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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:43 pm 
Sanci
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I'm interested in learning more about the process in which Xurnese went from prepositional to postpositional. There doesn't seem to be any information about it in the Xurnese page (also, under the Auxiliaries transformation, it says "prepositional phrase" instead of "postpositional phrase". I want to know if you had decided upon a reason why and a process in which it happened.

Also how did the set of adpositions themselves change? The Romance Languages are known for being particularly productive in developing new prepositions, and that process has been documented. For Xurnese, there is some information given in the Lexicon, but I would like to know more.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:28 pm 
Boardlord
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Well, there's no real intermediate varieties to look at. :) So I'll talk about how such changes generally occur.

Changes to things like word order or gender are not usually sudden and universal— people don't decide one day to make all prepositions into postpositions. They proceed piecemeal, perhaps starting with a single Trojan horse. (As an example, in Konkani the word 'girl' is neuter, and that's led other words for young women to become neuter, while words referring to older women remain feminine. In Old Chinese, locatives were normally <noun> <locative>; this became <coverb> <noun> <locative><classifier>, but there is still a good deal of variety. Still <coverb><noun> seems to be advancing.)

In Xurnese, there are a number of postpositions that are derived forms (e.g. dzušši 'since' < 'before and back to'); these likely started as adverbs and occurred after the noun. This helped establish the post-nominal position. The process was likely helped along by the reanalysis of the derivational suffix -iwa as a postposition ga. There would have been a long period when appositions could appear either before or after the noun. Finally a tipping point was reached and only postpositional order was accepted.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:08 am 
Sumerul
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zompist wrote:
<coverb> <noun> <locative><classifier>
Are you talking about some dialect that's not Mandarin/Cantonese? Neither of those two uses classifiers for this construction.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:13 am 
Boardlord
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Eh, poor choice of term while trying to keep it concise. I meant -bian, -mian, -tou.


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