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Afrikaans

General Info
  ISO 639-3 Code: afr
  latlong: -29.00,24.00  Map it!
Properties Values Contributor Comments  
+ 01_Subject Verb Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Die studente lees
  Gloss: the student.PL read
  Translation: The students are reading
  Comment: This is the required order in main clauses, which are necessarily V2. It is also the order found in unmodified embedded clauses (i.e. dat die studente lees). Where modifiers are present, main and embedded clauses differ, though (Die studente lees gretig vs dat die studente gretig lees, where "gretig" means "eagerly").
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   02_Verb Subject No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ 03_Verb Object Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Doen jou oefeninge!
  Gloss: do your exercises
  Translation: Do your exercises!
  Comment: Imperatives exhibit VO order wherever an object is present. In colloquial Afrikaans, this pattern has even been extended to particle verb-containing imperatives (see next example).
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Maak toe die deur!
  Gloss: make closed the door
  Translation: Close the door!
  Comment: The prescriptively sanctioned version of this imperative is: "Maak die deur toe", but the VO order is very commonly heard in colloquial Afrikaans.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 04_Object Verb Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Hy het die boek gelees
  Gloss: he has the book read
  Translation: He has read the book
  Comment: This is the required order in main and complementiserless embedded clauses featuring complex tenses and also in all embedded clauses introduced by an overt subordinator/adverbial marker.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 05_Subject Verb Object Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Die studente lees baie boeke
  Gloss: the student.PL read many book.PL
  Translation: The students read a lot of books
  Comment: This is the unmarked order in main clauses, which are necessarily V2.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 06_Subject Object Verb Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: dat hy die huis gekoop het
  Gloss: that he the house buy.PSTPRT has
  Translation: that he has bought the house
  Comment: This is the standardly required order in embedded clause. It is possible to diverge from this order in colloquial Afrikaans, but these divergences are subject to strict restrictions (e.g. the finite verb must be an auxiliary).
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   07_Verb Subject Object No Theresa Biberauer This is an order which is exclusively possible in narrative contexts. Forum
   08_Verb Object Subject No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   09_Object Subject Verb No Theresa Biberauer Since Afrikaans is obligatorily V2 in main clauses and object-fronting is essentially impossible in embedded clauses, this structure is not standardly permitted. Where the object is separated from the rest of the structure by comma intonation and the following clause contains a resumptive, OSV orders are, however, marginally possible in spoken Afrikaans. Thus: Daardie boek, ek het dit geweldig geniet! that book, I have it tremendously enjoyed, i.e. "That book - I tremendously enjoyed it!". Forum
   10_Object Verb Subject No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ 11_Adposition Noun_Phrase Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: in die woud
  Gloss: in the forest
  Translation: in the forest
  Comment: Prepositions are the dominant form of adposition in Afrikaans. They often have locative semantics, although there are exceptions (e.g. "na" meaning "to(wards)").
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: na die kant toe
  Gloss: after the side towards
  Translation: to the side
  Comment: Prepositions may combine with postpositions to create circumpositional structures. Some circumpositional structures are optional ("na die kant toe" could also be realised as "na die kant" without loss of the directional meaning), but there are some fixed pre+postpositional combinations where the adpositions form an obligatory unit (e.g. op hulle na - on them after, "except for them").
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 12_Noun_Phrase Adposition Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: die woud in
  Gloss: the forest in
  Translation: into the forest
  Comment: Postpositions in Afrikaans are outnumbered by prepositions. Some elements are obligatorily postpositional, while others (e.g. "langs" - "alongside/beside") may optionally be either pre- or postpositional, without semantic consequences. A limited number of adpositions may surface as both pre- and postpositions, with positional differences coinciding with semantic differences. Thus prepositional "in" has locative semantics ("in"/"inside"), while postpositional "in" is directional ("into").
