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Re: those irregular prepositions

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 14:15
On 6/20/06, Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...> wrote:
> In English, we say: > * at night > * at nightfall > * at nighttime > * at dusk > * at dawn > * at noon
> * at the weekend
That last one sounds very odd to me; it's certainly nothing I would ever emit. I'd say "on the weekend" or "during the weekend".
> * at daybreak > but > * in the daytime > * during the day > never > * at day > * at daytime
However, note that the reverse is OK. "in the nighttime", "during the night", etc.
> Why is it so?
No idea. Prepositional use is pretty darn idiomatic in every language, though; once you get beyond the literal meanings of relative physical placement, you're into metaphorical territory, and different folks have different metaphors that get adapted (or borrowed) differently. The different treatment of "day" and "night" might be related to the dual meaning of "day" (as both "daytime" and "nycthemeron"). That's just a guess, though. My conlangs are disappointingly regular in this regard, so far, I'm afraid. -- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...>
Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>