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A relatively small set of adjectives combine with NPs as a complement. The complement NP may be animate or inanimate, as illustrated in the examples below:

Example 1

Ek is hom ewig dankbaar.
I am him forever grateful
I will be forever grateful to him.
Example 2

Moenie dink sy is niks gewoond nie.
don't think she is nothing accustomed
Don't think she is unaccustomed to anything.

Furthermore, some combinations represent collocations which can be regarded as fixed expressions, as in:

Example 3

'n wêreld wat sowel ekonomies as polities die pad byster geraak het
a world which as well economically as politically the road confused become has
a world which has lost its way, economically as well as politically

However, the NP complement is often extended to more specific (and literal) referents, as in:

Example 4

Die Kalka Mail-passasierstrein het die spoor byster geraak.
the Kalka Mail passenger train has the track confused become
The Kalka Mail passenger train left the track.
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As discussed in the introduction to complementation, noun phrases represent one of the phrase types which combine with adjectives as obligatory components to complete the meaning associated with such a phrase. In this section, the various types of NP which combine with adjectives will be identified and exemplified.

Although a relatively small number of NPs fall within this category, some combination patterns can be distinguished.

Firstly, because Afrikaans is characterised by considerably less inflection than Dutch, NPs which reflect a case relation with adjectives tend to be fixed idiomatic expressions, although such expressions are extended in some cases to more literal applications. First, two examples of such idiomatic expressions:

Example 5

Ek is darem nog nie al my varkies kwyt nie.
I am though still not all my piglets lost PTCL.NEG
I still haven't lost all my marbles yet.
Example 6

Almal is nie Duits magtig nie.
everybody is not German able PTCL.NEG
Not everyone has command of German.

Two examples of such idiomatic expressions which are extended to a wider application are sentence (4) above, as well as the following (in comparison with sentence (5)):

Example 7

sy lidmaatskap van die IMF kwyt was
his membership of the IMF minus was
lost his membership of the IMF

Deflection of case relations, if Afrikaans is compared diachronically with 17th century Dutch, is mostly reflected in PP constructions, as in AP_1-0 (example (21), namely

Example 8

Sy is gewoond aan 'n gerieflike lewe.
She is accustomed to a comfortable life.

Secondly, some adjectives impose an animacy selection on their complement, as in the case of dankbaargrateful:

Example 9

Ek is hom dankbaar daar·voor.
I am him grateful PN·for
I am grateful to him for that.
Example 10

*Ek is my voorregte dankbaar.
*I am my privileges grateful
I am grateful for my privileges.

This restriction does not apply, however, in the case of (semantically) equivalent PP constructions. Compare this example:

Example 11

Hy is dankbaar vir die geleentheid.
He is grateful for the opportunity.
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