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 13_Adjective Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: 'n groot oorwinning
  Gloss: a big victory
  Translation: a big victory
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   14_Noun Adjective No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ 15_Numeral Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: vyf minute
  Gloss: five minute.PL
  Translation: five minutes
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: vyf leeus
  Gloss: five lions
  Translation: five lions
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   16_Noun Numeral No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ 17_Demonstrative Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: hierdie huis
  Gloss: this house
  Translation: this house
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: daardie mense
  Gloss: there.the people
  Translation: those people
  Comment: Afrikaans has composite demonstratives composed of a deictic locative (distal daar - "there" - and proximal hier - "here) plus the definite article (die - "the"). This make-up means that there is no singular vs plural distinction ("that" vs "those", etc.).
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: hierdie antwoord
  Gloss: here.the answer
  Translation: this answer
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   18_Noun Demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ 19_Possessor Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: my vriend se huis
  Gloss: my friend POSS house
  Translation: my friend's house
  Comment: This is the dominant possession-indicating structure in Afrikaans.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 20_Noun Possessor Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: die vriende van my buurman
  Gloss: the friend.PL of my neighbour
  Translation: my neighbour's friends
  Comment: This pattern is less common than the Possessor Noun one.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Die huis van my vriend is 'n inspirerende plek
  Gloss: the house of my friend is an inspiring place
  Translation: My friend's house is an inspiring place
  Comment: Similarly to the situation in English, this is a marked option in Afrikaans.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ 21_Pronominal Possessor Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: sy boek
  Gloss: his book
  Translation: his book
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Jan sy boek
  Gloss: John his book
  Translation: John's book
  Comment: This is a non-standard form in which a possessive pronoun rather than standard Afrikaans "se" - the possessive marker - follows the possessor NP.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Sing sing hy!
  Gloss: sing sing he
  Translation: As for singing, he really sings!
  Comment: Unlike other West Germanic languages, Afrikaans permits predicate doubling in V2 contexts (and only in these contexts; embedded predicate doubling is not possible). Predicate doubing can involve either doubling of the finite verb or of a suitably contentful non-finite verb. It is also possible with adjectives, predicative nominals and phrasal predicates. Particle verbs may not double, however.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   22_Noun Pronominal Possessor No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   A 01_Attributive Adjective Agreement Yes Theresa Biberauer Attributive adjective agreement is conditioned by phonological and semantic considerations and is not systematic; since Afrikaans nouns lack gender, agreement of the kind found in German or Dutch is absent. Forum
   A 02_Predicate Adjective Agreement No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ A 03_Degree Adjective Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: baie tevrede
  Gloss: very satisfied
  Translation: very satisfied
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ A 04_Adjective Degree Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: vroeg genoeg
  Gloss: early enough
  Translation: early enough
  Comment: "genoeg" is the only degree adverb that behaves in this way.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Contributor: Chris Collins
   AuxSel 01_Auxiliary Selection No Theresa Biberauer Afrikaans perfect tenses are all formed with invariant "het" ("have"). The only relic of Dutch auxiliary selection can be found in structures like "Hy is dorp toe" - he is town to, i.e. "He has gone to town". Forum
   C 01_Complementizer Clause Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
   C 02_Clause Complementizer No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ C 03_Adverbial_Subordinator Clause Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: omdat die studente die prys gewen het
  Gloss: because the student.PL the prize won.PSTPRT have
  Translation: because the students won the prize
  Comment: Like subordinate clauses introduced by overt subordinators more generally, the clauses following adverbial subordinators standardly exhibit OV order. In colloquial Afrikaans, V2 order is, however, possible in "because" clauses. This pattern doesn't extend to adverbial clauses more generally, though.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   C 04_Clause Adverbial Subordinator No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Extra Examples NA Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ N2 01_Numeral Noun (indefinite) Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: tien volstruise
  Gloss: ten ostriches
  Translation: ten ostriches
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   N2 02_Noun Numeral (indefinite) No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ N2 03_Numeral Noun (definite) Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: daardie vier visarende
  Gloss: there.the four fish.eagles
  Translation: those four fish-eagles
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   N2 04_Noun Numeral (definite) No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ N2 05_Definite NP (Num N, N Num) has a definite article Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: die vyftien kameelperde
  Gloss: the fifteen camel.horses
  Translation: the fifteen giraffes
  Comment: example to be transferred to Theresa Biberauer
