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3.2 Modification of NP by PP

Adposition Phrases (PPs) always follow the noun. They may or may not restrict the denotation of the Noun Phrase (NP).


PPs always occur following the noun, as illustrated below:

‘n Raize [ätter Bremen].
a journey to Bremer
A journey to Bremen.
*‘n [ätter Bremen] Raize.
a to Bremen journey
A journey to Bremen.
*[ätter Bremen] ‘n Raize.
to Bremen a journey
A journey to Bremen.

PPs may restrict the denotation of the NP. From this it follows that they can occur with negative quantifiers:

Neen Raize ätter Bremen.
no journey to Bremen
No journey to Bremen.

In order to obtain a non-restrictive interpretation with a negative NP, the disjunct of ‘or’ must be used. This conjunction quantifies over all values of the PP. In the example below, these values are possible places:

Neen Raize ätter Bremen of uursainewaindewai.
no journey to Bremen or else.anywhere.to
No journey to Bremen or anywhere else.

The quantifier uursainewaindewai ‘anywhere else’ has a fascinating internal structure. The first part is uurs ‘else, other’. The second part originally derives from an existential quantifier of place meaning ‘somewhere, anywhere’. This quantifier *aine ‘somewhere, anywhere’ is now extinct as an independent word, and only survives in ainewainde ‘somewhere’. Thus the first two stems in this quantifier are the equivalent of West Frisian oarsearne ‘somewhere else’, German sonstwo ‘somewhere else’. It is followed by wai ‘to’, which originally must have had the meaning ‘away, from’, like in Old Frisian and Modern West Frisian. So far so good. But the question arises why the second and third stem ainewai ‘to somewhere’ is reduplicated, giving us a quantifier consisting of five stems: uurs + aine + wai + ain(d)e + wai. The question also arises where the -d- in the reduplicated part comes from, and of course, the question arises whether the analysis proposed above is correct at all. These questions are relevant from a synchronic point of view (what is their theoretical motivation), but also from a historical perspective.

Some adverbs, such as jäärsene ‘yesterday’, may modify the noun without being accompanied by the preposition fon ‘of’. A pair of examples is provided below:

Mien Gebaal fon jäärsene.
my chatter of yesterday
My chatter of yesterday.
Mien Gebaal jäärsene.
my chatter yesterday
My chatter yesterday.

These sentences do not mean the same thing. In case the time adverb occurs without a preposition, it must refer to the same time which the verb refers to. This explains the following contrast:

Mien Gebaal fon jäärsene is nit goud.
my chatter of yesterday is not good
My chatter of yesterday is not good.
?* Mien Gebaal jäärsene is nit goud.
my chatter yesterday
My chatter yesterday is not good.

As mentioned earlier, a noun can be modified by several following PPs.

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