Grammar: writing 2 words one above the other
Now we examine respectly define, what it means, if we write 2 lexical words of the phonetic picture-writing (words for visual things, no grammar particles) one above the other in a column. It always means, that both things, in the subjective view of the writer, are vertically very near. But the real, objective situation may be very different:
1: fir - sun "The sun is over a fir" Both things are far away from each other. 2: glass (with stem) - human face "Above a glass with stem one can see a human face" Both things ar closely together (Maybe the man is holding the glass, or it is standing before him on a table.) 3: piece of furniture - dish "On a piece of furniture there's a dish" Here both things are touching, one is positioned on the other. 4: vase - tulip: "In a vase there's a tulip" Here both things overlap, the tulip partially is in the vase. 5: dish - water "There's a dish with water" The water is completely contained in the dish (but not covered on top). (According as the above combinations of 2 words are a single sentences, or part of a sentence (image), the translation into English differs slightly). Here some more examples for the case "A thing partially contains another one": 1: dish - bunch of grapes "dish with a bunch of grapes" 2: nest - brooding bird "nest with brooding bird" In the examples 1 and 2 the thing below partially contains the thing above. In the examples 3 and 6 it's converse, the thing above partially covers the thing below: 3: toilet - sitting man "man sitting on toilet" 4: water surface - sailing ship "ship with square sails on the water" The water partially contains the ship (the lower part of the hull) 5: shelf - dishes "shelf with dishes" 6: egghead - hat "egghead with hat" 7: embracing hand - burning candle "hand holding a burning candle"
We abstract the above examples into a grammatical rule:
let off - rule: The relation of 2 words for
physical things (no grammar particles) in the same column is defined so:
Bring (in mind) both things into the shown position (that is, one above the other) and let them off. The position respectly relation, which they now would achieve in reality, is defined as the meaning of this grouping.
That means: The sun doesn't change its position anyhow after letting it off (in mind). But the dish would fall on the piece of furniture, the tulip into the vase, the water into the dish, the ship onto / into the water, the hat onto the head, the candle into the open hand.
About the last example, don't be too particular, even less about the example with the shelf: According to the let off -rule, the dishes were only on top of the shelf - but here on may imagine the dishes also partially within the shelf.
If a container is closed on top, e.g. a cupboard, a following word never means that this thing is in the container: 'cupboard dish' means "dish on cupboard" (not "dish in cupboard": in this case, one additionally had to use the word 'contain').
Trees are thougth to be open on top, closed at bottom: The word sequence 'tree - nest' mostly means "nest in tree": According to the let off - rule the nest would be caught by the branches somewhere in the tree. Actually, nests mostly are in trees, for better protection, seldom on top.
The use of the mechanisms described here is free update: 22.8.2006