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Prepositions

Prepositions are used to introduce phrases.  Prepositions link a target (the most recent subject or verb) with an object (the noun that immediately follows the preposition).

This lesson lists the prepositions.  Preposition prefixes, and the use of phrases to modify nouns, are described in the Noun Phrases lesson.  The use of phrases to modify verbs is described in the Verb Phrases lesson.

Prepositions may be enumerated, as described in the Numbers lesson.

List of Prepositions

Primal has 22 pairs of prepositions, plus one special preposition, for a total of 45 in all.  Two of these are called contractions (shaded in blue, below) and will be discussed in the (advanced) Prepositions II lesson.  Each remaining preposition pair consists of a base preposition and its opposite, which is the same word, except that it ends in ,j (ch).  The opposite preposition is usually the converse of the base.  This means that the opposite preposition is identical to the base, but with the target and object switched.  For example, the words "above" and "below" have converse meanings: "I am above you" means the same thing as "you are below me".

Some preposition pairs are reflexive (shaded in yellow, below).  This means the target and object can be reversed without any change in meaning.  For example, the words "near to" are reflexive in English: "I am near to you" means the same thing as "you are near to me".  For reflexive pairs, the opposite preposition is the inverse, or negative meaning, of the base.  For example, the inverse of "near to" would be "far from".

Prepositions can be divided into eight classes: dimensional, proximate, directional, causal, possession, comparison, conjunction, and the special preposition.  Here is the full list:

  Preposition Pronounced Meaning   Preposition Pronounced Meaning
DIMEN-
SIONAL
xy (shee) above   xyj (sheech) below
Jr (jur) in-front   Jrj (jurch) in-back
Wu (wuh) left   Wuj (wuhch) right
hr (hur) before   hrj (hurch) after
PROXI-
MATE
hy (hee) overlapping   hyj (heech) separate
,lw (looh) within   ,lwj (loohch) surrounding
Ri (rih) near-to   Rij (rihch) far-apart
DIREC-
TIONAL
Yi (yih) around   Yij (yihch) by-way-of
pw (pooh) to-target   pwj (poohch) from-source
CAUSAL jw (chooh) to-help-with   jwj (choohch) to-be-against
fw (fooh) therefore   fwj (foohch) because-of
POSS-
ESSIVE
nw (nooh) controlling   nwj (noohch) controlled-by
mw (mooh) owning   mwj (moohch) owned-by
su (suh) containing   suj (suhch) member-of
xuj (shuhch) phrase+
member-of
  Xuj (zhuhch) both+
member-of
COM-
PARATIVE
Qw (dthooh) more-than   Qwj (dthoohch) less-than
QC (dthauw) similar-to   QCj (dthauwch) different-than
CON-
JUNCTIVE
mu (muh) and   muj (muhch) neither-nor
hw (hooh) if-only   hwj (hoohch) exclusive-or
Dw (dzooh) whether   Dwj (dzoohch) whether-then
fi (fih) if   fij (fihch) if-then
Yu (yuh) and-or   Yuj (yuhch) not-both
SPECIAL Wi (wih) verb-with    

Location-Based Prepositions

The dimensional prepositions describe the location of the target relative to the object.  For example, Wy xy Yw. (wee shee yooh, "me above you.") means, "I am above you."  Prepositions hr (hur, "before") and hrj (hurch, "after") refer specifically to time, not to location.

The proximal prepositions describe "closeness".  They may refer to proximity in space, time, or in a more abstract sense, such as in English, "we are near to an agreement".

The directional prepositions define aim and motion, rather than position.  The preposition Yi (yih, "around") means "bypassing", "going around", or "circumventing".  Its inverse, Yij (yihch, "by-way-of"), means "by way of" or "encountering".  The preposition pw (pooh, "to-target") is a common preposition covered in detail in the Noun Phrases and Verb Phrases lessons.  Its converse, pwj (poohch, "from-source"), is similar to English "from".

Other Prepositions

The causal prepositions describe intent and causation.  The preposition jw (chooh, "to-help-with") is similar to English "in accordance with".  It indicates harmony or cooperation between target and object.  Its inverse, jwj (choohch, "to-be-against"), indicates disharmony or opposition.

The preposition fw (fooh, "therefore") indicates that the target causes the object to happen.  For example:

  • People cause mistakes: nufr fw nuHuj. (n'fur fooh n'khhuhch, "indefinite person therefore indefinite error.")

Similar in meaning, Primal has a verb that means "to cause", fPj (fairch, "cause"), and two conjunctions that can indicate dependence or causality, fi (fih, "if") and fij (fihch, "if-then").  The conjunctions are discussed in detail in the Verb Phrases lesson.  The compound preposition jwfw (chooh-fooh, "to-help-with therefore"), meaning "in order to cause", is also common.

The possessive prepositions define a ownership relationship between target and object, in varying degrees.  The preposition nw (nooh, "controlling") indicates that the target has control over or access to the object.  The preposition mw (mooh, "owning") indicates that the target has rightful ownership of the object.  The preposition su (suh, "containing") indicates that the object is a characteristic, or a part of, the target.  It is also the most common word in Primal.  The preposition su (suh, "containing") and its converse suj (suhch, "member-of") are discussed in depth in both the Noun Phrases and Verb Phrases lessons.

The comparative prepositions are covered in the (advanced) Prepositions II lesson.  Conjunctive prepositions and special preposition Wi (wih, "verb-with") are used with verbs, and are covered in the Verb Phrases lesson.

Compound Prepositions

Prepositions may be combined with each other or with unary suffixes to form compound prepositions.  The meaning of a compound preposition is applied from left to right (left being most significant).  A list of common compound prepositions appears in the (advanced) Prepositions II lesson.

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