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4.3.Attributive use of adpositional phrases

Adpositional phrases can be used attributively. This is illustrated in (72) by means of spatial adpositions. As usual the prepositional phrase in het bos denotes a location, and the post- and circumpositional phrases denote a direction. Contrary to adjectival phrases, attributively used adpositional phrases are always postnominal.

a. de weg in het bos
locational only
  the road  in the wood
  'the road in the woods'
b. de weg het bos in
directional only
  the road  the wood  into
  'the road into the woods'
c. de weg onder de brug door
  the road  under the bridge  door
  'the road that goes underneath the bridge'

Intransitive adpositions and particles do not occur, unless one cares to consider the attributively used elements in (73) as such. Note that the formations in (73b) are generally considered compounds and, in accordance with that, written as a single word: stroomafwaarts/stroomopwaarts.

a. de weg omhoog/omlaag
  the road  upwards/downwards
  'up/down the road'
b. stroom afwaarts/opwaarts
  stream  downwards/upwards

      Attributively used adpositional phrases normally do not seem to be able to undergo topicalization, scrambling, PP-over-V or R-extraction. We will illustrate this by means of the examples in (74) with the attributively used PP in het bos'in the woods'. Example (74b) is acceptable, but only if the PP is construed as an adverbial phrase: “In the woods Jan followed the road”. The same thing holds for the examples in (74c&d). Example (74e) shows that R-extraction is excluded.

a. dat Jan het pad in het bos volgde.
  that  Jan the path  in the wood  followed
  'Jan traversed the road in the woods.'
b. # In het bos volgde Jan het pad.
  in the wood  followed  Jan the path
c. # dat Jan in het bos het pad volgde.
d. # dat Jan het pad volgde in het bos.
e. * dat Jan er het pad in volgde.

The same thing is illustrated in (75) for a non-spatial PP. Example (75a) is ambiguous between an attributive reading (shown in the paraphrase), which expresses that the man observed by Jan has binoculars, and an adverbial reading, which expresses that Jan is using binoculars to look at the man. The attributive reading is lost in the examples in (75b-e).

a. Jan zag de man met de verrekijker.
  Jan saw  the man  with the binoculars
  'Jan saw the man who carried the binoculars.'
b. # Met de verrekijker zag Jan de man.
  with the binoculars  saw  Jan the man
c. # dat Jan met de verrekijker de man zag.
d. # dat Jan de man zag met de verrekijker.
e. # dat Jan er de man mee zag.
  that  Jan there  the man  with  saw

More can be said about attributively used adpositional phrases, but for this we refer the reader to Section N3.3.1.

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