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The so-called relators, which are monosyllable nouns that mainly signify places, times or relative locations in space and time, form a subclass of nouns with a manyfolded syntactical usage: they act as plain nouns, as linking nouns or as adverbs. In the latter case, they are cliticised, otherwise they have full stress.
When used as plain nouns, relators have the same functional range as all nouns, including the adjectival and adverbial usage.
As linking nouns, relators are interposed between a noun in the genitive case and a postposition, to further specify the meaning of the postposition. As usual, the relator shows cross-referencing of the genitive NP but, unlike plain nouns, a relator cannot be qualified in any way.
As adverbs, relators are cliticised onto postposition, again to further specify the meaning of the postposition.
The semantics of linking nouns vs. cliticised adverbs are still to be discussed.
| Arden Reference Grammar > Syntax > Relator nouns | Previous | Next |Copyright © 1998-2001 Jean-François Smith & Tommaso Donnarumma