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Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


> I've never studied a language that uses postpositions instead of
> prepositions. 

Nor have I, really.

> I can't quite warp my head around how that must work I take
> the sentence fragment: "IN a cottage ON the edge OF a great forest" 
> and if I use postpositions I come up with "a cottage the edge a great forest OF ON
> IN" That just looks like RPN, and I'm sure that's not how it's 
> done in a real natlang.

I don't think that's quite right. I know in Talarian you'd say something like
"(it's located) great.forest.edge-LOC-at cottage-LOC-within-and"

The locative case marker tells you that you're looking at place where, while
the postpositions "at" and "within" give you the manner of the things atting.
The "and" at the end is just one of those obligatory wossnames you find at
the end of almost everything a Teleranian person says. Kind of like "eh" in
Canuckistani.

I would imagine that a natural language would work similarly, with the postpositions
in proximity to their nouns, rather than all crammed at the end.

Mind you, that hasn't stopped me from toying with things like your example.
Upon learning that German has "der" "des" "dem" and "den" (at least), I
decided that some conlang should have the ability to make sentences like
"der dem det ball gibet kindem mann" -- "the man gave the child the ball".

> So can somebody help me out with what word order you would find for a
> sentence like "She lived in a cottage on the edge of a great forest." 

She a cottage in the Great Forest's edge at did live.

Just don't let English's prejudice towards prepositions fool you into
thinking that "in the Great Forest" is the proper phrase!

> using
> postpositions? The only postposition I can think of in English is 
> "ago".
> (If it were a preposition then "ago three years" would be a perfectly 
> good
> prepositional phrase, so I'm assuming it's a postposition. Or am I wrong
> about that?)

Is it a postposition? I'm sure it's one of those catch-all "adverbs" of some kind!

Padraic

> --gary