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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:
>charles 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 >adpositions.
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. ------------------------------------------------- Tim Smith "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939)