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How did "op" come to mean "on"?

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This may be an odd question, but I was doing a bit of research into the Germanic prepositions and where they come from and found something interesting and perplexing. English "up", German "auf" and Dutch "op" (to name only only a few from the Germanic languages of today) all come from Proto-Germanic ūp / upp which seems to have been used primarily as an adverb instead of a preposition. As such, each of these languages has distinctions in usage for their cognates depending on whether it is used as an adverb or a preposition.

In Dutch, I was surprised to find that the adverbial usages are mostly related to "up" while the prepositional ones are "on". For English these two senses remain separate to the point that in oder to get this sense only the word "upon" (which really does just come from adverbial "up" and prepositional "on") seems appropriate.

So I thought I'd ask here to see if there are any out there with greater resources than I who could shed some light on how this sense evolved, especially since the cognate for "on" is "aan" (which can mean "on" as well as other prepositions).

5
1 year ago
1

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