Wat is dêr yn? Wêze as posysjoneel tiidwurd yn gefallen fan fêst kontakt yn it (âldere) Frysk
Frisian makes extensive use of the posture verbs stean ‘to stand’, lizze ‘to ly’ and sitte ‘to sit’ in order to indicate the position of inanimate objects. As in Dutch, the verb sitte is used in all cases of tight fit between Figure and Ground in present-day Frisian. In older Frisian (19th c. and earlier), however, the unmarked copula wêze ‘to be’ was still in use in certain cases of tight fit (alongside sitte). In this article, the use of wêze as a positional verb vis-à-vis sitte in older Frisian is described in some detail. It is shown that, as far as the distribution of positional verbs is concerned, older Frisian was rather close to present-day German. The article provides a tentative account of this distribution.