Query: Case for ?approximate location?

Edith Moravcsik edith at UWM.EDU
Fri Feb 6 17:44:55 UTC 2009

In Hungarian, the directional postposition 'towards' can also be used for
approximate location. However, the location must be between the speaker's
location and the place mentioned; so it means something like "along the way
to". This is like English "towards".

For example: (diacritics belong on top of the preceding vowel)

(a) directional use:

    Chicago fele'  megyek.
    Chicago toward I:am:going
   'I am going towards Chicago.'

(b) approximate location:

    A   beva'sa'rlo'ko:zpont Chicago fele'  van.
    The shopping:center      Chicago toward is
   'The shopping center is on the way to Chicago.'

Edith Moravcsik

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion List for ALT [mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG] On
Behalf Of Gontzal Aldai
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:41 AM
Subject: Query: Case for ?approximate location?

Dear typologists,

Does anyone know of any language which has a specific case-marker or  
adposition for conveying (something like) ?approximate location?.  
Also, what kind of term is then used for referring to such a case.

One may think that the expression of path (e.g. ?perlative? case, ?a  
case expressing ?through?, ?across? or ?along?? Blake 1994: 204) may  
be somehow related to this idea of ?approximateness?. The same may  
also apply to directionals (?towards?) (cf. Creissels 2009: 618-619),  
and/or to ?circumlocationals? (?around?). However, all the cases just  
mentioned seem to be primarily related to movement (e.g. change of  
position), whereas I am looking for a case conveying location (e.g  

But now it would seem that this type of case has some particular  
property that makes them: a) be related to the concept of  
?approximateness? or ?roughliness? (?more-or-less-ness?), and b)  
(perhaps because of that) be readily applicable to both ?changes of  
position? and ?positions?. This may be exemplified by English  
?towards?, which can be applied no only to movement but also to  
locative contexts such as the following: ?you can find that example  
towards the end of page five?.

Does anybody know of any work examining the possibility that the idea  
of ?approximate change of position? may be associated with  
?approximate position? (or the other way around). Is there any  
established path relating these two concepts? Is there any  
(uni)directionality in this putative path?

Thanx in advance, G.A.

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