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Predeterminers are optional elements that precede other determiners in a noun phrase (NP). Examples of predeterminers in Afrikaans include al all (example 1a), al NUM all NUM (1b), partitive constructions like sommige van some of (1c), and emphatic expressions such as so such (1d).

a. 'n Vertoning wat al die snare gaan roer.
a show that.REL all the strings go move
A show that will move all heart strings.
b. Nou staar al drie die meisies by die tafel vir Ousus met oop monde aan.
now stare all three the girls at the table to Old.sis with open mouths at
Now all three the girls at the table are staring at Old-sis with open mouths.
c. Oor sommige van daardie kwessies moet wél gepraat word.
about some of those issues must.AUX.MOD really talk.PASS become.AUX.PASS.PRS
Some of these issues must really be discussed.
d. Of het jy dalk so 'n geheime verliefdheid?
or have you.SG maybe such a secret in.loveness
Of do you maybe have such a secret love?
[+]Predeterminers with "al"

The universal quantifier al all is often used as predeterminer before a determiner such as the definite article die the (2a) or a demonstrative (2b). The noun can directly follow the determiner, as in (2a-2b), but an adjective (2c) or a quantifier (2d) can be placed between the determiner and the noun.

a. Al die getik maak my moeg, man.
all the typing make me tired man
All the typing is making me tired, man.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
b. Of is al hierdie gesprekke geheim?
or be.PRS all these discussions secret
Or are all these discussions secret?
c. al die ander mense om jou
all the other people around you.SG
all the other people around you
d. Of dalk sukkel jy net om al die baie informasie te verwerk.
or maybe struggle you.SG just for.COMP all the much information PTCL.INF process.INF
Of maybe you are just struggling to process all of this information.
VivA-KPO (adapted)

The predeterminer al can also be followed by a definite numeral to indicate that a specific number of items or people, which is the total number of these, are referred to, as in (3a) and (3b). There are different permutations of this construction, however. The phrase al NUM can follow a plural pronoun (3c), or it can be used in a partitive construction with van of (3d), or placed elsewhere in the clause while still modifying the noun or pronoun (3e).

a. Onthou nie-lewende dinge kan nie al sewe lewensprosesse uitvoer nie.
remember non-living things can.AUX.MOD not all seven life.processes perform PTCL.NEG
Remember non-living things cannot perform all seven life processes.
b. al drie dié vakke
all three these/those subjects
all three these subjects
c. Ons al drie het vir mekaar gekyk en gesê, ja, dit kan werk.
we all three have.AUX to each.other look.PST and say.PST yes it can work
All three of us looked at each other and said, yes, it could work.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
d. Want al drie van ons het goeie herinneringe aan die liedjie.
because all three of us have.PRS good memories of this song.DIM
Because all three of us have good memories of this song.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
e. Ons moet al twee nog terug werk toe.
we must.AUX.MOD all two still back work to
Both of us should still go back to work.
[+]Partitive predeterminers

Partitive constructions refer to part of a collection, and the collection can be identified from the definite NP in the construction, after the partitive genitive particle van of. Preceding the van can be an indefinite NP (4a-c), a definite NP (fractal) (4d), a quantifier (4e-g), an indefinite pronoun (4h-i), or even nothing (4j), where van developed to an independent indefinite predeterminer of its own (Ponelis 1979:137).

a. 'n Paar van hulle het uitgekom.
a couple of them have.AUX out.come.PST
A couple of them came out.
b. Ek het 'n klomp van die boodskappe afgevee.
I have.AUX a lot of the message off.wipe.PST
I deleted a number of the messages.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
c. 'n Spul van jou pa se pelle weet nou van jou bestaan.
a lot of your.SG father PTCL.GEN friends know now of your existence
A lot of your father's friends now know about your existence.
d. Pak die helfte van die skywe in 'n taamlike groot oondvaste bak.
pack the half of the slices in a fairly large ovenproof bowl
Pack half of the slices in a fairly large ovenproof bowl.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
e. Net enkele van my vriende ken die ware storie.
only singles of my friends know the true story
Only a few of my friends know the true story.
f. Ongelukkig voel sommige van ons bietjie uitgesluit as gevolg daarvan.
unfortunately feel some of us bit excluded as consequence PN.of
Unfortunately some of us feel a bit excluded because of this.
g. Party van hierdie diere is kos vir vleisetende diere.
some of these animals be.PRS food for meat.eating animals
Some of these animals are food for carnivores.
h. In geeneen van die huise hier rond brand daar 'n lig nie.
in no.one of the houses here around burn there a light PTCL.NEG
In none of the houses around here there are lights burning.
i. Druk op enige van die foto's om 'n vergroting te sien.
press on any of the photos for.COMP a enlargement PTCL.INF see.INF
Press on any of the photos to see an enlargement.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
j. Van die koffers is klaar gepak.
of the suitcases be.AUX.PASS.PST finished pack.PASS
Some of the suitcases are already packed.
VivA-KPO (adapted)
[+]Emphatic predeterminers

The demonstrative adjective so such is used as a predeterminer before the indefinite article 'n a(n), which is followed by an adjective and a noun, as illustrated in (5a-5b). Its exclamative correlate is wat what, used in a similar way (5c). As is usually the case with indefinite articles, the noun following can only be a single instance of a count noun. For plurals or mass nouns, the adjective sulke such is used (5d-5e), without the article.

a. ...die ou Hoofgebou – so 'n pragtige gebou.
the old Main.building such a beautiful building
...the old Main building – such a beautiful building.
b. En dit is so 'n pragtige dag op die strand.
and it be.PRS such a beautiful day on the beach
And it is such a beautiful day on the beach.
c. Wat 'n pragtige dag!
that.REL a beautiful day
What a beautiful day!
d. Quintus het nog nooit tevore sulke pragtige geboue gesien nie.
Quintus have.AUX still never before such beautiful buildings see.PST PTCL.NEG
Quintus have never before seen such beautiful buildings.
e. Dis maklik om liefde te gee vir sulke pragtige goed!
it.is easy for.COMP love PTCL.INF give.INF to such beautiful things
It is easy to love such beautiful things!
  • Ponelis, Frits A1979Afrikaanse sintaksisPretoriaJ.L. van Schaik
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