preposition stranding

Mauro Tosco tosmauro at TN.VILLAGE.IT
Mon Oct 26 09:31:48 UTC 1998

Dear typologists,
on Sun 25 Oct. 1998 Maria Polinsky wrote:

>I am looking for languages (other than English and Scandinavian) which
>productive preposition stranding. Any suggestions?

A phenomenon which I would treat under "stranding" (but perhaps of the
noun, rather than of the preposition) is found in Somali (and related
In Somali prepositions (actually, adpositions) are ALWAYS stranded: they
are placed before the verb, eventually strung together in a fixed order;
nouns are generally placed before the sentence, whose onset is marked by a
focus marker or a "sentence classifier":
ninkii  ayaan la   shaqeeyey
man+Art FoC+I with worked
"I worked with that man"

with two nouns:
guriga    ul    buu    ka-ga      soo        eriyey geela
house+Art stick FOC+he with+from "direction" chased camels+Art
"he chased the camels out of the house with a stick"

If no noun is present, given that the Obj Pronoun of 3 person is zero, you
have cases such as:
waan    la   hadlay
class+I with spoke
"I spoke with him/her/them"
(cf. with a transitive verb:
waan   cunay
sent+I ate
"I ate it", not *"I ate")


Mauro Tosco,
Dept. of African and Arab Studies,
Istituto Universitario Orientale,
Naples, Italy

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