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Meaning of postpositions

Postpositions denote a direction.


Postpositions generally denote a direction, and they tend to imply or entail the idea of motion, as shown below:

Example 1

In wike lang moasten studinten elke dei in oere de dyk út om jild en guod yn te sammeljen
a week long must students every day an hour the street out for money and goods in to collect
The students had to go out on the streets an hour every day to collect money and goods

In the example above, the direction and the starting point of the direction is indicated by the phrase functioning as the postpositional complement, de dyk the street. It is pragmatically implied that the starting point and the end point of the direction are the same, namely the street in front of the place where the students live. So the direction entails a path. The postposition út out may also denote a path of which the goal is not pragmatically implied but specified in a separate Adposition Phrase (PP). Two examples are given below, in which the bracketed PP specifies the goal of the path specified by the complement of the postposition út out:

Example 2

a. As se wer nei hûs giet, riidt de wein mei de fjouwer weeskes de dyk út [nei Hallum ta]
when she again to home goes drives the carriage with the four orphans the street out to Hallum to
When she returns home, the carriage with the four orphans is just leaving for Hallum
b. Soms wie er yn 'e wille en flean de dyk út [nei Dokkum]
sometimes was he in the intention and fly the street out to Dokkum
Sometimes he had the intention of going off in a hurry to Dokkum

Postpositions often refer to space, but they may also refer to time, in combination with a prepositional phrase, as shown by the example below:

Example 3

Ik sil der ris mei in opsichter oer prate, ûnder it wurk troch
I shall R DcP with a supervisor about talk beneath the work through
I shall talk about it to a supervisor, in between during working hours