Doubled preposition in NPs

Frans Plank Frans.Plank at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Fri Jul 14 13:24:42 UTC 2006

dear everybody, whatever your terminological worries and inclinations,

on preposition repetition see in print, quite possibly inter multos alios:

Worth 1982 for Old and later non-literary 
Russian, Old Czech, Old Serbian, and Lithuanian;
Tompa 1972: 180f. for Hungarian.

Full references and further discussion, in the 
context of what cases can do and adpositions 
(usually) can't, in Double Case (OUP 1995), esp 
around page 63, if I remember correctly.  Case 
attraction/assimilation, unparalleled by 
adposition attraction/assimilation, is also to be 
found there, though I don't remember on which 

Frans Plank

>Dear Östen,
>I just checked your examples with an Russian 
>informant (from Novosibirsk). First: she 
>confirmed - quite in accordance with what you 
>say - that constructions like 'v moem v gorle' 
>'in my THROAT' are typical for folktales and so 
>on, but do nevertheless sometimes occur in 
>convernsation for emphasis.
>But (and second): When I asked her to read your 
>examples, she made two things: a) a audible 
>break between e.g. 'v moem' and 'v gorle', and 
>b) she stressed 'v gorle' emphatically. In 
>addition, she made two gestures: a) 'v moem' > 
>hand towards stomach, b) 'v gorle' > hand 
>towards throat. This as well as the fact that 
>'moem' is marked for 'referential incflection' 
>suggests to me that we (still) have to deal with 
>two referential units. The relation between them 
>would then in fact be appositional ('in my one, 
>in the throat'), meronymic (whole->part) in 
>nature. But you are right: As soon as the 
>features I have mentioned disappear canonically, 
>we would arrive at a 'doubled preposition 
>construction'. It would be good to know whether 
>there are examples of such a construction, in 
>which the attribute is clearly non-referential 
>(e.g. without nominal agreement -> group 
>inflection). Personally, I do not know of any 
>language that would allow this type [Old 
>Armenian may be a candidate], but that does not 
>mean anything... :-)
>Best wishes,
>Östen Dahl wrote:
>Wolfgang asks: "Doesn't the Russian phrase you quote represent an
>appositional chain [each of the terms kolleg, nashij, and Andrej Shevchenko
>have strong referential properties]?"
>Well, I must admit that I don't have native intuitions here. I would guess
>that there is indeed more emphasis on each of the constituents here, but on
>the other hand, if this becomes more or less the standard construction, as I
>think it is in some kinds of folk poetry, the emphasis will disappear. Cf.
>the following examples (not exactly folk poetry):
>Poka na nashem na sajte ochen' malen'kij arxiv igr...
>So_far on our.M.DAT.SG on site very small archive game.GEN.PL
>'So far we have a very small game archive on our site'
>Chto-to v moem v gorle zastrjalo...
>Something in my.M.LOC.SG in throat.LOC.SG stick.PST.N.SG
>'Something stuck in my throat'
>I don't think these are really appositional chains.
>Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulze
>Institut für Allgemeine und Typologische Sprachwissenschaft
>[General Linguistics and Language Typology]
>Department für Kommunikation und Sprachen / F 13.14
>Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
>Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
>D-80539 Muenchen
>Tel.: ++49-(0)89-2180 2486 (secretary)
>         ++49-(0)89-2180 5343 (office)
>Fax:  ++49-(0)89-2180 5345
>E-mail (1): W.Schulze at
>E-Mail (2): prof.wolfgang.schulze at
>Web page:

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