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Example text

These classes are discussed in turn below. , prepositions or postpositions). g. subject and/or agent) of the noun phrase to which they belong. g. topic) of the associated noun phrase. If the role marker precedes the noun, as in the following example from Tagalog, it may be called a preposition: (100) Ipinansulat ni John ng liham kay Mary ang makinilya wrote. with ag John obj letter io Mary top typewriter ‘John wrote Mary a letter on the typewriter’ And if the role marker follows the noun, as in the following example from Japanese, it may be called a postposition: (101) Type de wa John ga Mary ni tegami o kaita typewriter instr top John subj Mary io letter obj wrote ‘John wrote Mary a letter on the typewriter’ There are certain adpositions that are clearly not discourse markers, but that are not ordinarily identified as case markers: for example the postposition de in (101), and the words indicating various locative relations in the following examples from English and Akan respectively: (102) It’s on/under/beside the table (103) ε wɔ pon no so/ase/nkyεn it.

These same equivalents are found in adjectival-verb languages, as the following examples from one such language, Mandarin Chinese, illustrate: (41) Neige n¨uaizi piaoliang that girl beautiful ‘That girl is beautiful’ (42) Neige n¨uaizi liaojie that girl understand ‘That girl understands’ (43) piaoliang de n¨uaizi beautiful rel girl ‘a girl who is beautiful, a beautiful girl’ (44) liaojie de n¨uaizi understand rel girl ‘a girl who understands, an understanding girl’ Examples (41) and (42) are predications, while examples (43) and (44) are modification constructions.

Nagano ka? (perf. ’ cf. Nagsalita ka (perf. active)speak you ‘You spoke’ c. Naano ka? (perf. ’ cf. Natalisod ka (perf. invol)trip you ‘You tripped’ It appears that all languages have interrogative pro-forms, but that the types of interrogative pro-forms that occur vary considerably from language to language, partly in conformity with the language’s overall parts-of-speech system. Thus a language that lacks adverbs in general will naturally enough not have interrogative adverbs. , are all expressed by verb stems: (99) a.

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Balti grammar by A.F.C. Read


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