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Adpositional Phrases
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How to say "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
This public article was written by Remy Remington Lucien on 15 Oct 2018, 15:30. Editing of this article is shared with A Priori Conlangers.

[comments] In English, prepositional phrases are formed by placing an adposition in front of a noun, such as in the phrase “In English”. In Ric, adpositions must be connected to a verb, and cannot exist without one. Adpositions are placed before the main verb they are connected to, and reference the object of the clause. In a clause containing a monotransitive verb, an adposition before the main verb will always refer to the object.

For example:

“I write on paper.”
Xi kaccoc omi kor.
1S paper.ACC on write

In a clause containing a ditransitive verb with a direct and indirect object, an adposition placed before the main verb references the direct object. This formation is optional and is primarily used in formal writing, most often the meaning of the statement is easily understood through context and with the help of the dative case.

For example, consider how the following statement can be written first formally and then informally in Ric:

“I write words on paper.”
Xi sepic kaccok omi kor.
1S word.PL.ACC paper.DAT on write
Xi sepic kaccok kor.
1S word.PL.ACC paper.DAT write

To add additional adpositional phrases to a statement, relative clauses must be added. As Ric has a standard word order of SOV, relative clauses are unmarked. Any clause which follows a verb and lacks a noun in the nominative case is interpreted as a relative clause. An adpositional phrase formed with a relative clause must contain a noun phrase in the accusative case and an adposition preceding the verb so, or “to be”, conjugated for the appropriate tense of the parent clause and inflected for the person and number of the subject of the parent clause. This form is used in both formal and informal speech, and an adpositional phrase within a relative clause lacking an adposition would not be understood by native speakers.

For example:

“I cautiously give the dangerous man my father's money at the predetermined square in front of the church.”
Xi xa def fa nicoc dacok kakaras akaco mes murroc openigolas ani so kol ramoc openi so.
1S 1.POSS father 3.POSS money.ACC man.DAT dangerous cautiously give plaza.ACC predetermined at be temple.ACC before be

In some circumstances, one might wish to describe an adpositional phrase with an ambiguous subject. While uncommon in Ric, this can sometimes be found in titles of things like literary works, just like in English. In these cases, where the subject is ambiguous, the relative clauses stand on their own. A title such as “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” would be translated in the format “aeroplane in be sea over be” with both “aeroplane” and “sea” in the accusative case. The verb so in these cases remains in the first person singular form, and most often in the present tense.

Though, as the Ric people do not have airplanes, they would likely say:

“In the flight machine over the sea.”
*O acul ganoc ami so pasoc ajo so.
INDEF fly machine.ACC in be sea.ACC over be

And that is all there is to be said about adpositional phrases in Ric. There is no limit to the number of adpositional relative clauses one can add to a statement, though too many in a single sentence would be perceived as sloppy and disorganized writing by native Ric speakers. Now go forth and clarify the locations of your nouns!

*A verbal noun preceding another noun indicates the noun performs that verb or is used to perform that verb. Verbal nouns are formed by placing the indefinite article o in front of the infinitive form of the verb. In the above example, the verb acul meaning “to fly” becomes o acul meaning “the act of flying”, which when placed in front of the noun gan meaning “machine” becomes the modifier “flight”. Thus, o acul gan is read as “flight machine” or “machine that flies/machine used for flying”.
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