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No NP-complements
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Generally, postpositions do generally not select Noun Phrases (NPs). An exception to this claim involves nouns referring to directions (see postposition with NP complement).

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Postpositional complements that seem to be NPs are of the category Adposition Phrase (PP). An example is repeated below:

Example 1

Se rûnen de berch op
they walked the mountain up
They walked up the mountain

If the postpositional complement were of the category NP, then pronouns replacing it should also be of the category NP. These, however, are not grammatical (although not all speakers agree on this, which might be due to interference from Dutch):

Example 2

*Dy berch? Se rûnen him sa op
that mountain They walked it so up
That mountain? They easily walked up it

Instead, the R-pronoun must be used, and it is obligatorily accompanied by a preposition, as in the example below:

Example 3

a. Dy berch? Se rûnen der sa by op
that mountain They walked R.it so at up
That mountain? They easily walked up it
b. *Dy berch? Se rûnen der sa op
that mountain They walked R.it so up
That mountain? They easily walked up it

The starred sentence above is ungrammatical under the intended interpretation. It is grammatical in case the adposition receives a locative interpretation (which is pragmatically odd); in the latter case the adposition is in effect a preposition. In fact, this preposition is optionally present, in case the nominal argument is not an R-pronoun but a full NP, as in the example below:

Example 4

Se rûnen (by) de berch op
they walked at the mountain up
They walked up the mountain.

The preposition is obligatory in case the nominal argument is an R-pronoun, as we saw above. The same preposition is used with the antonym postposition:

Example 5

Se rûnen (by) de berch del
they walked at the mountain down
They walked down the mountain

Similar examples are therefore grammatical only in case the postposition takes a prepositional complement, as in the following example:

Example 6

Efter Ljouwert wei
behind Ljouwert away
From behind Ljouwert

The structure is as indicated by the bracketing below:

Example 7

[[Efter Ljouwert] wei]
behind Ljouwert away
From behind Ljouwert

What we see here is that the circumpositional string efter Ljouwert weifrom behind Ljouwert is analysed as consisting of a postposition selecting a prepositional phrase. If we accept the analysis proposed above, there do not seem to be examples of a postposition accompanying a reduced NP. A possible example is the following, but this seems to be a loan from Dutch, especially since there are no mountains in Fryslân:

Example 8

Se rûnen berch ôf
they walked mountain down
They walked down the mountain

In fact, it is remarkable that there is a pair of antonyms, one involving a preposition and the other a postposition. The prepositional idiom shows reduction of NP whereas the postpositional idiom does not:

Example 9

a. Hy gie op bêd
he went to bed
He went to bed
b. Hy kaam fan 't bêd ôf
he came of the bed from
He rose from bed

However, this is not a perfect minimal pair since the postpositional example involves a preposition as well. Furthermore, the postposition can be omitted from the example above, as shown below:

Example 10

Hy kaam fan 't bêd
he came of the bed
He rose from bed

Nevertheless, it is remarkable that there do not seem to be idiomatic cases of a reduced NP and a postposition, whereas there are many examples of a preposition and a reduced NP. This might be related to the fact that complements to a postposition are generally of the category PP (see also meaning of postpositions), unless directional nouns are involved (see postposition with NP complement). Note that in the example above the determiner, a voiceless coronal plosive, may be phonologically assimilated with respect to voice and place to the voiced labio-dental plosive that is the first phoneme of the noun.

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