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This page pertains to UD version 2.

ADP: adposition


Classical Armenian has prepositions, postpositions, and circumpositions. Prepositions զ/z, ց/ and յ/y (an antevocalic form of ի/i) are spelled together with the following word but are treated as separate tokens. Some adpositions are fossilized case forms of nouns, cf. պատճառաւ ‘because’ (used with a noun in the genitive), which coincides with the instrumental case of պատճառ ‘cause’.

The word զ/z is grammaticalized as a marker of referential prominence (definiteness) when added to the direct object in the accusative case. Although this use is functionally close to a definite article and could be classified as a determiner in UD, it is annotated as an adposition for the sake of consistency with expressions where z= is combined with other cases.

When a noun phrase contains a modifier, prepositions can be repeated before each of the constituents of the noun phrase (see Meyer 2023). This occurs more often when the modifier follows the noun, in which case it is also typically inflected in case and number (see ADJ on the declension of adjectives). By convention when a noun phrase with an adnominal modifier contains only one preposition (e.g. ընդ այն ճանապարհ / ənd ayn čanaparh “by that way”), the latter is linked to the head of the noun phrase by the case relation. When the preposition is repeated (e.g. ընդ աւուրսն ընդ այնոսիկ / ənd awowrsn ənd aynosik “in those (in) days”), its instances are linked by the case relation to the nominal head and its modifier.

Complex prepositions form multiword expressions. The status of component words is accounted for in the syntactic annotation: the subsequent word is linked to the first one by the fixed relation. All component words are tagged as ADP (even in the case of foscilized prepositional phrases). A complex preposition can be disrupted by a head noun, in which case it turn into a circumposition and its component words are linked to the head nominal by the case relation, cf. յորոյ վերայ քաղաքն նոցա շինեալ էր / yoroy veray kʻałakʻn nocʻa šineal ēr “on which their city had been built” (Lk. 4:29) next to a complex preposition ի վերայ/i veray “upon”, or վայ այնմիկ է յոյր ձեռն գայցէ / vay aynmik ē yoyr jeṙn gaycʻē “woe to one through whom they come” (Lk. 17:1) next to ի ձեռն/i jeṙn “by means of” (literally “to hand”).

A special case of complex adpositions are combinations of prepositional construction with demonstrative local adverbs that reinforce the meaning of the preceding construction, cf. էջ ի լեռնէ անտի / ēǰ i leṙnē anti “he came down from the mountain” (Mt. 8:1). When used in this function, local adverbs are tagged ADP, linked to the modified nominal by the case relation, and function as constituents of circumposition. With that, they express a three-way Deixis distinction.



Jensen, Hans. 1959. Altarmenische Grammatik. Heidelberg: Winter.

Klein, Jared. 2017. The syntax of Armenian. In: Jared Klein et al. (eds.), Handbook of comparative and historical Indo-European linguistics. Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter: 1097‒1115.

Meillet, Antoine. 1913. Altarmenisches Elementarbuch. Heidelberg: Winters (Internet Archive)

Meyer, Robin. 2023. Die Präfixaufnahme von z= im Altarmenischen. Armeniaca. International Journal of Armenian Studies 2: 41-58.

ADP in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cy] [da] [el] [en] [es] [et] [fi] [fro] [fr] [ga] [gn] [grc] [gub] [hu] [hy] [it] [ja] [ka] [kk] [kpv] [ky] [myv] [no] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tpn] [tr] [tt] [uk] [u] [urj] [xcl] [yue] [zh]