The language has very few prepositions. They are
(n)a, which marks general location, fu, which marks possession, and gi, which introduces a range of semantic roles such as recipient, beneficiary, experiencer etc. (note that gi developed from a serial verb; see Migge 1998). (N)a subcategorizes for an NP consisting either of a location-denoting noun (na + NP [DET N]), e.g.
Mi de na a kantoo.
I COP LOC DET.SG office
'I'm at the office.'
or a location-denoting noun that is in a possessive relationship with a small set of locational nouns (na NP [NP N(+LOC)], e.g.
a buku de na a tafaa ondoo.
DET.SG book COP LOC DET.SG table under.side
'The book is under the table.'
Some of these locational nouns may also function as prepositions together with (n)a N(+LOC) NP, e.g.
a ini a osu (ini)
LOC inside DEF house (inside)
'in the house.'
(N)a is the general locative preposition while ini, tapu etc. are locative nouns. A ini together can be translated as 'in' in English but the literal translation would be more accurately rendered as 'at-inside'. These locational nouns/prepositions are undergoing change; they are nouns that specify location but they are also moved from the phrase final position to the position just behind the general locational preposition na. It is unclear how to classify them then; in Sranan the change has gone so far that na is then omitted entirely giving rise to constructions where these items function simply as a preposition. E.g. skrifi en tapu a pampira 'write it on the paper' instead of sikrifi en na a papira tapu. This change in progress is probably propelled by contact with Dutch in the case of Sranan and contact with Sranan and Dutch in the case of Nengee. See Bryun, Adrienne. 1995. Grammaticalization in Creoles: The development of determiners and relative clauses in Sranan. Dortrecht: ICG printing. The discussion (from a historical perspective is on pp. 241-253.
Source: Conversational data PM 29