On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 6:04 AM, Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Certainly there is an element of transitivity in English and other langs.' prepositions, in that they "take an object" just like a transitive verb. But in my experience only English (maybe Germanic langs.?) can use them intransitively i.e. as "particles" (and not all can be so used), and IMO such prepositions may have changed class to become adverbs. Or maybe they're adverbs to begin with, and can be used prepositionally??)

I incline to the analysis that Germanic "prepositions" are better seen
as particles that can work syntactically as adpositions, adverbs, etc,
than as a separate word class whose members get zero-derived into
adverbs, etc. However, in English (and Swedish) they're dissociable
from their objects even where they appear to be strictly adpositional
in function - e.g "the man I played golf with" - so Tristan's got a
point that they're not necessarily "preposed" even when used as
adpositions. You might argue they're not even "adposed" when several
other words intervene between (but presumably the Romans did not feel
that an "ad" relationship implies immediate adjacency - Latin
adjectives are not necessarily next to their heads).

Now, on whether the fact that traditional English terminology is
etymologically dodgy is an argument for using similarly dodgy
terminology for Japanese I artfully avoid to state an opinion.

Andreas Johansson

Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?