Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Origin of prepositions/postpositions

From:Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 21, 2005, 14:56
On Sun, 18 Dec 2005, 09:55 PM CET, BPJ wrote:

 > I'd like some input on how prepositions/postpositions
 > may arise in a language.  The scenario is essentially
 > a language that has had cases but lost them through
 > regular sound change.  I'm aware that adpositions may
 > arise from nouns, adverbs or verbs, but am a little
 > hazy on how the latter in particular works.  Also I'm
 > aware that some languages get along with basically three
 > prepositions ("to, from, in"), e.g. French.

Ayeri's adpositions are somewhere between nouns and local
adverbials in that for example the word "at/to the top of"
can also mean just "top". They can but usually don't take
case markers; instead, the following noun must be marked
for locative case to indicate a 'prepositional noun' or
whatever you call it. The only morphemes that I consider
to be 'real' adpositions are _-ea_ ('in', 'on', 'at' or
what fits from content if not additionally specified) and
_manga_ (indicates motion). Oh, and I don't know the exact
status of _mangasaha_ (<- manga + saháo, 'motion towards
speaker') and _mangasara_ (<- manga + saráo, 'motion away
from speaker'). I shouldn't have chosen _saHáo_ and
_saRáo_ for 'to come' and 'to go' ... but I'm too lazy
to change every translation I made or come up with a
justification why suddenly people stopped using the root
of one of both and replaced it by something else.

 > "Maybe" is a strange word.  When mum or dad says it
 > it means "yes", but when my big brothers say it it
 > means "no"!

So very true, being a big brother myself ;-)


Keywords: prepositions

"Miranayam cepauarà naranoaris."
(Calvin nay Hobbes)