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Predicate
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  1. Some adjectives cannot be used attributively, such as gereedready and verbygone / over.
    Example 1

    Die ete is gereed.
    The meal is ready.
    Example 2

    *die gerede ete
    the ready meal
    Example 3

    Daardie jare is verby.
    Those years are gone.
    Example 4

    *die verbye jare
    the gone years
    Certain of these non-attributive adjectives can only be used as complementive predicates (as in example (3) above), others can be used as complementive and appositive predicates .

Example 1

Renata, bewend in die ysige aandlug
Renata, shivering in the icy evening.air
Renata, shivering in the icy night air

  1. There are also complex predicates consisting of an AP and an infinitival clause, in which an argument of the infinitival clause is related to the argument of the adjectival predication:
    Example 6

    Die som is maklik om op te los.
    the sum is easy PTCL.INF to up leave
    The sum is easy to solve. / The sum can easily be solved.

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    1 Non-attributive adjectives

    There are some idiomatic non-attributive cases, in which the AP is restricted to complementive use only, such as verbyover, past, gereedready, haaksat odds, etc. Illustrative sentences follow below:

    Example 7

    Die wedstryd is verby.
    The game is over.
    Example 8

    *die verbye wedstryd
    the over game
    Example 9

    Die mielies is gereed.
    The maize is ready.
    Example 10

    *die gerede mielies
    the ready maize
    Example 11

    Die bure is al weer haaks.
    the neighbours are yet again at.odds
    The neighbours are at odds again.
    Example 12

    *die haakse bure
    the at odds neighbours

    A probable explanation for the restricted position of such attributive adjectives is that they often form part of fixed expressions, and are used informally, as in the case of the following adjectives:

    • disnisout cold
    • kapotin tatters, exhausted
    • katswinkdazed
    • flentersin smithereens
    • pluisin order
    • spytsorry
    • gekonfytskilled, an old hand

    2 Predicates as infinitival clauses
    (a) Relation to modal infinitives

    The infinitival clause forms a complex predicate with the adjective, and the combination is predicated of the argument:

    Example 13

    Dit is gaaf om jou te ontmoet.
    it is pleasant PTCL.INF you to meet
    It is pleasant meeting you.

    The construction is closely related to the one involving modal infinitives:

    Example 14

    Hy is moeilik om te klop.
    he is difficult PTCL.INF to beat
    It is difficult to beat him.

    (b) Selection restrictions

    Infinitival clauses forming a complex predicate with an AP must contain an unexpressed object argument that is co-referential with the argument of the complex predication, as in this example:

    Example 15

    Die som is maklik om op te los.
    the sum is easy PTCL.INF up to solve
    The sum is easy to solve / can easily be solved.

    The argument of the complex predication (the sum) must also satisfy the selection restrictions of the unexpressed object argument in the infinitival clause, that is, it must be something solvable, but it seems that it must also meet the selection restrictions of the adjective. Hence, arguments are excluded which fail to meet the selection restrictions of the adjective. In the example below, die gekthe fool forms an idiom with skeershave, meaning 'make fun of, to ridicule' . In such cases, the construction is ungrammatical, because the idiomatic NP die gekthe fool cannot be interpreted as a legitimate argument of the adjective maklikeasy:

    Example 16

    *Die gek is maklik om met Floris te skeer.
    the fool is easy PTCL.INF with Floris to shave
    Fun is easy to make of Floris.

    The expression does not select a grammatical object, die gekthe fool, and is to be assumed as a verbal unit, as in this example:

    Example 17

    Dit is maklik om die gek te skeer met Floris.
    it is easy PTCL.INF the fool to shave with Floris
    It is easy to make fun of Floris.

    An alternative expression, which represents a syntactic reduction of the full form, namely gekskeer, confirms this interpretation:

    Example 18

    Dit is maklik om met Floris gek te skeer.
    it is easy PTCL.INF with Floris fool to shave
    It is easy to make fun of Floris.

    (c) Position in the clause

    Infinitival clauses forming a complex predicate with an AP can be preposed as a whole, indicating that is forms a constituent. The AP may also be preposed on its own, but the infinitival clause by itself may not:

    Example 19

    Maklik om te klop is hy nie.
    easy PTCL.INF to beat is he not
    He is not easy to beat.
    Example 20

    *Om te klop, is hy nie maklik nie.
    PTCL.INF to beat is he not easy PTCL.NEG
    To beat him, is not easy.

    (d) The unexpressed argument in the infinitival clause

    The unexpressed object argument in the infinitival clause is co-referential with the argument of the predication. This unexpressed argument must have the function of direct object inside the infinitival clause, as can be seen from these example:

    Example 21

    Floris is maklik om die gek mee te skeer.
    Floris is easy PTCL.INF the fool with to shave
    It is easy to make fun of Floris.

    (e) The unexpressed subject

    The subject of infinitives in general is never expressed in Afrikaans; it must be covert, or implied by the context:

    Example 22

    Hy speel met die doel om te wen.
    he plays with the object PTCL.INF to win
    He is playing with the object of winning.

    In the example above, the unexpressed subject of the infinitival clause is co-referential with (and controlled by) the experiencer argument of the complex predicate. The experiencer argument may be unexpressed or expressed (covert or overt) as a PP, viz virfor + N.

    Example 23

    Die wedstryd was (vir hom) maklik om te wen.
    the match was (for him) easy PTCL.INF to win
    The match was easy for him to win.

    (f) With om

    Infinitival clauses introduced by a complementiser (in this case the infinitive particle om) can form a complex predicate with an evaluative adjective. The infinitival clause must contain an unexpressed argument that is co-referential with the argument of the complex predication. The unexpressed argument inside the infinitival clause may fulfill the function of subject, direct object or prepositional object.

    The infinitival clause forms a complex predicate with the adjective, and the combination is predicated of the argument, in this case fulfilling the function of object:

    Example 24

    Die blokkiesraaisel is maklik om in te vul.
    the crossword.puzzle is easy PCTL.INF in to fill
    The crossword puzzle is easy to fill in.

    In the next example, the construction with the complementiser omPTCL.INF'for' is different from the one without it, though the AP interessanteasy allows both constructions.

    Example 25

    Die boek is interessant om te lees en om van te leer.
    the book is interesting PCTL.INF to read and PCTL.INF from to learn
    The book is interesting to read and to learn from.

    The predication without om must target the unexpressed direct object of the infinitival. As can be seen in the second conjunct, such a predication can target subjects and objects of prepositions as well.

    Prepositional arguments can also be targeted for co-reference with the argument that the complex predication is predicated of:

    Example 26

    Die wedstryd was mooi om na te kyk.
    the match was beautiful PTCL.INF at to look
    The match was beautiful to look at.
    Example 27

    Langpraters is vervelend om mee te praat.
    long.talkers are boring PTCL.INF with to speak
    Chatterboxes are boring to speak to.
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