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zompist bboard • View topic - postpositional phrases

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 Post subject: postpositional phrases
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:09 pm 
Niš
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I'm having trouble finding examples of a certain kind of postpositional phrase in natlangs. I can find plenty of examples containing noun + postposition, which modifies a verb, such as Hungarian

a fiú a fa alatt ül the boy sits under the tree

but I cannot readily find an example (via googling) of noun + postposition modifying another noun, equivalent to the prepositional phrases in the English examples:

(1) the object in my hand is a screw
(2) the man under the bridge looks hungry

Are postpositional phrases used this way in natlangs? If so, does the postpositional phrase appear after or before the noun it modifies?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:08 pm 
Niš
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:51 pm 
Lebom
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Not exactly the same, but similar. Chinese has relational nouns which come after the noun - in front of him is 在他的前面: 在-他的-前.面 locative preposition - his - front side. These relational nouns also need an adjectival/genitive particle to modify another noun - "the building in front" 前面的楼 前面-的-楼 front side -adj -building. POssibly postposiitons developed from such nouns, thus requiring the adjectival structure? Or prepositons and postpositions both developed from nouns, but differ in their reanalysis as being very different to nouns?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:32 pm 
Avisaru
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In Japanese, many things that would be prepositional in English ("The cat under the table) is a relational noun phrase ("Teeburu no shita ni neko" or more literally "The table's bottom in/at cat".)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:03 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:07 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:18 am 
Niš
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:16 am 
Avisaru
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Well, depending on whether or not you consider 'ago', 'hence', etc., as postpositions, English uses postpositions adverbially.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:21 am 
Avisaru
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Finnish sort of permits it, but it's difficult to tell whether they're adverbials or attributes in the examples I've been thinking of.

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