WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

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Lothar von Trotha
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WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Lothar von Trotha »

Assume that late PIE for a reason unknown switched from prepositions to postpositions (it it even possible?) and all daughter families continue this trend.

Would the nominal declension system become more stable? It's likely for this reason that Uralic languages don't really lose cases - when they are weakened by phonetic changes, they can be reinforced by a postposition.
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Salmoneus »

Late PIE did have postpositions, didn't it? It's why so many IE languages have 'prepositions' fossilised as prefixes on the verbs - they were put there when it was SOV, when they were just following the object. SOpV > SpVO.
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by elemtilas »

PIE did indeed have postpositions.

We can see survivors in, e.g., Latin -que (PIE -kwe) and -ve (PIE -we) and the variable -cum (PIE kom), the last of which even survives in Spanish conmigo < L. cum mecum. Hittite has postpositions as well (e.g., -ku < -kwe). Greek preserved PIE -de, and. Germanic seems to have had at least -kwe, which seems to be a survivor into English "though" < Gmc. thau + -hw.
Lothar von Trotha
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Lothar von Trotha »

BUt what if they actually survived in daughter branches of PIE and became predominant over prepositions? Could they then supplant the disappearing case forms?

So in Latin you would have
Marcus patrum libris dat > Marcos da libru patre a *(instead of "a patre"
Marcus mihi librum patris dat > Marcos mi da libru patre de (not "de patre")
Ovis equusque > ovis equus et
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Pabappa »

Hindi uses postpositions which I think are new developments and not just inherited from Sanskrit case markers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustan ... tpositions

there's a suggestion that they might have once been prepositions, but thats just a wild guess ... i havent looked into it.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
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elemtilas
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by elemtilas »

Lothar von Trotha wrote: 22 Aug 2020 00:54 BUt what if they actually survived in daughter branches of PIE and became predominant over prepositions? Could they then supplant the disappearing case forms?
They could survive, sure. One of my own invented languages (Talarian, a descendant of Aryan (i.e. PIE)) is postposing. I'm not sure several postpositions that govern a single case would somehow supplant the case marker itself. Unless you're proposing that any given primitive case becomes divided into perhaps half a dozen new cases of which the postpositions simply become the new case markers?

Now, with Talarian, just about everything is postposed, from pronouns (pronouns per se and also topic/focus indicators) to postpositions per se (and they themselves can be doubled & preposed) to conjunctions and even other substantive roots.

Not all of these things govern a case, of course. -he (and) is probably one of the most commonly found postpositions, but it can be tacked on to anything. Including itself!

I don't think Talarian as it's now spoken would evolve to supplant case forms: those are still terribly useful. If you strike somebody ffâcâ-ca, with a staff or wand, that's just the bare instrumental . -com (with) has only a locative of accompaniment sense. A staff can stand maka-com-he, with me (by which is meant, it's in my hand); but I can't strike somebody ffâcâ-com-ca-he. That's just right out. At best, the post / peripositions amplify and focus the broad sense of the case ending.


So in Latin you would have
Marcus patrum libris dat > Marcos da libru patre a *(instead of "a patre"
Marcus mihi librum patris dat > Marcos mi da libru patre de (not "de patre")
Ovis equusque > ovis equus et
Well, -que doesn't govern a case. It's a conjunction. If you use "et", it would just continue as ovis et equus as it's done into the modern languages.

Otherwise, I count about 16 Latin prepositions that govern the accusative and almost as many govern the ablative. Are you suggesting almost 30 new cases be formed? And I'm supposing that the nominative, genitive, and dative (to my knowledge no prepositions ever govern them) would remain as is.

I don't know that the -m of the accusative would necessarily disappear. Me I think I'd probably argue that the new case marker would end up -mad. A medial -m- has much less cause or excuse to disappear than a final -m in Latin!

So you'd have a number of new cases: -mad, -mante, -mapud, -mecircum, -mecontra, -mextra, -min, -minter, -mob, -mper and so forth. All of which would be variations on the accusative. Interesting things will, no doubt, happen as we move into Vulgar Latin & Old French times. OF eventually loses final -d, so petremad might end up perema. Patremecircum might end up perecirque. perementre, peremper.

Eventually, phonological change would wear away some of these. peremin & perema are in danger of coalescing.

I wonder: might -mente gravitate towards the new nominal declension as a form of ablative; or would it remain among the adverbes?
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Lothar von Trotha »

Proto Uralic is reconstructed as having 6 cases. Finnish has 16, Hungarian 22 cases. So the Uralic languages actually add new cases. I wonder if an IE language could do the same if it started with postpositions. I have seen a paper arguing that all PIE cases except for nominative and accusative are actually fossilized postpositions.
Last edited by Lothar von Trotha on 22 Aug 2020 02:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Salmoneus »

Lothar von Trotha wrote: 22 Aug 2020 00:54 BUt what if they actually survived in daughter branches of PIE and became predominant over prepositions? Could they then supplant the disappearing case forms?
Yes, of course. This is where cases come from, and it's happened repeatedly in IE languages (and presumably in pre-PIE, given that PIE has cases). The Tocharian languages lost almost all case, down to just nominative vs accusative (plus a genitive, but even that's apparently heavily rebuilt by analogy), but independently of one another agglutinated postpositions to get back up to nine cases. [arguably some or all of these case endings are actually still clitics, depending on your definitions, but the principle is the same]. Apparently a similar process of agglutination also occured throughout the Indo-Aryan languages, though some of these cases may instead derive from auxiliary verbs.


elemtilas: it is indeed possible to get 20 or 30 new cases in such a way, yes. More commonly, instead of using a bunch of different prepositions, people start using compound prepositions, and then a common part of the compound gets reanalysed as case.



