Characteristics of the Dutch Language in AX Semantics

Fundamentals

In Dutch, you need to know the gender of a noun to form (together with number and case) the accompanying adjectives, determiners, numerals, and pronouns correctly.

Dutch has three genders for nouns: masculine, feminine, and neuter. There are two numbers: singular and plural. Additionally, Dutch only has nominative case for nouns, but includes accusative and dative case for personal pronouns.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
gendermasculinede oude hond
(the old dog)
femininede oude vrouw
(the old woman)
neuterhet oude huis
(the old house)
------
numbersingulargroot huis
(big house)
pluralgrote huizen
(big houses)
------
cases (noun)nominativevrouw (woman)
------
cases (pronoun)accusativeIk heb hen gisteren gezien.
(I've seen them yesterday.)
dativeHij heeft hun verraden.
(He has betrayed them.)
------
adjectives (noun)pre-nounrode appel
(red apple)
------
verb tensespresenthij gaat
(he goes)
pasthij ging
(he went)

The standard order of a noun phrase in Dutch is the following: preposition + determiner + numeral + adjective + noun.

See for example:

over   deze    drie   populaire  boeken
about  these   three  popular    books[pl]
PREP   DET     NUM    ADJ        NOUN
"about these three popular books"

Lexicon

Nouns

For Dutch nouns, the LEXICON needs to encode gender and determiner and preposition changes. The number x case forms of a noun should be added to the lexicon if they are not regular.

If a lexicon entry is missing, determiners, adjectives, numerals, and pronouns, which would need lexical information to inflect, are omitted.

Examples

The basic lexicon entry for huis (house) contains:

  • gender: neuter
  • inflection table for case and number:
SingularPlural
Nominativehuishuizen

note

If you need lexicon entries for countries, write to the support about that and you will get them for Dutch with automatic handling of prepositions.

Adjectives

In the lexicon, the inflection table for gender, case, and number can be encoded. For adjective position, the default is "before noun";.

Verbs

The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects the wrong way, you should add it to the lexicon.

Container settings

Numerals

The noun will automatically agree with the numeral number when a numeral variable is used. Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit.

cardinalordinal
textnegen dagen
(nine days)
de negende dag
(the ninth day)
digit9 dagen
(9 days)
de 9e dag
(the 9th day)

For Dutch, ordinal numerals are written out until 30, otherwise (above 30) the output is in digit form. Cardinal numerals are written out until 12, otherwise (above 12) the output is in digit form. Take cardinal numerals for example,

twaalf auto's
(twelve cars)
13 auto's
(13 cars)

Examples

Determiner switch

If you set the determiner switch for a specific noun in the LEXICON, it will automatically switch to another determiner when you add the determiner to the container. In the following second example, the container automatically switch definite determiner de for Seychellen because it is configured in the LEXICON.

Ze wonen in Duitsland. <no determiner>
(They live in Germany.)
Ze wonen op de Seychellen. <switch to definite determiner>
(They live in the Seychelles.)

Defaults: In Dutch, the majority of countries are not accompanied by a definite determiner. In that case, it is assumed that without an article is the default.

note

Currently, if the lexicon entry of a country includes a switch from none to definite, there is no way to use the country without the article (e.g. just "Seychellen"). Please write to the support, if you have a use case where you need both cases in a project.

Preposition switch

On the AX NLG platform, the settings for the container Duitsland (Germany) are: preposition="in" and case="nom".

in Duitsland
(in Germany)

For the below sentence with a different place (i.e. Sylt), the platform settings are the same as above (preposition="in", case="nom"), but the lexical information changes the preposition and shows a switch from in to op:

op Sylt
(on Sylt)

Language Variants

The AX NLG platform offers 2 variants of the Dutch language:

  • Netherlands
  • Belgium

The differences between these variants are mostly lexical.