Janʼs  drawing  seen
  'Iʼve seen Janʼs drawing of the Westertoren by Rembrandt.'
a'. * Van de AmstelTh heb ik JansPoss tekening (van RembrandtAgent) gezien.
  of the Amstel  have  Janʼs  drawing   of Rembrandt  seen
b. *? Van MulischAgent heb ik JansPoss boek gelezen.
  of Mulisch  have  Janʼs  book  read
b'. * Over de oorlogTheme heb ik JansPoss boek gelezen.
  about the war  have  Janʼs book  read

We have seen earlier that the agent allows topicalization if it is the only argument present. The primed examples in (595) show that in the presence of a theme argument, topicalization of the agent PP is only acceptable in contrastive contexts.

595
a. Van RembrandtAgent heb ik een prachtig schilderij gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  a beautiful painting  seen
  'Iʼve seen a beautiful painting by Rembrandt.'
a'. Van Rembrandt heb ik een prachtig tekening van de Amstel gezien.
  of Rembrandt  have  a beautiful drawing  of the Amstel  seen
  'Iʼve seen a beautiful drawing by Rembrandt of the Amstel.'
b. Van Mulisch heb ik al heel wat boeken gelezen.
  of Mulisch  have  already  quite some books  read