Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Lin: Postpositions

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, April 1, 2002, 18:58
Lin doesn't use prepositions (i.e. particles placed before noun phrases)
but postpositions.  These are always one-letter words which are immediately
preceded by {`}, e.g.
London`a = to London

(a) A partial list of prepositions
Some common postpositions are:
          a = to            y = from
          i = in            u = out of
          o = of            e = at
          n = above         D = below
          I = into          U = onto
          q = than

Note the last one; "than" is treated as a postposition in Lin and the
adjective has no special comparative form, e.g.
v i`q = fast me-than = faster than me/ faster than I

There are 4 different Lin words corresponding to English "with":
  m = 'by means of'
  p = 'in association with' [expcts an animate argument]
  r = 'by imparting/ by furnishing/ by giving'
  s = 'with the accompaniment of'

(b) Adjectival postpositional phrases
    Qualifying phrases are always put before the nouns (or verbs) they
qualify, therefore adjectival postpositional phrases must precede the noun
they qualify.  The cement is placed between the postposition and the
noun-head, but grammatically it binds the head of the phrase to the
noun-head, e.g.
London-to(1,1)train = the train to London
 [proper nouns have generation 1]

h`o6m = test-of(3,2)management = the management of the test

i v gl`s1h = I(1,1)see glass-with(1,1)man = I see the man with the glasses.
[The Lin sentence is unambiguous: it is the man who has the glasses, not me!]

(c) Adverbial postpositional phrases
    You may recall that in my first mail on 'enneasemy & cement' I said
that what are adverbial prepositional phrases in English (and many other
languages) are treated as objects of verbs in Lin.

The examples given by Srikanth are:
Thus while _u i\h_ means "you use the station":

_u i\h+m`s_
'you-(gen. 1 implied) use=E(2,2)=station=E(2,1)=movement-with
"you use the station with movement"

Here the external cement {+} is not governed by {h} but by {i}.

But Srikanth goes on to add that one may optionally treat adverbial
postpositional phrases as qualifiers of the verb and thus place them before
the verb...
The above sentence could also be written" _u m`s4i\h_, in which case the
external cement has been replaced by an internal.

(d) Anaphors involving postpositions
   A consruction like _h`p_ has only generationsl ambiguity, not type
ambiguity, since postpositions cannot combine with verbs, only with nouns.
The generation can be specified by a prefix, assuming generation 1 of the
word before.  In this manner, isolated prepositional statements are valid;
thus, e.g.
4h`m = by means of the station
h`p = with being

(e) A verbal postposition
   There is, however, one particle that may be postposited to a verb,
namely {z} = 'if', cf:
u v px = you see a/the bird
u v`z px = if you see a/the bird

It may be attached to a noun, in which case it means "if a NOUN" etc., e.g.
px`z u pr4d = if [you are] a bird, you probably fly

In fact, _px`z pr4d_ is also possible, with implied subject.

Next instalment will be 'Morphology'




Danny Wier <dawier@...>