Adposition: A Key Part Of Speech

Adposition is a linguistics concept that is quite hard to define. It can be classified in three groups. First of all, there are the prepositions that all of us are very familiar with because English is a prepositional language. You know those tiny little words that need to put before a nouns or other words to have a meaning. English language has a lot of these so we can take a look at these prepositions to get an idea on what an adposition is. For example, we have “in”, “on”, “at” in English and all of these words tell us that something is located somewhere or some action is taking place in that location. This is called the locative case and these prepositions do the job of creating that meaning in the sentence. Yet, they do not mean anything on their own. This is what an adposition is. It is a word that does not refer to an object or other concept on its own but one that must be present in the sentence in order to sentence to have a clear meaning. Let us now look at some examples in other languages.

Arabic is another language in which you can find a ton of prepositions. Arabic has some cases for its nouns including the accusative and the dative. That said, those case declensions cannot give all different sorts of meanings on their own and prepositions are required. The prepositions do that job and they can also be used to tell that two things are together or one belongs to another. All in all, Arabic is on of the richest languages when it comes to prepositions.

It is hard to give an example of postpositional languages where the adposition is uttered after the noun, ususally with the inclusion of a genitive case. One such language could be Pashto. It is an Iranian Language that is related to Persian, though no one could guess the two to have a common ancestor but they do. Both languages have many grat examples of adpositionsbut Pashto in unique because it has postpositions. What makes Pashto even more interesting is the fact that it also has some circumpositions. That means an adposition that is made of two parts. One part comes before the noun and the other comes after it. Both parts of the circumposition must be present for the sentence to have a proper, grammatically correct structure.

In short, nearly every language in the world has adpositional structures and they are a required part of speech. We can learn a lot about prepositions and postpositions by scrutinizing the various languages in different corners of the world.