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Direct linking verbs

This section deals with a set of non-main lexical verbs, known in the Afrikaans grammar tradition as direct linking verbs, which have aspectual, causal, experiential and other functions in regard to the main verb, or express movement in relation to the speaker, e.g.:

a. Die gaste begin dans.
the guests begin.LINK dance.INF
The guests begin to dance.
b. Die petrolprys bly maar styg.
the petrol.price keep.on.LINK only rise.INF
The petrol price only keeps rising.
c. Die orkes hou op (met) speel.
the orchestra hold up.LINK with play.INF/NMLZ
The orchestra stops playing.
d. Sy hoor die telefoon lui.
she hear.LINK the telephone ring.INF
She hears the telephone ringing.
e. Tienie laat die TV regmaak.
Tienie let.LINK the TV repair.INF
Tienie has the TV repaired.
f. Die bure het kom groet, want hulle gaan vakansie hou.
the neighbours have.AUX come.LINK greet.INF because.CNJ they go.PRS holiday keep.INF
The neighbours have come to say goodbye as they are going on holiday.

Also cf.

  • description of linking verbs
  • inchoative linking verbs
  • durative linking verbs
  • terminative linking verbs
  • experiential linking verbs
  • causative linking verbs
  • other linking verbs
  • verbs of motion
[+]Description of linking verbs

A small set of lexical verbs combining with other lexical verbs in a clause not only contribute semantically to the clause, but contribute functions such as aspect, sense perspective, deictic perspective and causality to the clause. The traditional term in Afrikaans linguistics is direct linking verb (direkte skakelwerkwoord), contrasting syntactically with postural verbs and the verb of motionloop to walk, go by not being linked to the main verb by particle en and. This category of verbs is also discussed by Ponelis (1979:244-245) and Van Schoor (1983:167-172). These verbs either share fully or only partially in the argument structure of the main verb. Thus in (2a) bly to keep on, continue and terugveg to fight back share the same agent, while in (2b) the experiencer of laat to let, cause to is the agent of optel to pick up.

a. Die vyand bly terugveg.
the enemy keep.on.LINK back.fight.INF
The enemy keeps on fighting back.
b. Die bestuur laat die skoonmakers die papiere optel.
the management let.LINK the cleaners the papers up.pick.INF
Management lets the cleaners pick up the papers.
[+]Inchoative linking verbs

Verbs expressing inchoative aspect in some of their senses are gaan to go, kom to come, begin to begin, loop to go, walk, laat to let:

a. Hulle gaan werk in die stad.
they go.LINK work.INF in the city
They go to work in town.
b. Sy kom die blomme rangskik.
she come.LINK the flowers arrange..INF
She is coming to arrange the flowers.
c. Die ys begin nou smelt.
the ice begin.LINK now melt.INF
The ice begins to melt now.
d. Loop slaap nou!
go.LINK.IMP sleep.INF now
Go to bed now!
e. Ons laat pizzas kom vir aandete.
we let.LINK pizzas come.INF for supper
We are ordering pizzas for supper.
[+]Durative linking verbs

Durative or continuative aspect is expressed by bly to keep on and aanhou to continue:

a. Die klokke bly heelnag lui.
the bells keep.on.LINK all.night ring.INF
The bells keep on ringing all night.
b. Dit hou aan (met) reën.
it keep.on.PRS with rain.INF/NMLZ
It keeps on raining.
[+]Terminative linking verbs

Ophou to stop contributes terminative aspect to the clause:

Dit hou op (met) reën.
it stop.PRS with rain.INF/NMLZ
The rain is stopping.
[+]Experiential linking verbs
Sien to see, voel to feel, hoor to hear and leer to learn are experiential verbs.In the first three cases the subject of the sentence experiences the action of an external agent, viz. the implied agent of the main verb. In the case of leer to learn the agent of the subject is coreferential with the projected agent of the main verb.
a. Hy sien haar op die sypaadjie loop.
he see.LINK her on the sidewalk walk.INF
He sees her walking on the sidewalk.
b. Ons kon die aarde voel ruk.
we can.AUX.MOD.PRT the earth feel.LINK shake.INF
We could feel the earth shaking.
c. Jy kan nie 'n mier hoor loop nie.
you can.AUX.MOD not an ant hear.LINK walk.INF PTCL.NEG
One can't hear an ant walking.
d. Na die ongeluk moes sy weer leer loop.
after the accident have.to.AUX.MOD.PST she again learn.LINK walk.INF
After the accident she had to learn to walk again.
[+]Causative linking verbs

