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terminology: prepositions, postpositions, and...

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  • Rick Harrison
    So, whaddaya call an adposition that gets infixed into a word, as opposed to being placed before or after the word? Example: xip = ship botel = bottle -ni- =
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 2, 2007
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      So, whaddaya call an adposition that gets infixed into a word, as opposed to being placed
      before or after the word? Example:

      xip = ship
      botel = bottle
      -ni- = inside of
      bonitel xip = ship in a bottle

      Would you call that an "imposition"?

      1/2 :-)



      --
      Rick
    • Mark J. Reed
      ... It has been called that on this list. I would call it an inposition , although when said aloud that no doubt sounds like imposition due to labial
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 2, 2007
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        On 11/2/07, Rick Harrison <rick@...> wrote:
        > So, whaddaya call an adposition that gets infixed into a word, as opposed to being placed
        > before or after the word? Example:
        >
        > xip = ship
        > botel = bottle
        > -ni- = inside of
        > bonitel xip = ship in a bottle
        >
        > Would you call that an "imposition"?

        It has been called that on this list. I would call it an
        "inposition", although when said aloud that no doubt sounds like
        "imposition" due to labial assimilation.

        --
        Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
      • David J. Peterson
        Rick H. wrote:
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 2, 2007
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          Rick H. wrote:
          <<
          xip = ship
          botel = bottle
          -ni- = inside of
          bonitel xip = ship in a bottle

          Would you call that an "imposition"?
          >>

          I'd call that an inessive case infix.


          -David
          *******************************************************************
          "A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
          "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

          -Jim Morrison

          http://dedalvs.free.fr/
        • Rick Harrison
          Thanks to Mark and David for the replies. My bad for not searching the list archives. This ... Which is a good point.
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 2, 2007
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            Thanks to Mark and David for the replies. My bad for not searching the list archives. This
            was briefly discussed in 2004 when Ray Brown said:

            > In practice it is difficult to see how a 'inposition' is to be
            > distinguished from an infix.

            Which is a good point.
          • Mr Veoler
            ... Well, I imagine an inposition to be inside a noun phrase, maybe between the noun and adjective or something... While an infix is inside the noun itself.
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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              Rick Harrison wrote:
              > Thanks to Mark and David for the replies. My bad for not searching the list archives. This
              > was briefly discussed in 2004 when Ray Brown said:
              >
              > > In practice it is difficult to see how a 'inposition' is to be
              > > distinguished from an infix.
              >
              > Which is a good point.
              >

              Well, I imagine an inposition to be inside a noun phrase, maybe between the
              noun and adjective or something... While an infix is inside the noun itself.

              Cheers

              -Veoler
            • Eldin Raigmore
              ... Right, that s also in the thread this year about prepositions in postpositional languages and postpositions in prepositional languages.
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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                On Sat, 3 Nov 2007 14:57:30 +0100, Mr Veoler <veoler@...> wrote:
                >Rick Harrison wrote:
                >>Thanks to Mark and David for the replies. My bad for not searching the list
                >>archives. This was briefly discussed in 2004 when Ray Brown said:
                >>>In practice it is difficult to see how a 'inposition' is to be distinguished from
                >>>an infix.
                >>Which is a good point.

                >Well, I imagine an inposition to be inside a noun phrase, maybe between the
                >noun and adjective or something... While an infix is inside the noun itself.
                >-Veoler

                Right, that's also in the thread this year about prepositions in postpositional
                languages and postpositions in prepositional languages.
                < http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-bin/wa?
                A2=ind0709C&L=CONLANG&P=R6956 >
                and sequelae and prequelae.
                It mentions a paper by Dryer,
                <
                http://linguistics.buffalo.edu/people/faculty/dryer/dryer/DryerWalsAdpNoMap.pd
                f >
                , in which Dryer defines an adposition; this definition requires that the
                adposition be either an independent word or a clitic, and that its position be
                determined syntactically rather than morphologically.
                Dryer defines an "inposition" as an adposition which sometimes may be required
                to be inserted within its object noun-phrase ("complement noun-phrase" is
                Dryer's term). For instance if it always has to be the second word, or always
                has to be the penultimate word, then, if its complement NP contains more than
                one word, it will be inserted into the NP.

