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On Fri, 20 Nov 1998, Nik Taylor wrote:

> charles wrote:
> > I've been thinking of using active and passive participles
> > to replace all prepositions. Is that possible in natlangs?
>
> Explain what your mean by this.  If you mean forms like "concerning" in
> English, then you'd simply be creating new prepositions.

Prepositions as a separate part-of-speech are my target
to eliminate; e.g. intrumental case "by/with a knife"
can be turned into "using a knife", as in a serial verb
constructions. But SVC can be too vague, so I tried the
Vorlin-style "transitive adverbs" which seem to work
better (more precise than SVC). So far, so good ...
But I notice I hardly use the participles anymore.
So I am tempted to merge participles with more productive
"transitive adverbs". One less part-of-speech.

The pattern would be (is currently) something like:

root+"o" ... plain old noun/primary
root+"a" ... plain old adjective/secondary
root+"i" ... infinitive verb/secondary
root+"e" ... plain old adverb/tertiary
root+"u" ... was preposition, now not used
root+"ie" ... transitive adverb/preposition
root+"ue" ... same, but passivized
root+"ia" ... active participle, not much used
root+"ua" ... passive participle

So what I'd like to do is merge "-ie" into "-ia".
It seems plausible but I'd feel better if some
natlang provides a parallel usage.

> However, it is
> possible to eliminate prepositions (altho there are no known natlangs
> with *no* adpositions, there's usually at least 1 or 2 words that can
> only be called adpositions) with verbs and nouns.  For example, instead
> of "he went up the hill", "he climbed the hill", thus incorporating
> direction with the verb.  Better examples, "he went top of-the-hill"
> (i.e., genetive, if you have one).  In fact, this is often the origin of
> adpositions.  Words like "top" lose their nominal/verbal quality and
> become purely adpositional, but there are languages with only one or two
> generic prepositions, it's just that that's probably only a temporary
> condition, after a while, noun/verb phrases evolve into full-blown
> adpositions.

I use "top" as a plain adverb, which either takes an
adverbial ending "-e" or gets prefixed onto the verb.
Adverbs can be compounded or separated freely, but
my problem is with the prepositions in their role
of verb-like phrase initiators.

By saving a part-of-speech vowel ending, I could start
thinking of an animate/inanimate or a concrete/abstract
noun gender system ... but can participles be prepositions?