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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 adpositions [snip]
>> 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.
VL /Entre/.
> 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
Latin: (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 adverbs.) 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 ;) -- Ray ================================== ================================== Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. [William of Ockham]