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Questions tagged [prepositions]

A class of words denoting temporal or spatial relations or other semantic roles. They are placed before the noun phrase they modify.

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Term For A Prepositional Phrase With A Verb?

I know this is an adjectival prepositional phrase: I like the girl next to him. And I know this is an adverbial prepositional phrase: I went to the store. But what is the term for this? It's a ...
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1answer
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Where can I find an analysis of the semantic overlap of English “to have” and “with”?

For years I've understood via my native speaker intuition and my interest in languages and linguistics that the preposition "with" can carry the semantic meaning of the verb "to have". The man who ...
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2answers
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Why is the preposition treated as the head of a prepositional phrase?

What are the theoretical reasons for treating the preposition as the head of a prepositional phrase? (Noun as head of NP sounds fine intuitively, but the same does not apply to prepositions in ...
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127 views

What languages do without “to”

I'm trying to figure out what the meaning of to is. By that I mean, what is it's deeper grammatical structure. Knowing that it is a preposition (a pre-position), an infinitive marker, or an adverb isn'...
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Latest research on the meaning of prepositions

Trying to understand what a preposition is. Wikipedia gives some hints (adpositions are the general case of preposition/postposition/circumposition): ...Adpositions are classed as syntactic ...
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How to differentiate between adjuncts and complements? Specifically when the sentence has two prepositional phrases [duplicate]

When a sentence has 2 prepositional phrases, how I can determine whether the second prepositional phrase is a complement of the first prepositional phrase or it's an adjunct to the whole sentence? ...
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English verbs requiring PP

Are there a set of English verbs that require a prepositional phrase? For example: "The set consists of A and B." = GOOD "The set consists" = BAD Is there a name for this type of verb? They seem to ...
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134 views

Ago and on vs. in

Consider the phrase a month in in the following sentences: [1] a. Richmond turned nineteen his third week in Vietnam. A̲l̲m̲o̲s̲t̲ ̲a̲ ̲m̲o&...
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How does Tok Pisin get by with just a few prepositions?

I know the language only has 'two' prepositions (though there seems to be a some dispute to that). Regardless, the two prepositions 'long' and 'bilong' seem to be quite broad in definition. I do ...
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A sort/type/kind of N. Which is the head?

Let's take the example 'A kiwi is [a type of bird]'. Page 109 of this book https://faculty.mu.edu.sa/public/uploads/1367260110.5528Understanding%20Syntax.pdf sais that the head of a phrase: A. Has ...
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Is there such a thing as a “floating preposition”?

Floating quantifiers are quantifiers that can move away from the corresponding noun, such as "each" in "The boys hit each other" where it modifies "The boys". I am interested in prepositions in these ...
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Description of various placements of PPs in a syntax tree

How would you describe the difference in modifications a PP can make to a VP i.e. [I want to visit them][before this time] versus [I want to [visit them before this time]] I understand there is ...
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Are there any languages that either effectively don't have verbs or that somehow get around using a “standard” verb system?

By this, I'm asking whether there are languages (natural or constructed) which somehow function without verbs, relying instead upon other types of words like prepositions or something like that. ...
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2answers
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How could we say it is a “object” by the definition?

The Object is a noun or a pronoun that receives an action in a sentence. There are three types namely Diect object,Indirect object and Object of a preposition. Both direct object and indirect object ...
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The place of “isolated” nominal and prepositional elements/groups within a transitivity analysis

What is the place of "isolated" (i.e. "standing alone") nominal and prepositional elements/groups within a transitivity analysis (i.e. there is no mention of an explicit process), and how can one ...
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1answer
175 views

Case assignment with prepositions

Consider these examples: 'I am happy with my parents' my parents gets assigned Case by 'with'. *'I am proud with my parents' My question is as follows: What is the reasoning for 2 being ...
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1answer
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generic definite article with uncountable/mass nouns after preposition 'of' indicating material

The 'generic' subclass of the definite article treated in the pag. 112, section 1.12.3.1 of the Modern Written Arabic: A Comprehensive Grammar reads as follows "it denotes a generic meaning مائدة من ...
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What kind of phrase is “until recently”?

I learned about prepositions: they establish a relation with two words the preposition is followed by an object -the object of a prepositional phrase is made by a noun phrase However, I don't know ...
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Is the word “here” a preposition?

In a related question, I got entangled in a debate whether the word "here" (which I would classify readily as an adverb) is in reality a preposition. I am curious which modern analyses find ...
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Idiomatic modifiers that have completely different impact on the same word

I'm thinking about similarly-formed idiomatic constructs like this cluster: 'Put up' - (#1) to allow someone to reside, usually in an ad-hoc temporary manner ('He put up John and I put up Mike; it ...
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2answers
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'Before'/'after' as a spatial metaphor: is the opposite possible?

In English (and, apparently, most Indo-European languages, if not in all), a common trait can be noticed concerning the prepositions/adverbs of temporal reference: 'before' and (to a lesser extent in ...
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Do there exist languages with wh-prepositions?

I can imagine a language where instead of "what did you put a toy on?" one says something like "whon did you put a toy?". Do such languages exist?
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Difference between particle and adverb in English

Some dictionaries such as Cambridge Online Dictionary defines the word particle as a word or a part of a word that has a grammatical purpose but often has little or no meaning: In the sentence "I ...
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Is there a study of contemporary changes in V+preposition constructions

I am interested in knowing of any studies of historical changes to verb plus PP constructions in contemporary English. An example is the rise of constructions like "advocate for NP", e.g. "He's ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between a conjunction and a preposition?

