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Preposition + reduced NP

The Noun Phrase (NP) following the preposition may be reduced in expressions that are frequent.


Reduction of NP following a preposition is signalledd by the optionality of the determiner:

Example 1

De wize jeld; de mannen mei stamboeksfee op stâl
the wise old.age the men with pedigree.cattle on cowshed
The wise old age; the men with pedigree cattle in the cowshed

Reduced NPs may not be modified, as shown below:

Example 2

*De mannen mei stamboeksfee op heechste stâl
the men with pedigree.cattle on highest cowshed
The men with pedigree cattle in the highest cowshed

Some other combinations of prepositions with a reduced NP are listed below:

Example 3

a. Op bêd
on bed
In bed
b. Nei hûs (ta)
to house to

The reduced examples may have a slightly different meaning from non-reduced examples. Consider the following pair of sentences:

Example 4

a. Bouke leit op bêd
Bouke lies on bed
Bouke is lying in bed
b. Bouke leit op it bêd
Bouke lies on the bed
Bouke is lying on the bed

The reduced sentence carries the entailment that Bouke is not only lying on the bed, but that he is asleep or resting as well. The non-reduced sentence does not carry that implication; it merely states that Bouke is in a horizontal position on the bed, although he may well be sleeping or resting, of course. It seems then that reduction makes the presence of an idiomatic interpretation obligatory.