The secret nominal life of Afrikaans intransitive adpositions

  • Erin Pretorius University of the Western Cape


Languages like Afrikaans are sometimes said to feature a class of adpositions that can be described as “intransitive” (e.g. binne “inside”, bo “upstairs”, agter “in the back”, buite “outside”, onder “downstairs” voor “in the front”). It is argued that such elements in fact instantiate a “hybrid” category – the locative noun category – which is not missing a Ground external argument but is actually lexicalising the nominal structure associated with that Ground argument itself. Such locative nouns pattern with R-pronouns and home-class nouns and therefore probably share a similar internal structure with these better-studied elements of language.


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Part I: Afrikaans centre-stage