since/until, from/up to

John Peterson jpeterso at UNI-OSNABRUECK.DE
Sat Dec 5 19:39:24 UTC 2009

Dear list members,

In many languages of eastern South Asia there is a single postposition
which, depending on context, may be translated into English either by both
"from" and "up to" or "since" and "until". Until now I have considered
this to be a crosslinguistically unusual category, however, I have no
figures to back up this intuition.

Would anyone happen to know:

1. Whether this phenomenon is in fact rare and
2. If there is a (more or less) generally accepted name for this category?


As long as we're at it: I would like to ask the same two questions for a
single predicative construction which, depending on its context, may mean
either 1. "begin (doing something)" or 2. "keep on (doing something)". Is
this combination also rare cross-linguistically and is there a generally
accepted name for such a category?


"Stability in language is synonymous with rigor mortis."
(Ernest Weekley, 1865-1954)

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