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Robert Hailman wrote:

> > Sure.  But you need to be careful of relexing English prepositional
> > uses into your language's case system.  The rules governing which
> > preposition is required in English are often highly idiomatic.  There is
> > no reason, as far as I can see, why most American English speakers
> > say 'in line', while many New Yorkers say 'on line';  both are bending the
> > general meaning of the preposition to a very great degree of abstraction.
> > The same can of course be said about other languages:  most English
> > speakers would say, I think, 'at this time', while the literal translation
> > of the German 'zu dieser Zeit' is 'to this time'.  The same goes for
> > phrases like 'at hand', where German uses IIRC 'zu Hand'.
>
> I've decided to make my prepositions each have one and only one meaning,
> so the English preposition structure won't be very helpful when I do
> that, because I'll have to break it down anyways.

Of course.  There's no problem with that.  It does run contrary to language
universals, however.  Most languages try to make maximum use out of the
kinds of morphological and syntactic systems they have:  past tense markers
like English <-ed>, for example, can be applied to other areas of verb
morphology like the English subjunctive.  This is only something to consider
before you design certain areas of your language;  if you don't care, then that's
fine.  Afterall, as John said, you have Esperanto as an example (nominative
with prepositions --> contrary to universals).


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Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
ICQ#: 4315704   AIM: trwier
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
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