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Postpositions take centre stage: What can we learn about Afrikaans postpositions from descriptions in Dutch and English?

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-01-30, 13:19 authored by Suléne Pilon, Lande Botha, Maristi Partridge, ADRI BREEDADRI BREED, Anneke Butler, Monique RabeMonique Rabe, Gerhard B. Van HuyssteenGerhard B. Van Huyssteen

Lexical units that are identical in form and that are traditionally referred to as either adpositions, adverbs, or particles (based on their morphosyntactic properties), can also be grouped together (based on semantic properties) under the term P-items (see for example Fontaine 2017). Although it is for most linguistic endeavours sufficient to refer to these items as P-items, it is desirable and sometimes even essential in some usage contexts to be able to determine in which one of the subcategories such lexical items should be categorised. In general Afrikaans and Dutch, for example, a lexical item that functions as a verb particle would in some syntactic contexts be written conjunctively with the verb but in other syntactic contexts not, while this is never the case for an identical form of that lexical item functioning as a postposition. Like in Afrikaans and Dutch, the distinction between different P-items is also not always straightforward in English. This article explores different strategies to distinguish between P-items in these three languages and proposes a set of questions as a strategy to identify postpositions in a more systematic way.

How to cite this article:

Pilon, Suléne, Lande Botha, Maristi Partridge, Adri Breed, Anneke Butler, Monique Rabé & Gerhard B van Huyssteen. 2023. “Postpositions take centre stage: What can we learn about Afrikaans postpositions from descriptions in Dutch and English?”. In Proceedings of the 4th International Afrikaans Grammar Workshop, edited by Adri Breed. Potchefstroom: North-West University. pp. 171-190.

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