Doubled preposition in NPs

Groot, C. de C.deGroot at UVA.NL
Fri Jul 14 14:15:36 UTC 2006

Dear Wolfgang and Bernard,
The distribution of case markers is the same as that of postpositions in demonstrative constructions:
ab-ban      a    ház-ban
that-INES the house-INES
'in that house'
I would not speak of agreement here. Hungarian used to mark all discontinuous elements of a noun phrase by the same case suffix. Compare:
Piros-at   kettö-t      vett      Mari  cipö-t.
red-ACC two-ACC bought Mary shoe-ACC
'Mary bought two red shoes.'
Mari kettö piros cipö-t         vett.
Mary two  red    shoe-ACC bought 
'Mary bought two red shoes.'
It can be argued that the demonstrative is outside the NP, it precedes the article. Historically the demonstrative constructions can be analysed as non-verbal predicative constructions: that (is) the man. This explains why the demonstrative also takes the plural as in predications:
az-ok    a    lány-ok
that-PL the girl-PL
'those girls'
Az-ok lány-ok.
that-PL girl-PL
'Those are girls.'
I don't know whether this is of much help. I missed the earlier messages on this subject. - Best, Casper de Groot


Van: Discussion List for ALT namens Bernhard Waelchli
Verzonden: vr 14-7-2006 14:29
Onderwerp: Re: Doubled preposition in NPs

Dear Wolfgang 

	 As soon as the features I have mentioned disappear canonically, we would arrive at a 'doubled preposition construction'. 

Are you interested in doubled postposition constructions as well?
Hungarian is a case in point. Here are two examples from an elementary textbook.   

az elott a ház elott                                                                 
that in.front ART house in.front                   
'in front of that house'                                                                      

e mögött az oszlop mögött
this behind ART column behind
'behind this column'

There is agreement only with demonstratives, not with attributive adjectives, as with cases, and some sources say that the agreement of demonstratives with postpositions is optional. I am sure many other members of this list know much more about Hungarian than I. But with demonstratives, I can imagine, it is rather difficult to get a clearly non-referential context.

Kind regards,


Bernhard Waelchli
FB Sprachwissenschaft
Universität Konstanz
Fach D 185
78457 Konstanz
+49 7531 88 3741
Bernhard.Waelchli at
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