Causative verbs are laat to let, maak to force, leer to teach. In the case of causative leer, as in (7d), the agent of the linking verb (the "teacher") is not coreferential with that projected by the main verb (the "learner"), while in the case of example (6d) above both verbs have the same agent.

a. Hulle het mooi meubels laat maak.
they have.AUX beautiful furniture let.LINK make.INF
They had beautiful furniture made.
b. Die rooi vrug laat trek die man suurgesig.
the red fruit let.LINK pull.INF the man sour.face
The red fruit caused the man to be sour-faced.
H.Nortjé: In die skadu, 2012, 23
c. Jy kan nie 'n rondloper maak stilsit nie.
you can.AUX.MOD not a vagrant make.INF quiet.sit.INF PTCL.NEG
You can't force a vagrant to sit quietly.
W.Anker: Buys, 2014, 290
d. Anna het my leer boeke oortrek.
Anna have.AUX me teach.LINK books cover.INF
Anna taught me to cover books.
[+]Other linking verbs

Other linking verbs are help to help, probeer to try and waag to dare:

a. Jy moet kom help sing in die koor.
you must.AUX.MOD come.LINK help.LINK sing.INF in the choir
You should come to help (us) sing in the choir.
b. Probeer harder trek aan die ander kant!
try.LINK.IMP harder pull.INF on the other end
Try to pull harder at the other end!
c. 'n Geritsel waaroor niemand durf waag praat nie.
a rustling PN.about nobody dare.AUX.MOD risk.LINK talk.INF PTCL.NEG
A rustling noise about which nobody dares to talk.
H. Nortjé: In die skadu, 2012, 39
d. Die kyk wat sy my gee, sê ek sal haar nie waag volg nie.
the look that.REL she me give say I will.AUX.MOD her not dare.LINK follow.INF PTCL.NEG
The look she gave me says that I won't dare to follow her.
W. Anker: Buys, 2014, 160
[+]Verbs of motion

In (9a), movement away from the speaker's deictic centre strengthens his/her disapproval of the action, while movement towards his/her deictic centre, as in (9b), suggests approval of the same action (Cf. Broekhuis et al. 2015:1021).

a. Hulle het 'n dop loop drink.
they have.AUX a tot go.LINK drink.INF
They went to have a drink.
b. Hulle het 'n dop kom drink
the have.AUX a tot come.LINK drink.INF
They came to have a drink.

The verb gaan to go, will resembles the modal verb sal will in some of its usages but expresses motion in others. In (10a) stranding of the main verb is obligatory and therefore marked, as in (10b). Example (10c) and (10d) show that stranding is optional if gaan means 'to go'.

a. Ek gaan jou binnekort betaal, hoor!
I will.AUX.MOD you.2SG shortly pay.INF hear.IMP
Don't worry, I'll pay you shortly!
b. *Ek gaan betaal jou binnekort, hoor!
I go.AUX.MOD pay.INF you shortly hear.IMP
To mean: I'll pay you shortly
c. Sy gaan koop toe 'n nuwe rekenaar.
she go.LINK buy.INF then a new computer
She then went to buy a new computer.
d. Sy gaan toe 'n nuwe rekenaar koop.
she go.LINK then a new computer buy.INF
She then went to buy a new computer.
  • Broekhuis, Hans, Corver, Norbert & Vos, Riet2015Syntax of Dutch. Verbs and verb phrasesComprehensive grammar resourcesAmsterdam University Press
  • Ponelis, F.A1979Afrikaanse sintaksis.Van Schaik
  • Van Schoor, J.L1983Die grammatika van standaard-Afrikaans.Lex Patria
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