So, taking English as an example, instead of using the prepositions "in", "without", "atop", "behind", "near" and "for", we could start using the compound prepositions "in(side) of", "out of", "on top of", "at back of", "in reach of" and "for sake of". Then "of" can become a case-marking prefix, and we're left with a single locative case, "of-", governed by the prepositions "side", "out", "top", "back", "reach" and "forsake".

[cases can of course be marked by prefixes in this way just as well as by suffixes, though the latter are more common].
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Lothar von Trotha »

PS DO you you mean a new instrumental/ablative construction,
something like this "
spatha mente (with a sword)
caballo mente (on horseback)

That would be interesting. cheval /ʃə.val/ + ment = chevalement /ʃə.valəmɑ̃/
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by elemtilas »

Salmoneus wrote: 22 Aug 2020 02:33 it is indeed possible to get 20 or 30 new cases in such a way, yes. More commonly, instead of using a bunch of different prepositions, people start using compound prepositions, and then a common part of the compound gets reanalysed as case.



So, taking English as an example, instead of using the prepositions "in", "without", "atop", "behind", "near" and "for", we could start using the compound prepositions "in(side) of", "out of", "on top of", "at back of", "in reach of" and "for sake of". Then "of" can become a case-marking prefix, and we're left with a single locative case, "of-", governed by the prepositions "side", "out", "top", "back", "reach" and "forsake".

[cases can of course be marked by prefixes in this way just as well as by suffixes, though the latter are more common].
Cool. Just a matter of time, one supposes, before grammarians catch up to reality...

NOM house
POS houses
DAT teddahouse
ACC dahouse
INST widdahouse
LOC innahouse
ABL fremmahouse
UND longsideahouse
TRANSL intooahouse
TERMIN onupddahouse
ILLAT oninnahouse
ADESS downnahouse
SUPL uponahouse
SUPER pontopahouse
DELAT wayyonfremmahouse
ASSOC widdahouse
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elemtilas
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by elemtilas »

Lothar von Trotha wrote: 22 Aug 2020 02:39 PS DO you you mean a new instrumental/ablative construction,
something like this "
spatha mente (with a sword)
caballo mente (on horseback)

That would be interesting. cheval /ʃə.val/ + ment = chevalement /ʃə.valəmɑ̃/
Sure!
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by WeepingElf »

elemtilas wrote: 22 Aug 2020 00:01 PIE did indeed have postpositions.

We can see survivors in, e.g., Latin -que (PIE -kwe) and -ve (PIE -we) and the variable -cum (PIE kom), the last of which even survives in Spanish conmigo < L. cum mecum. Hittite has postpositions as well (e.g., -ku < -kwe). Greek preserved PIE -de, and. Germanic seems to have had at least -kwe, which seems to be a survivor into English "though" < Gmc. thau + -hw.
None of these are postpositions. They are conjunctions. But as others have said, PIE did have postpositions.
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by qwed117 »

I was under the understanding that PIE’s adposition class was a subset of its adverbs class which allowed them to function both as prepositions and postpositions
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by elemtilas »

WeepingElf wrote: 22 Aug 2020 11:31
elemtilas wrote: 22 Aug 2020 00:01 PIE did indeed have postpositions.

We can see survivors in, e.g., Latin -que (PIE -kwe) and -ve (PIE -we) and the variable -cum (PIE kom), the last of which even survives in Spanish conmigo < L. cum mecum. Hittite has postpositions as well (e.g., -ku < -kwe). Greek preserved PIE -de, and. Germanic seems to have had at least -kwe, which seems to be a survivor into English "though" < Gmc. thau + -hw.
None of these are postpositions. They are conjunctions. But as others have said, PIE did have postpositions.
No doubt, those are conjunctions. And they're postpositional. If you're after particles that behave like "traditional English prepositions", then Hittite is your language, chock full of postpositional goodness: -anda (into), -piran (in front of), -katta (under) and the like.

Or even English. Loads of postpositions. Germany's a long way off. We walked the entire park around. They left a long time ago. The upward shift of tuning schemes...
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Re: WI: Late PIE develops postpositions

Post by Salmoneus »

elemtilas wrote: 23 Aug 2020 00:20
WeepingElf wrote: 22 Aug 2020 11:31
elemtilas wrote: 22 Aug 2020 00:01 PIE did indeed have postpositions.

We can see survivors in, e.g., Latin -que (PIE -kwe) and -ve (PIE -we) and the variable -cum (PIE kom), the last of which even survives in Spanish conmigo < L. cum mecum. Hittite has postpositions as well (e.g., -ku < -kwe). Greek preserved PIE -de, and. Germanic seems to have had at least -kwe, which seems to be a survivor into English "though" < Gmc. thau + -hw.
None of these are postpositions. They are conjunctions. But as others have said, PIE did have postpositions.
No doubt, those are conjunctions. And they're postpositional. If you're after particles that behave like "traditional English prepositions", then Hittite is your language, chock full of postpositional goodness: -anda (into), -piran (in front of), -katta (under) and the like.

Or even English. Loads of postpositions. Germany's a long way off. We walked the entire park around. They left a long time ago. The upward shift of tuning schemes...
None of those, with the arguable exception of "off", are postpositions, though.

[regarding your earlier list, incidentally: the "the" in "the house" isn't actually an accusative case marker, it marks something called "definiteness" instead]
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