The located object is included or contained in the reference object. In Norwegian, interiority of the located object is indicated by the prepositions 'i' and 'innenfor', i having a slightly broader meaning.
Before going on with Norwegian prepositions, we will show how some chosen Danish prepositions, denoting the concept interiority, can express location and movement.
In Danish there are two different options when one wants to express interiority and motion; [motion verb]+'ind i' and [motion verb]+'inde i'. The difference between the meanings of those two forms are whether a locomotion or a single motion is denoted. If only the 'i' is used, the verb does not express locomotion, that is motion along a path as opposed to motion in a given space.
In the following example, locomotion is denoted, and so is a goal (livingroom). The path is, however, only indicated. Please note, that the first preposition ind is carrying the directional meaning component.
Jeg sætter mig ind i stuen.
“I will go sit in the livingroom.”
The speakerf in the above phrase will change location from where he is located at the point of utterance to enter the interior of the living room where he will sit down. Interiority is expressed by the preposition 'i' together with the preposition 'ind'. The presence of a path concept is introduced by the motion verb and the preposition 'ind'. Please compare this state of affairs with:
Jeg sætter mig inde i stuen.
“I will sit down in the livingroom. / I will go sit down in the livingroom.”
Here the "I" is announcing that he will sit down in the livingroom. It is not specified whether the speaker will have to change scene in order to sit down in the living room, or if he is already in the living room when announcing that he will sit down. The interiority is expressed by the preposition 'i' together with the preposition 'inde', the latter of which does not specify whether the agent changes scene.
In both these phrases "stuen" (the living room) is the reference object through the whole phrase, and the "jeg" (I) is the located object.
Jeg sætter mig // ind i stuen.
Jeg sætter mig // inde i stuen.
In the following phrase we see a change of reference object inside the same phrase:
Jeg sætter mig ud i haven.
“I will go sit outside in the garden.”
The exteriority expressed by 'ud' indicates that the goal (haven/garden) is exterior in relation to the speakers location upon uttering the phrase. The speakers location is thus the the reference object in the beginning of the phrase. The 'i' refers to the interiority of the garden, and in this way the garden becomes the reference object in the second part of the phrase. The located/allocated object remains the 'jeg' (I) through the whole phrase. The interiority expressed by the 'i' shows that the speaker when having reached the goal of the movement, will be in the interior of the garden area where the action of sitting down will take place.
Jeg sætter mig ud // i haven.
A construction where "ud", together with a verb, denotes singlemotion and is follwed by an interiority denotiong preposition, is hard to find in Danish - at least it is hard to find a situation where the message contained in such a construction would be relevant to communicate. If the phrase below should be contain relevant information, it should be taken as expressing locomotion (like the above phrase containing the preposition 'inde', this phrase could express single motion as well as it could express locomotion). It might seem irrelevant for a hearer to be told that the speaker located outside in the garden, is about to sit down. The meaning of the first translation of the phrase below is thus most acceptable to me as a native speaker.
Jeg sætter mig ude i haven.
“I will go sit outside in the garden. /I will sitt down in the garden.”
A more common construction would be exterioroty and interioroty together with a steady location of the located object. For this reason I will use "sit" in its non-reflexive form which does not indicate a sitting down movement, but a state of sitting down.
Jeg sidder ude i haven.
“I am sitting outside in the garden.”
Please note, that 'ude' denotes exteriority, and 'i' denotes interiority.
Since a figure cannot be occupy the space interior to a ground at the same time as occupying the space exterior to that ground, there must be a change of ground throughout the phrase.
In the beginning of the phrase, the hearer's location is the reference object (though not overtly expressed, please see our chapter on deixis) and after 'ude', the garden is the reference object. This tells us, that the hearer must be located in a place in relation to which the garden is exterior. Or seen from another point of view; the speaker empathizes that his location is exterior to the location of the person who is to receive the message, and at the same time he is conveying that he himself is interior the boarders of the garden-area. Please compare with where the reference object is the garden through the whole phrase, and no exteriority is expressed:
Jeg sidder i haven.
“I am sitting in the garden.”
In both of the immediately above phrases, the speaker is located at the space occupying the interior of the garden. The only difference is that in the former, he is in addition to conveying his location in the garden, he is also conveying his and the garden's exterior location in relation to the hearer.
The Norwegian preposition "i" denotes interiority, which can be both partial or total. There is total interiority when the located object is totally contained in the reference object and the other is when the located object is partially contained.
A Norwegian sentence could be "Jenta sitter i rommet", "The girl is sitting in the room". Here the located object is "jenta" and the reference object is "rommet". Here the located object is meant to be totally contained. In the sentence "papirene er i boksen", "the papers are in the box", where the papers are a bit outside the box as well as inside it, so there is partial interiority. "Papirene" is the located object and "boksen" is the reference object.
A third sentence showing the preposition used in a conceptual sense could be "De var i live etter bilulykken", which means "they were alive after the car accident". Here we have a located object, "de", and a reference object "live". However "i live" together form an expression meaning "alive" and you can't say that "live" is a physical location.
"Innenfor" is another Norwegian preposition signaling interiority. Here the reference object is an enclosed space, and the located object is interior to the reference object. An example might be "Butikkene er innenfor det sentrale byområdet", which means "the shops are inside the central city area". Here the located object "butikkene" and the reference object "det sentrale byområdet", are in a relationship of interiority with each other. It is a physically enclosed location here, namely the city area.
"inne i" is an expression signaling that the located object is interior to the reference object, as "hunden ligger i hundehuset", "the dog lies in the dog house". The located object is "hunden" and the reference object is "hundehuset".
"inn i": This is an expression where the located object normally is moving into the reference object, as in "mannen går inn i bilen", which means "the man walks into the car". So here we have an example of locomotion into a physical reference object.
"inni" is an expression signaling like "inne i", that the located object is in the reference object, or that the located object moves into the reference object. So we could well replace "inn i" and "inne i" in the previous examples with "inni".
Back to Classroom:NTNU, LING1113 (2009) - Motion and Space