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
+ N2 06_Definite NP (Num N, N Num) has a demonstrative Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: daardie twintig olifante
  Gloss: there.the twenty elephants
  Translation: those twenty elephants
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: hierdie twee probleme
  Gloss: here.the two problems
  Translation: these two problems
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: hierdie twee probleme
  Gloss: here.the two problems
  Translation: these two problems
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   N2 07_Definite NP (Num N, N Num) lacks a definite article or demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   N2 08_Definite NP (Num N, N Num) contains a Plural marker, but Indefinite NP does not No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   N2 09_Definite NP (Num N, N Num) contains any other marking No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   N2 10_The Numeral has a different form in Definite and Indefinite (Num N, N Num) contexts No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   N2 11_The Noun has a different form in Definite and Indefinite (Num N, N Num) contexts No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Neg 01_Standard Negation is Particle that Precedes the Verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Ek het nie daardie argument verstaan nie
  Gloss: I have not that argument understood NEG
  Translation: I didn't understand that argument
  Comment: Since Afrikaans is a Verb Second (V2) language, with the finite verb systematically undergoing movement to clause-second position in main clauses, there are cases where the Standard Negation marker (clause-internal "nie") will surface before the lexical verb, i.e. those in which the lexical verb is non-finite. This is also always the case in embedded clauses, where all verbal elements surface in a clause-final cluster.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ Neg 02_Standard Negation is Particle that Follows the verb Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Hy werk nie by die universiteit nie
  Gloss: he work not by the university NEG
  Translation: He doesn't work at the university
  Comment: Standard Negation in Afrikaans involves a bipartite structure, in which the "real" negator (glossed "not" to distinguish it from the concord element) occurs postverbally (in the sense of following the finite verb in main clauses) and a concord element surfaces clause-finally.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Ek verstaan nie
  Gloss: I understand not
  Translation: I don't understand
  Comment: Although Standard Negation requires bipartite negation, neutral structures in which the two negation elements would have surfaced adjacent to one another do not feature two "nies"; in these cases, the second "nie" (the concord marker) undergoes haplology. As before, though, the "real" negation marker follows the finite verb.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Ek het nie daardie argument verstaan nie
  Gloss: I have not that argument understood NEG
  Translation: I didn't understand that argument
  Comment: Since Afrikaans is a Verb Second (V2) language, with the finite verb systematically undergoing movement to clause-second position in main clauses, there are cases where the Standard Negation marker (clause-internal "nie") will surface before the lexical verb, i.e. those in which the lexical verb is non-finite. This is also always the case in embedded clauses, where all verbal elements surface in a clause-final cluster.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Neg 03_Standard Negation is Prefix No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 04_Standard Negation is Suffix No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 05_Standard Negation is Negative Auxiliary verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 06_Standard Negation is Higher verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 07_Standard Negation is Tone No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 08_Standard Negation is Tone plus Other Modification No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 09_Standard Negation is Reduplication No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 10_Standard Negation is Infix No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 11_Distinct Negation of Class/Property No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 12_Distinct Negation of identity No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 13_Distinct Negation of Existence No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Neg 14_Distinct Negation of Location No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Order N3 01_ Demonstrative Adjective Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: daardie groot skoen
  Gloss: that big shoe
  Translation: that big shoe
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Order N3 02_Demonstrative Noun Adjective No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 03_ Noun Adjective Demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 04_Noun Demonstrative Adjective No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 05_Adjective Demonstrative Noun No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 06_Adjective Noun Demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 07_Demonstrative Numeral Noun Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 08_Demonstrative Noun Numeral No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 09_ Noun Numeral Demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 10_Noun Demonstrative Numeral No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 11_Numeral Demonstrative Noun No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Order N3 12_Numeral Noun Demonstrative No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q01_Initial polar Q-marker No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q02_Final polar Q-marker No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q03_Clause internal polar Q-marker No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q04_Polar question by intonation No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Q05_Polar question by V-fronting Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Lees jy baie boeke?
