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On Tue, 6 Feb 2001, jesse stephen bangs wrote:

> Musing on a new thread here . . .
>
> A while ago, someone mentioned that prepositions do not ever govern the
> nominative case in languages that mark case.  Unfortunately, my conlang
> Yivríndil does just that, and so I says to myself, "This won't do.  I
> don't mind breaking a language universal every now and then, since they
> all have *some* exceptions, but this one was claimed to have *no*
> exceptions!  And I don't want to be the only exception out there, since I
> strive for naturalness in my lang."  So I did a little syntactic
> slight-of-hand and decided that prepositions govern the accusative case,
> which is cheating since *the accusative case is never marked*.  There was
> an accusative ending that survived in pronouns until a few hundred years
> ago (con-timeline), but it's fallen out of use.
>
> Is this cheating?  And can anybody come up with a natlang counterexample
> to this language universal?  If not, I claim first dibs on the
> self-referential Jesse's Language Universal: "All language universals have
> exceptions."

Is there a great difference in the classification of prepositions and
postpositions? Finnish is a case-using language but it also has some
important postpositions, such as the word 'with' which I mentioned
recently. These postpositions can even in a poetic old text be changed to
prepositions. However, when they are used the noun is always in some other
form than nominative, most often in genitive.

In one of my language sketches the genitive and accusative are marked with
cases and other things with prepositions. I think this is not too far away
from e.g. German, with the exception of the accusative.

I can't think of any good reason why your conlang couldn't have both
cases and prepositions. :-)

Tero Vilkesalo

>
> :)
>
> Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask]
> "It is of the new things that men tire--of fashions and proposals and
> improvements and change.  It is the old things that startle and
> intoxicate.  It is the old things that are young."
> -G.K. Chesterton _The Napoleon of Notting Hill_
> Conlanger code: CLI> l%p+++ cS:R:N:H a++ y n18d:6 X+++ A-- E-- L-- N2.5
> Idmp k++ ia-- p+ m++ o+++ P d++ b++ Yivríndil
>