                Dryer's paper doesn't seem to say how many languages have inpositions, nor
                how many they have; but it indicates that, in only a very few languages, are
                inpositions the dominant type of adpositions.

                Any infix wouldn't be counted as an inposition by Dryer; it would instead be a
                case-infix for the noun or adjective, by Dryer's terminology.

                Note Ray (and, I think maybe, others on this list as well?) doubt that Dryer (or
                anyone we've heard about) has actually proven the need for a category
                of "inposition" separate from those of prepositions and postpositions.
              • R A Brown
                ... Yep - which means, as I pointed out more than once in the recent thread on the same subject, this means that Classical Latin had inpositions. But AFAIK no
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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                  Mr Veoler wrote:
                  > Rick Harrison wrote:
                  >
                  >>Thanks to Mark and David for the replies. My bad for not searching the list archives. This
                  >>was briefly discussed in 2004 when Ray Brown said:
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>>In practice it is difficult to see how a 'inposition' is to be
                  >>>distinguished from an infix.
                  >>
                  >>Which is a good point.
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  > Well, I imagine an inposition to be inside a noun phrase, maybe between the
                  > noun and adjective or something... While an infix is inside the noun itself.

                  Yep - which means, as I pointed out more than once in the recent thread
                  on the same subject, this means that Classical Latin had inpositions.
                  But AFAIK no grammar will say so. Instead it merely draws attention to
                  the usual placement of prepositions in certain phrases or by certain
                  authors.

                  As I also wrote in that recent thread, IMO it would only be sensible to
                  designate a _separate_ category as 'inpositions' if and only if this was
                  their normal position in all situations.
                  ----------------------------------------

                  Eldin Raigmore wrote:
                  [snip]
                  > Right, that's also in the thread this year about prepositions in
                  postpositional
                  > languages and postpositions in prepositional languages.

                  Precisely, which makes it a little surprising virtually the same topic
                  is being resurrected so soon afterwards.

                  > < http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-bin/wa?
                  > A2=ind0709C&L=CONLANG&P=R6956 >
                  > and sequelae and prequelae.
                  > It mentions a paper by Dryer,
                  > <
                  >
                  http://linguistics.buffalo.edu/people/faculty/dryer/dryer/DryerWalsAdpNoMap.pd
                  > f >
                  [snip]

                  > Dryer's paper doesn't seem to say how many languages have
                  inpositions, nor
                  > how many they have; but it indicates that, in only a very few
                  languages, are
                  > inpositions the dominant type of adpositions.
                  >
                  > Any infix wouldn't be counted as an inposition by Dryer; it would
                  instead be a
                  > case-infix for the noun or adjective, by Dryer's terminology.
                  >
                  > Note Ray (and, I think maybe, others on this list as well?) doubt
                  that Dryer (or
                  > anyone we've heard about) has actually proven the need for a category
                  > of "inposition" separate from those of prepositions and postpositions.

                  yes, Eldin reports me quite correctly. Dryer gives only two examples in
                  the paper. I expressed doubts about the example from Tümpisa Shoshone,
                  and Dirk subsequently confirmed my doubts. The example sentence in fact
                  shows a _postposition_. Nor do I find the example from Amindilyakwa
                  convincing.

                  In short, while it is not difficult to find examples of adpositions
                  being placed in a "inpositive" position on occasions, I am not aware of
                  any proven case for inposition as a separate category.

