At this point in our studies of D'ni, we've learned about and worked with many parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and conjunctions. There is one remaining part of speech left to introduce — prepositions. These little words enrich the D'ni language with phrases that, like adjectives and adverbs, modify other parts of a sentence. In fact, these phrases can be classified according to whether they play an adjectival or adverbial role in the sentence.
Like adjectives and adverbs, prepositions have only one form and do not change to agree with the word(s) they modify. However, unlike most D'ni words, English prepositions and D'ni prepositions do not translate one-to-one; a single D'ni preposition may cover a number of English ones, while a single English preposition may translate into any number of D'ni words, depending on the inflection in meaning.
Phrases formed with prepositions, called prepositional phrases, always follow a common pattern: first comes the preposition, then a noun, then any modifiers. A verb will never appear in a prepositional phrase.
A number of D'ni prepositions take the form of a consonant plus e: te, be, me, ke. When this kind of preposition opens a prepositional phrase, it often is turned into a prefix and contracted, such that the preposition is attached to the noun and a ' replaces the e. The one exception to this is when the preposition occurs in front of the article re, where the ' and/or e are dropped altogether.
Other prepositions not of this form, like ben and xo, are never contracted and predominantly stand as full, independent words in the sentence. Regardless of how the preposition is written, the phrase it forms should always be considered a closed unit — the phrase in its entirety will obey modifier word order and, while adjustable internally, should never be split up with words external to the phrase itself.