1

for {English}   Etymology :
From Middle English for, from Old English for ‎(“for, on account of, for the sake of, through, because of, owing to, from, by reason of, as to, in order to”),
from [3.] Proto-Germanic * furi ‎(“for”), from [4.] Proto-Indo-European * peri- ‎(“around”).
Cognate with [...] Ancient Greek περί ‎(perí, “for, about, toward”) [...]

5. per {Latin}   Etymology :
From Proto-Indo-European * peri. Cognates include Ancient Greek περί ‎(perí), Sanskrit परि ‎(pári), Lithuanian per and English for.

Preposition :   1. (with accusative) through, by means of     2. (with accusative) during

I don't understand why linguists imputed 3 and 5 to 4, because (when at least expressed in English) 'for', 'around', and 'through; by means of' are completely unrelated in meaning.

So what metaphors or notions connect, explain and overlie 3, 4, and 5? Please expose and explain the hidden, missing semantic drifts and links.

  • Just a quick notice. Περί in Greek beside the spatial meaning, also designated "in regard to", "about" just as Latin "de". Widely used in in scientific works and dissertations, "Περί ποιετικης" - "About poetics". That meaning is certainly closer to "through", "owing to" etc. Might help. – czypsu Sep 6 '15 at 14:41
  • They're not at all unrelated. You're still thinking in word-follows-word terms, @Le, and not in metaphorical terms. They're the primitives that link prepositions together. Every one of these prepositions is a locative, and they all refer to movement and position of humans and objects with respect to Ego. From and to are so obvious they're grammaticalized as cases; motion of any sort is used for causation (another vague term we hafta use metaphors for), resulting in purpose phrases (to make sure, for doing such a good job). Humans view their experience as stories, along a path. – jlawler Sep 6 '15 at 15:54

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