                  The sign I am using in fact dates from that recent thread on this topic :)

                  --
                  Ray
                  ==================================
                  http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                  ==================================
                  Entia non sunt multiplicanda
                  praeter necessitudinem.
                • Michael Poxon
                  Yes, that diminutive -ul- (as in Ursula ) always struck me as an infix. Mike ... Yep - which means, as I pointed out more than once in the recent thread on
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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                    Yes, that diminutive -ul- (as in "Ursula") always struck me as an infix.
                    Mike
                    >
                    Yep - which means, as I pointed out more than once in the recent thread
                    on the same subject, this means that Classical Latin had inpositions.
                    But AFAIK no grammar will say so. Instead it merely draws attention to
                    the usual placement of prepositions in certain phrases or by certain
                    authors.
                  • Eric Christopherson
                    ... I don t think that counts as an infix under most definitions, because it occurs between one morpheme (_urs-_) and another (_-a_), rather than right inside
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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                      On Nov 3, 2007, at 5:05 PM, Michael Poxon wrote:

                      > Yes, that diminutive -ul- (as in "Ursula") always struck me as an
                      > infix.
                      > Mike

                      I don't think that counts as an infix under most definitions, because
                      it occurs between one morpheme (_urs-_) and another (_-a_), rather
                      than right inside one morpheme. However, there are some who think
                      that the diminutive _-it-_ in Spanish is an infix. I don't know what
                      the evidence in favor of that is, other than _azúcar_ + _-it-_
                      yielding _azuquítar_. It's been discussed on the list before.
                    • David J. Peterson
                      Eric wrote:
                      Message 10 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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                        Eric wrote:
                        <<
                        I don't think that counts as an infix under most definitions, because
                        it occurs between one morpheme (_urs-_) and another (_-a_), rather
                        than right inside one morpheme. However, there are some who think
                        that the diminutive _-it-_ in Spanish is an infix. I don't know what
                        the evidence in favor of that is, other than _azúcar_ + _-it-_
                        yielding _azuquítar_. It's been discussed on the list before.
                        >>

                        Carlos > Carlitos is a better example. This forces one of two
                        analyses:

                        (1) There are *two* affixes: /-it/, a suffix, and /-it-/, and infix,
                        that are otherwise identical. What conditions their allomorphy
                        is anyone's guess.

                        (2) A morpheme-based analysis is flawed, at best.

                        I prefer analysis (2).

                        -David
                        *******************************************************************
                        "sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
                        "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

                        -Jim Morrison

                        http://dedalvs.free.fr/
                      • R A Brown
                        ... Not according to the standard definition of an infix: An affix which occupies a position in which it interrupts another single morpheme. In the example
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 4, 2007
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                          Michael Poxon wrote:
                          > Yes, that diminutive -ul- (as in "Ursula") always struck me as an infix.
                          > Mike

                          Not according to the standard definition of an infix: "An affix which
                          occupies a position in which it interrupts another single morpheme."

                          In the example above -ul- comes between two morphemes urs- (bear) and -a
                          (feminine suffix). To be an infix it would have to come within the
                          morpheme urs- (say, *uruls- ) as, e.g. -n- in tang-ere (to touch) <--
                          root *tag-.

                          But if you read my comment below carefully and refer back to the thread
                          on this subject earlier this year, you will see that I specifically
                          mention _inposition_ (i.e. an adposition which interrupts a noun phrase,
                          e.g. magna cum laude = with great praise).

                          > Yep - which means, as I pointed out more than once in the recent thread
                          > on the same subject, this means that Classical Latin had inpositions.
                          > But AFAIK no grammar will say so. Instead it merely draws attention to
                          > the usual placement of prepositions in certain phrases or by certain
                          > authors.

                          Atho at times the borderline between affixes & adpositions (and clitics)
                          may be fuzzy, IMO it is unhelpful to confuse affixes and adpositions.

                          --
                          Ray
                          ==================================
                          http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                          ==================================
                          Entia non sunt multiplicanda
                          praeter necessitudinem.
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