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Lecture | Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series

The internal and external syntax of genoeg ('enough')

Thursday 29 February 2024
Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


It has been known since Barbiers (2001) that genoeg (‘enough’) can turn predicate adverbials into sentence adverbials. When genoeg occurs in a sentence adverb, it is syntactically obligatory, but makes little to no semantic contribution: 

      (1) Enough support 

            Annie heeft gek *(genoeg) niet gedanst. 

      (2) Regular enough 

            Annie heeft niet gek (genoeg) gedanst. 

In this talk, I analyse the external and internal syntax of such enough support adverbs. Using Cinque’s (1999) adverbial hierarchy, I make the novel observation that enough support splits further into subject-oriented and evaluative adverbs. These cases show different syntactic behaviour, both externally and internally. 

Next, I nuance the widely accepted theory that genoeg in adverbial clauses is an affix: only enough support is a full-fledged affix; regular enough is merely an affixoid. 

Finally, I analyse the internal syntax of help-genoeg. I suggest that there exists a general principle for the formation of sentence adverbials, the Sentence Predicate Projection. The word genoeg functions as a Sentence Predicate head, which establishes the connection between the underlying adjective and the clause.

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