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Partitive genitive constructions such as iets grappigs'something funny' and iets fijns'something nice' in the primeless examples in (1) are productively formed and consist of an indefinite nominal-like element, followed by an adjective with an -s suffix. The Dutch tradition refers to these adjectives as partitive genitives, due to the fact that the -s suffix on the adjective is also used in genitive constructions such as Jans trui'Janʼs sweater'. The term “partitive" is used because it is claimed that the construction expresses a set-subset or part-whole relation: the nominal element is said to denote or to range over a subdomain in the domain denoted by the adjective. Perhaps this terminology is not very fortunate; the ungrammaticality of the primed examples in (1) shows that the noun is always indefinite, and hence does not denote a fixed set of entities. Still, partitive genitive constructions like (1a&b) express that the property denoted by the adjective is attributed to the nominal part: the entities we refer to by means of (1a) and (1b) are funny and nice, respectively.

a. iets grappig-s
  something  funny
a'. * dat/dit grappig-s
   that/this  funny
b. iets fijn-s
  something  nice
b'. * dat/dit fijn-s
  that/this  nice

This chapter is organized as follows. Section 7.1 reviews some proposals concerning the internal structure of the partitive genitive construction. Section 7.2 discusses the construction and its two constituting parts, the noun and the adjective, in more detail. Section 7.3 investigates the possible ways of modifying the adjectival part of the construction. Section 7.4, finally, discusses the construction iets/iemand anders'something/someone else' that resembles the partitive genitive construction in some respects, but probably constitutes a construction in its own right.

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