• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all

This chapter provides an exhaustive discussion of dependent clauses functioning as arguments or complementives. Section 5.1 starts with finite argument clauses; we will consider in detail subject, direct object, and prepositional clauses.

a. dat duidelijk is [dat Marie de nieuwe voorzitter wordt].
  that  clear  is   that  Marie the new chairman  becomes
  'that it is clear that Marie will be the new Chair.'
b. dat Jan niet gemeld heeft [dat hij weg zou zijn].
direct object
  that  Jan not  reported  has   that  he  away  would  be
  'that Jan hasnʼt reported that heʼd be away.'
c. dat Peter erover klaagt [dat het regent].
prepositional object
  that  Peter about.it  complains   that it rains
  'that Peter is complaining about that it is raining.'

Section 5.1 also includes a discussion of fragment clauses and wh-extraction. A typical example of fragment clauses is given in (2a), in which the wh-word who is interpreted in the same way as the embedded clause in Ik weet niet wie Jan gisteren heeft bezocht'I do not know who Jan has visited yesterday.' Wh-extraction is illustrated in (2b) by means of wh-movement of the direct object of the complement clause; the traceti indicates the normal position of the direct object.

a. Jan heeft gisteren iemand bezocht, maar ik weet niet wie.
  Jan has  yesterday  someone  visited but  know  not  who
  'Jan visited someone yesterday but I donʼt know who.'
b. Wati denk je [Clause dat Marie ti morgen zal kopen]?
  what  think  you  that  Marie  tomorrow  will  buy
  'What do you think that Marie will buy tomorrow?'

Section 5.2 discusses three types of formally different types of infinitival clauses: Om + te-infinitivals, te-infinitivals and bare infinitivals. Some typical examples are given in (3), which typically have an implicit (phonetically empty) subject pronoun, normally represented as PRO; an important issue will be what the conditions on the interpretation of PRO are (control theory).

a. Jan beloofde [om PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
om + te-infinitival
  Jan promised  comp  the book to Els  to send
  'Jan promised to send the book to Els.'
b. Jan beweerde [PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
  Jan claimed  the book  to Els  to send
  'Jan claimed to send the book to Els.'
c. Jan wilde [PRO het boek naar Els sturen].
bare infinitival
  Jan wanted  the book  to Els  send
  'Jan wanted to send the book to Els.'

Section 5.2 also discusses subject raising and accusativus-cum-infinitivo infinitivals such as (4). We will give reasons for assuming that the nominative subject in (4a) is extracted from the infinitival clause and that the subject of the infinitival clause in (4b) functions as the subject of the infinitival clause but is assigned accusative case by the matrix verb horen'to hear'.

a. Jani schijnt [ti een nieuwe auto te kopen].
subject raising
  Jan  seems  a new car  to buy
  'Jan seems to buy a new car.'
b. Els hoorde [henacc een liedje zingen].
  Els heard  them  a song  sing
  'Els heard them sing a song.'

Section 5.3 concludes with a discussion of complementives, that is, clauses that function as secondary predicates; examples that are sometimes (perhaps incorrectly) analyzed as involving complementive clauses are the copular constructions in (5).

a. Een feit is [dat hij te lui is].
  a fact  is   that  he  too lazy  is
  'Itʼs a fact is that heʼs too lazy.'
b. dat boek is moeilijk [(om) te lezen].
  that book  is hard   comp  to read
  'that book is hard to read.'
    report errorprintcite