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List of postpositions

Most postpositions are homophonous to prepositions.


The following is a list of all postpositions in Frisian. There are 14 in all:

Table 1
Postposition Homophonous to Preposition
hinne -
yn +
oan +
op +
ta (+ archaic)
ôf -
út +
wei -
del -
lâns +
oer +
om +
troch +
foarby +
Postpositions differ with respect to the contribution which they make to the meaning of the phrase. Some postpositions are optional in the presence of certain prepositions, as in the following example:

Example 1

Sa namen se him mei nei Babel (ta)
so took they him along to Babel to
So they took him along to Babel

Other postpositions render the preposition accompanying them optional, as in the following example:

Example 2

Hja rûnen (by) de terp op
they walked at the mound on
They walked up the mound

Postpositions are often homophonous to prepositions which are related to them in meaning. For example, alongside the locative use of yn in as a preposition we have the directional use of yn in as a postposition:

Example 3

a. Hy dûnse yn it hûs
he danced in the house
He danced inside the house
b. He dûnse it hûs yn
he danced the house in
He danced into the house

The set of postpositions is almost a subset of the class of prepositions. There are four postpositions which are not homophonous to prepositions. The postposition ôf down was a preposition in an earlier stage of the language, but this is not the case for the three remaining postpositions hinne, wei and del, which are not homophonous to prepositions.