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Query Details


Query Subject:   The Syntax of Transitive Adjectives
Author:   Fernando Martinho
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Syntax
Subject Language(s):  Dutch
German


Query:   Dear Linguists,I am working on aspects of adjectival syntax, and have specific questionsabout Dutch and German transitive adjectives (TA). As I am not a Germanicspeaker, I?ll use relevant examples from linguistic literature.On the morphological side, it is well known that Dutch and Germanprenominal (attributive) adjectives are inflected, but that in predicativeposition, part of the adjectival inflection is dropped. As for syntax, attributive and predicative positions seem to offerinteresting data. I pay special attention to TA, which can select orsubcategorize complements (DP, PP or even CP ones), like 'proud','able', 'full', 'faithful', 'akin', 'similar', 'loyal','identical' (resulting in phrases like 'full of water', 'loyal to theking', 'proud of his country', 'unable to see', etc). Dutch and GermanTA show clear differences according to their position: predicative TA canfollow OR precede their complement, but attributive TA can ONLY followtheir complement. Some canonical data with 'proud':For predicative transitive constructions:A.Dutch5.De vrouw is trots op zichzelf(the woman is proud of herself)6.De vrouw is op zichzelf trots(the woman is of herself proud)B.German (same sentence)7.Die Frau ist stolz auf sich8.Die Frau ist auf sich stolzFor attributive transitive constructionsA.Dutch9.De op zichzelf trotse vrouw(the proud of herself woman)10. *De trotse op zichzelf vrouw B.German (same sentence)11.Die auf sich stolze Frau12.*Die stolze auf sich FrauAccording to these examples, there must be no complement between theattributive TA and the noun, that is they have to be adjacent, which forcesthe adjectival complement to precede the adjective (complement/adjectiveorder, see examples 9 to 12).But this restriction vanishes with predicative TA (there is no noun whichthe adjective must be adjacent to), and both orders coexist(complement/adjective or adjective/complement order, see 5 to 8)This data and analysis has already been used in the generative/minimalistframework to achieve a better insight of the structure and projections ofDP and AP.Here is what I am interested in:1.First of all I need fresh data on TA. I need to make sure the precedentexamples are not isolated cases, like some kind of lexicalized expressions.Do TA systematically reveal this kind of syntactic behavior in Dutch andGerman? Using the adjectives of the above list, or any other adjectiveselecting some kind of complement, please provide examples of bothattributive and predicative constructions. I need the English translationstoo :)2.I am also potentially interested in any other languages. Any exampleshould focus, however, on TA (or what i call TA). I would be delighted toverify if the complement/adjective order detected above can reproducecross-linguistically3.As a French native speaker, I have limited needs on Romance languages. Iknow that French prohibits the complement/adjective order, but I am unsureabout others. My interest goes specially to Spanish and Italian and theirdialects. As for Spanish, I think it follows the Romanceadjective/complement pattern, but counter-examples would be great.4.I also pay careful attention to diachronic data. For 2 Romance languages,I already have partial evidence on the fact that the adjective/complementorder goes back up to the XVI? century and that the inverse orderdisappears at the same stage. What i need is some evidence from Old French,as from any other languages' medieval stages.5.References on the syntax and semantics of TAAs always, a SUM of answers will be posted.Best,Fernandofmartinho@dlc.ua.pt
LL Issue: 16.77
Date posted: 13-Jan-2005



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