What exactly is the difference between them? I've seen people say that prepositions connect words and conjunctions connect syntagms and clauses. Is this definition accurate? Is there any linguist who ...
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Why does English use different prepositions for different units of time?

Why do we say at six o'clock, on Monday, in 1996? Is there a deeper logic here than simply "that's how the English language works?"
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What is some standard analysis for “Look me in the eye”

I am looking for hints where to find a ("standard") analysis of something like this english dative construction: Look me in the eye Clearly, the "the" in this phrase is semantically scoped BY the me ...
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The function of prepositional phrases

I'm looking at the function of prepositional phrases within a sentence, and particularly in this example as a part of a verb phrase. The example I have is: I remember the precise moment, crouching ...
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1answer
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How does 'envisager de' presuppose nothing situational, but 'hésiter à' does?

Source: p 177, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives (...
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1answer
53 views

« essayé de s’évader » : How does « essayer de » not presuppose « s'evader »? [closed]

Source: p 175, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives (...
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What special relationship does 'de' reveal between a main verb and the infinitive?

Source: pp 367-368, The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics ...
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How does the French preposition 'de' connect to alienable possession? [closed]

Source: The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited by ...
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Why does “before” mean both “in front of” and “prior to”?

The word "before" means both "in front of" and "prior to". Not only in English though - in many European languages: in Dutch "voor" means both in Italian "prima" can mean both (afaik) in French "(en) ...
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Classification of adjuncts in preposition phrases

In the sentence "the mad cow jumped right over the moon", the adjunct 'right' modifies the preposition 'over' in the preposition phrase 'right over the moon'. As the adjunct 'mad' to 'cow' is an ...
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How does the prefix 'ad-' function in 'attribute'?

attribute (v.) [<--] late 14c., "assign, bestow," from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere "assign to, add, bestow;" figuratively "to attribute, ascribe, impute," from ad- "to" +...
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Why can 'notwithstanding' be positioned before or after the object without changing meaning?

Please explain 'notwithstanding', only in terms of the adverb 'not' and the root verb 'withstand'. [ Grammarist: ] Notwithstanding is mainly a preposition meaning in spite of. Most dictionaries ...
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Preposition vs. Subordinating Conjunction in English

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Huddleston & Pullum), which was published in 2002, expanded the scope of the part of speech "preposition" to such a great extent that a significant ...
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Why do Spanish and other Romance Languages use the preposition “a” for culinary styles?

I've looked in the Real Academia Española dictionary and I can't find any information regarding why Spanish uses the preposition a for cooking styles, and I've noticed French and Italian do it too. I ...
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The complement of postmodifying prepositional phrases compounded by “and”

How does one parse "the need for and development of education"? "Education" naturally acts as the complement of both the prepositions "for" and "of", and the prepositions surely postmodify the nouns ...
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When do you use 'in' vs 'by' when talking about payments and transactions [closed]

When talking about buying things and making payments for them etc... what context would you use "in" vs"by" when referring to the payment. For example... She paid by credit card. (felicitous) She ...
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What motivates / allows preposition stranding in English, but disallows it in other languages, like Mandarin?

If someone could direct me to papers/sites that describe this, and a summary or something, that would be great. It is just a parameter for languages? What do linguists think so far? Example: "Which ...
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What aspect or feature do “over TIME” constructions have?

I have been searching around but as far as I can tell there is no established name for the aspect demonstrated by sentences such as: "I'll read this report over the weekend." "The debt has ...
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0answers
130 views

Given that Tok Pisin has only two prepositions, how does it express a range of relations? [duplicate]

A recent question discussing minimal sets of prepositions gained an answer that that Tok Pisin, the English-based creole used as national language and lingua franca of Papua New Guinea has only two ...
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1answer
340 views

Minimal set of prepositions

How many and which prepositions do you need to express everything that prepositions can express. In "Alice goes under the line" and "Alice goes over the line" you could solve both cases with the ...
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1answer
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What are the terms for a) the constituent before a preposition and b) the constituent after a preposition?

Consider phrases such as these: "Joe from France" "Transport of wheat" "Walking to Berlin Are there specific grammatical terms for a) the constituent that occurs immediately before a preposition ...
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What makes the “an” a determiner in one situation and a preposition in another in English?

The "an" word is usually a determiner: I will be ready in an hour. It can also be used as a preposition with the meaning of "per": My rate is $10 an hour. How can I tell in each particular situation ...
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Did the Greek adverb for “late” evolve into a preposition meaning “after”?

The Greek work opse meant late in Homer. By the time of Philostratus (3rd c. A.D.) it sometimes had the meaning of too late. Of course, if someone arrives too late for an event, they arrive "after" ...
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Term for the modified part of a prepositional complement

A prepositional complement is the noun phrase that follows a preposition. So, given sentences like John saw the woman with an umbrella. and John saw the moon with a telescope. The ...
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Indo-European prepositions: why prepositions?

In a related but different question to Indo-European prepositions: whence did they come?, why do just about all modern Indo-European languages have prepositions rather than postpositions? PIE is ...
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How usual is it for languages to have both prepositions and postpositions?

It has seemed to me (though I might be wrong) that languages usually take either prepositions (English, German, Spanish) or postpositions (Japanese, Hungarian, Turkish). (Yes I know sometimes a ...