Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> At 21:58 06/06/00 -0400, you wrote:
> >G'day y'all, I just have a few questions for you.
> >
> >In my conlang, tentatively called Ajuk, I've got seven cases:
> >Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Vocative, Ablative, and
> >Instrumental. I've gotten to the point where I have to divvy up the
> >preposition structure, and I realize that each in a language with case
> >the nouns in a prepositional phrase have to go into a certain case,
> >depending on the preposition and the meaning intended to be assigned to
> >it.
> >
> Or you can also think of having a case like the "prepositional" of Russian.
> >At first I was intending to make a system like in German, but that only
> >covers four of my seven cases. The Vocative doesn't neccessarily need
> >any, because it is fairly limited in it's use.
> >
> Well, in Latin, prepositions could be followed only by the accusative or
> the ablative, while the very few postpositions asked for the genitive. This
> makes only 2 (hardly 3) of the 6 cases of Latin. So if you use only three
> of your cases with prepositions it would work quite well already.
I made up a system using four of my seven yesterday, accusative, dative,
genitive, and ablative. I use: Accusative for motion in time and space:
"into", "onto". Dative for location in time and space: "in", "on", "at".
Genitive for things such as "in spite of", "on account of", "in the
manner of", that sort of thing. Ablative to express the source, similar
to the accusative: "from under", "from in", "away from", that sort of

Not that the same pronoun can be with the accusative, dative, and
genitive, like so:

duz ukhoto ladesho: "into the car"
duz ukhotaj ladeshaj: "in the car"
duz ukhotom ladeshom: "from in the car"

> >So what I want to know is, is there any particular system by which the
> >prepositions are divided up in the case structure, or is it different
> >from language to language, even in languages containing the same cases?
> >
> I cannot tell for sure, but I think it's quite different from language to
> language. For instance, with the same preposition (like 'in'), Latin used
> the accusative for motion towards and ablative for position. But English
> associates motion with dative more than with accusative (you say "I give
> the book To John" as well as "I go TO Paris"). So dative and accusative can
> both have a meaning of motion towards. In the same way, genitive and
> ablative can both mean motion from, depending on the language.
Right, I wasn't really expecting a pattern, so I'm not terribly

> To give you conlang examples, in Moten (which has onbly three cases:
> nominative, accusative and genitive), nominative is associated with
> location, accusative with motion towards and genitive with motion from. The
> same preposition (more exactly a prefix) is used with all three cases to
> mean 'at', 'to' and 'from'. In A'stou (to talk about the conlang I'm mostly
> sharing with the list right now :) ), which has four cases, the
> accusative-genitive is associated with time while the
> dative-ablative-locative is associated with space, and it's the
> prepositions used which give the meaning of location or motion (in fact,
> the same preposition that means location with D-A-L means moment in time
> with A-G). This dichotomy between accusative: time and ablative (or
> dative): space can be found also in Latin IIRC.
> So I think you can make your system whatever you want. Just do what you
> feel "right", there are examples of about everything around here :) .
> >Another thing, I've got pronouns that mean things like "for that
> >reason", "at some time", "in this manner", and such, and I need to
> >decide what case they would go in. This kind of ties into the
> >preposition structure, for example a word meaning "at some time" would
> >go in the same case as nouns in a prepositional phrase with a
> >preposition meaning "at". Again, is there any system to this throughout
> >several languages or do I just have to make my own?
> >
> I understand what you mean, because I happen to have also pronouns like
> that in Moten. I have 'e': this place, 'a': that place and 'o': yon place
> for space and 'et': this moment, 'at': that moment and 'ot': yon moment for
> time. They take the same cases as I explained earlier to mean 'at this
> moment', 'here', 'from there', etc... Many adverbs of Latin seem to come
> from declined forms of pronouns too. I think it would be quite natural to
> tie those 'pronouns' cases to the ones used with the prepositions.
Good, that's what I was thinking of doing, too.