Re: inalienable possession
|From:||Tim Smith <timsmith@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, November 21, 1998, 21:27|
At 02:18 PM 11/20/98 -0500, Nik Taylor wrote:
>> I've been thinking of using active and passive participles
>> to replace all prepositions. Is that possible in natlangs?
>Explain what your mean by this. If you mean forms like "concerning" in
>English, then you'd simply be creating new prepositions. However, it is
>possible to eliminate prepositions (altho there are no known natlangs
>with *no* adpositions, there's usually at least 1 or 2 words that can
>only be called adpositions) with verbs and nouns. For example, instead
>of "he went up the hill", "he climbed the hill", thus incorporating
>direction with the verb. Better examples, "he went top of-the-hill"
>(i.e., genetive, if you have one). In fact, this is often the origin of
>adpositions. Words like "top" lose their nominal/verbal quality and
>become purely adpositional, but there are languages with only one or two
>generic prepositions, it's just that that's probably only a temporary
>condition, after a while, noun/verb phrases evolve into full-blown
A few months ago, I posted a rough sketch of a grammar in which all
adpositions are replaced by verbs, and in place of adpositional phrases
there are several kinds of serial verb constructions with switch-reference
marking. I still find this idea very interesting and intend to work it out
in more detail someday.
In fact, I actually discussed two versions of this idea, one VO and the
other OV, but only the VO one dispenses with _all_ adpositions.
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
-- The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939)