|Chapter 11 - The Prepositions|
Inventory on the prepositions :
- Prepositions do not exist as such in the Somali language.
- Nevertheless, there are two equivalents of "prepositions" as we understand them in English :
- Locative and relational preverbal particles
- Possessive phrases
The locative and relational preverbal particles :
Somali preverbal locative and relational particles often play a role similar to that of English "prepositions".
There are 4 locative and 4 relational preverbal particles in Somali.
Table locative and relational preverbal particles
|Locative particles||Relationship particles|
|ú||to, for||sóo||in the direction of the speaker|
|kú||in, into, on, at, with, by means of||síi||away from the speaker|
|ká||from, away from, out of||wada||together, towards each other (with plural subjects/objects)|
|lá||in company with||kala||apart, away from each other, separately|
|= He went out of the room|
|= Put it into the suitcase|
|= Close the door !|
Possessive phrases :
Other preposition-like functions are fulfilled by verbs or nouns.
One construction particularly worthy of note involves locative or temporal nouns with a possessive, effectively used as postpositions :
Table of possessive phrases or "Postpositions"
after (space or time)
||in the middle of
||between, in the middle
||on top of
within (space or time)
||in front of
before (space or time)
|miiska agtiisa||= near the table||[the table his vicinity]|
|dekedda agteeda||= near the harbour||[the harbour her vicinity]|
|aqalka dabadiisa||= behind the house||[the house his behind]|
|kulaylka dartiisa||= because of the heat||[the heat his reason]|
|magalada debeddeeda||= outside the town||[the town her exterior]|
|jid dhexdiisa||= in the middle of a road||[a road his center]|
|awrta dhexdooda||= in the middle of the camels||[the camels their center]|
|miiska dushiisa||= on top of the table||[the table his surface]|
|albabka geestiisa||= beside the door||[the door his side]|
|daarta gudeheeda||= inside the building||[the building her interior]|
|markabka gudihiisa||= inside the ship||[the ship his interior]|
|sariirta hoosteeda||= under the bed||[the bed her bottom]|
|habeennimada horteeda||= before nightfall||[the night her front]|
As strange as this construction with a postposition may look, it is similar to the usual possessive construction in Somali, and in turn surprising similar to the possessive case construction in English !
|Cali walaashiis||= Ali's sister||[Ali his sister]|