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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Bird's-Eye View of Teutonic Grammar   305
With stetgen or klettern (both of which mean chmb) the use of the two
forms depends on whether the speakei is at the top or at the bottom of
the tree If at the bottom he (or she) says Klettern Sie hmauf> if at the
top, Klettern Sie herauf Both mean climb up, and the distinction reveals
nothing which is not made explicit by the context
One way in which the German language indicates location and
motion has no parallel in other modern Teutonic languages nor in
French and Spanish It is a relic from a very remote past. We have
seen (p. 262) that a set of rune prepositions (an, up, to or at, aufs on,
hmter> behind, m, neben, near to, uber over or across, unter below or
under, vor before, zvnschen between) sometimes precede a dative and
sometimes an accusative case-form If the verb implies rest the pre-
scribed case-form is the dative, if it implies motion, the accusative, e g 
er stand unter dem Fenster       he stood below the window
er trot unter das Fenster          he stepped below the window.
The distinction is not always so easy to detect, as in
seine Hosen hangen an der Wand   his trousers are hanging on the wall
er hangt das Bild an die Wand       he is hanging the picture on the wall
Still more subtle is the difference between*
Sie tanzte vor ihm          she danced in front of him
Sie tanzte vor ihn           she danced right up to him
Even when the German signs his name, the case-form has to obey the
movement of the penholder, as in er schretbt seinen Namen auf das
Dokument (he is writing his name on the document).
Germans often supplement a more or less vague preposition with a
more explicit adverb \vhich follows the noun Such characteristically
German prolixity is illustrated by.
er sieht zum Fenster hmaus       he is looking through the window.
er geht urn den See herum         he is walking round the lake
Thus a simple direction may be supersaturated with particles which are
at least fifty per cent redundant, e g vom Dorfe aus gehen Sie auf den
Wald zu3 und von dort aus uber die Brucke hmuber, nach dem kleinen See
hin (You go up towards the forest and thence across the bridge towards
the little lake) The separable combination nach hm within the sen-
tence and the corresponding nach her> both meaning towards^ must be
memorized The preposition nach is equivalent to after in a purely
tempoial sense, illustrated previously, as is the inseparable adverb
nachher (afterwards) When nach precedes a place-name it signifies to,