  Gloss: read you many book.PL
  Translation: Do you read a lot?
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ Q06_Polar question by Auxiliary-fronting Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Het jy jou kaartjie gekoop?
  Gloss: have you your ticket bought
  Translation: Have you bought your ticket?
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Q07_Q-marker follows narrow focus No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Q08_Affirmative answer by particle Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: A: Is jy koud? B: Ja
  Gloss: A: are you cold B: yes
  Translation: A: Are you cold? B: Yes
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Q09_Affirmative answer by verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q10_Affirmative answer by auxiliary No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q11_Affirmative answer by auxiliary and verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q12_Affirmative answer by particle and verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q13_Affirmative answer by predicative 'be' No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q14_Verb answer to indefinite subject question No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q15_Particle-and-verb answer to indefinite subject question No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Q16NEGA_Negative answer by special negative particle Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: A: Is jy koud? B: Nee
  Gloss: A: are you cold B: no
  Translation: A: Are you cold? B: No
  Comment: The sentential negation markers in Afrikaans are both "nie", deriving from the Dutch sentential negation marker "niet" and not from the anaphoric negator illustrated above.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Q17NEGA_Negative answer by bare sentential negation No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q18NEGA_Negative answer by sentential negation plus bare verb No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ Q19ANegQ_Truth-based confirmation Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: A: Het jou broer toe nie gegaan nie? B: Ja (hy het toe nie)
  Gloss: A: have your brother then (modal particle) not go.PST.PTCP NEG B: Yes he have then (mod.part) not
  Translation: A: Didn't your brother go in the end? B: Yes (he didn't)
  Comment: Both "Yes" (truth-based) and "No" (polarity-based) answers are possible here, although speakers prefer "No" where there is no continuation. In fact, the use of "Yes" in isolation will almost certainly result in confusion if it isn't accompanied by some form of disambiguating intonation or other paratactic device which the hearer can draw on to expand "Yes" in the required way. Truth-based confirmation is perfectly acceptable where a speaker continues, but it is definitely not the default option here.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Q20ANegQ_Polarity-based confirmation Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q21ANegQ_Polarity-reversing particle No Theresa Biberauer Forum
   Q22ANegQ_Polarity-reversing answer by affirmative and special particle No Theresa Biberauer Forum
+ V2 01_Declarative Verb-Second Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Gister het Marie Londen besoek
  Gloss: yesterday has Mary London visit.PST.PTCP
  Translation: Yesterday Mary visited London
  Comment: Other than modal particles and the sentential negator, any XP may precede the finite verb in Afrikaans main clauses.
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ V2 02_Interrogative Verb-Second Yes Theresa Biberauer Forum
  Words: Wat koop jy by die smous?
  Gloss: what buy you by the hawker
  Translation: What are you buying from the hawker?
  Comment: All main-clause wh-interrogatives are V2. Strikingly, Afrikaans is the only Germanic language that also systematically permits embedded V2 in the wh-interrogative complements of all verbs (i.e. there is no know- vs wonder-type distinction of the sort reported in McCloskey 1992/2006). The availability of embedded V2 wh-complements is surprising, given the impossibilityof this option in symmetric embedded V2 languages (Icelandic and Yiddish).
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Ek weet wat dink die studente oor daardie plan
  Gloss: I know what think the student-PL about that plan
  Translation: I know what the students think about that plan
  Comment: V2 in embedded wh-interrogatives is extremely common in spoken Afrikaans and also occurs in the written language as many speakers are unaware that this is not in fact the standard option (which would require a V-final structure).
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer