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Relation between intransitive adpositions, prepositions and postpositions
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The class of intransitive adpositions shows a greater overlap with the class of postpositions than with the class of prepositions. However, there are intransitive adpositions which are homophonous to neither prepositions nor to postpositions.

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Postpositions without complements generally derive from postpositions with complements, not from prepositions. Hence, although the postposition ôffrom does not appear as preposition, it does appear as an intransitive postposition, as in ôfprateagree, and it may also appear as a postposition with an Adposition Phrase (PP) complement, as illustrated in the example below:

Example 1

a. Wy prate dat moarn wol ôf
we talk that tomorrow DcP down
We will make an agreement about that tomorrow
b. Wêrom draaide se de eagen fan him ôf?
why turned she the eyes of him down
Why did she turn her eyes away from him?

Some adpositions have two forms, depending on whether they appear as a preposition or as a postposition. So the preposition oantuntil appears in postpositional form as oan (ta). However, the form oant never appears as a bare postposition. This provides an argument that intransitive postpositions do not derive from prepositions but from transitive postpositions. Similar arguments can be constructed on the basis of data from Dutch.

There are also bare adpositions which are not homophonous to prepositions or postpositions. A case in point is the bare adposition fuortaway. This can be used as an adposition with an external argument, as shown below:

Example 2

a. Gjin spul om in blokje hea, dan de geit mar fuort!
no fight about a block hay then the goat DcP away
No fight about a block of hay, it is better that the goat should go!
b. Ik woe fuort, mar ik wist net wêrhinne
I wanted away but I knew not where.to
I wanted to go away, but I did not know where

Fuort does not take PP complements:

Example 3

a. *Oars hie se no fêst al by him fuort west
otherwise had she now certainly already at him away been
Otherwise, she would have left him by now
b. Oars hie se no fêst al by him wei west
otherwise had she now certainly already at him away been
Otherwise, she would have left him by now

The adposition fuort has a transitive counterpart, which is weiaway. As the example in (3) indicates, the latter adposition accommodates a PP complement. Although, fuort does not take any complement, it may be modified:

Example 4

a. Se binne al in ein fuort
they are already a distance away
They have already gone some distance
b. In grut ein fuort binne se noch net
a large distance away are they yet not
They have not yet gone very far

To sum up, the class of intransitive adpositions shows a greater overlap with the class of postpositions than with the class of prepositions. However, there are intransitive adpositions which are homophonous to neither prepositions nor to postpositions.

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x Literature

More details about this topic can be found in Hoekstra (1998) en Hoekstra (1987).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Eric1998Weg en voort (zonder voorafgaande voorzetselbepaling)Taalkundig Bulletin2853-65
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1987Fuortrinne en weirinneFriesch Dagblad01-08Taalsnipels 43
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