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Complementation of Adposition Phrases

Three types of adpositions must be distinguished. First, there are adpositions taking a complement on the right. These are called prepositions. They can take complements that are Noun Phrases (NPs) (preposition + NP), clauses (preposition + clauses) or Adposition Phrases (PPs) (preposition + PP as its complement). An example of a complement of the category NP is given below:

Yn ['e tún]
in the garden
In the garden

Second, there are adpositions taking a complement on the left. These are called postpositions. Postpositions can take complements of the category prepositional phrase or postpositional phrase (postpositions with simple complements, postposition with NP complement, postposition with postpositional complement). Postpositions always denote a path. Two examples are provided below, in which the complement has been bracketed:

a. [By de terp] op
at the mound on
Up the mound
b. [De Swolster kant út] wei
the Swol side out away
From the direction of Swol

Third, there are adpositions which do not take a complement (intransitive adpositions). Two examples are given below:

a. De molke is op
the milk is up
The milk is finished
b. Margriet skille him op
Margriet phoned him up
Margriet phoned him up

There is also a postposition which specifically selects R-pronouns and which tends to block the corresponding circumposition used with phrases which are not question phrases (Replacement of goal PP).

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