Romance & Latin prepositions (was: Set of basic adpositions)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 10, 2008, 11:53|
Carl Banks wrote:
> David J. Peterson wrote:
>> Tok Pisin has two: bilong (genitive), and long (all else).
> My conlang, Bowtudgelean, is quite heavy in prepositions,
Fair enough - but I want at the moment the smallest set of basic
>> Even languages like French and Spanish, though, started out with
>> just the three (a, de, and en), adding others as the language was
>> fleshed out (often in combination with the original three).
> Unless I'm misunderstanding something, Spanish has at least five more
> basic prepositions besides a, de, and en:
> con, por, para, sur, sobre
con <-- Latin: cum; por <-- Latin: pro (VL *por); para <-- VL per a(d);
sur ?? AFAIK _sur_ means "south" and is a masculine noun (French _sur_
is from Latin _super_); sobre <-- VL */sUpre/ (Latin: super).
> And even some of the derived prepositions (such as entre) Spanish
> "started out" with; entre descends directly from Latin inter.
> Speaking of Latin, I can think of 13 basic prepositions off hand:
> ad, ab, ex, de, in, ob, sub, super, ante, post, pro, per, cum
(a) with accusative to _motion toward(s)_, otherwise with ablative:
in, sub, subter, super
(subter & super could also be used as adverbs).
(b) with ablative only:
a/ab/abs, coram, cum, de, e/ex, palam, prae, pro, sine
(coram could also be used as an adverb)
(c) with accusative only:
ante, apud, ad, aduersus, circa, circum, cis, citra, contra, erga,
extra, infra, inter, intra, iuxta, ob, penes, pone, post, praeter,
prope, propter, per, secundum, supra, trans, uersus, ultra.
(_ante, aduersus, circa, circum, citra, contra, extra, infra, intra,
iuxta, pone, post, prope, propter, supra, ultra_ could also be used as
Strictly speaking _cum_ was not a 'pure' preposition, but rather an
'adposition' in that with personal pronouns it was always used as a
_postposition_, so, e.g. "with me" is _me-cum_ not *_cum-me_ (The Romans
did not indicate white space and it is normal to write _mecum_ as one
'word' but _cum Caesare_ as two; but it is clear that 'cumCaesare' was a
single phonological word). Also with the relative & interrogative
pronouns it could be use either a a preposition or a postposition so,
e.g. one finds both _cum quibus_ and _quibuscum_.
Also there was one adposition used with the ablative: _tenus_ (as far as).
The ablatives of _gratia_ and _causa_ were also commonly used as
_quasi-postpositions_ with the genitive, e.g.
exempli gratia (e.g.) = for-the-sake-of an-example
Pompeii causa = in-the-interests=of Pompey
> I suspect IE languages in general might tend to be heavy in
> adpositions, and maybe English has a lot for an IE language but Latin
> seems no slouch.
It's certainly no slouch ;)
Frustra fit per plura quod potest
fieri per pauciora.
[William of Ockham]