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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11
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
9
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3answers
721 views

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 ...
8
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6answers
775 views

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?
8
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4answers
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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 ...
7
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2answers
345 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
264 views

Preposition and postposition at the same time?

In sentences like two days before Easter, "Easter" is the complement of the preposition "before", but what about the complement "two days"? Seeing that we can also say ...
6
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0answers
218 views

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. ...
6
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2answers
219 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&...
5
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6answers
1k views

What is the difference between case and adpositions?

The preposition expressions like "on top of the table", "under the tree", "above the building" are very well understood. Comparing these with the Germany noun cases "auf dem Tisch", "unter dem Baum", "...
5
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3answers
303 views

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" ...
5
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1answer
228 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
149 views

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?"
4
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
133 views

Whence אֶת between partners' names?

The word אֶת /et/ is used with the following meanings: In Biblical Hebrew, it means "with". In modern Hebrew it survives, but only with a complement-of-the-preposition pronoun suffix: "with me", "...
4
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1answer
185 views

Is “of the kitten” in “the paw of the kitten” a complement to the NP or an adjunct to the DP?

I'm drawing a tree for "the paw of the kitten" (from chapter 7 of Andrew Carnie's Syntax: A Generative Introduction). This chapter is "extending X-bar theory", so please keep that ...
4
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1answer
842 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
509 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
191 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
260 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
318 views

'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 ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Antecedents of prepositions and adverbs

It seems that some prepositions and clausal adverbs have antecedents while others do not – for example because and therefore require antecedents, while in and clearly do not. I was wondering whether ...
3
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1answer
319 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 ...
3
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1answer
80 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
153 views

Case in English phrase “friend of mine”

In English phrases like Jesse is a friend of mine/*of me the case of the word "mine" is not the oblique ("me") which usually occurs with prepositions ("That's a part of me that you don't see too ...
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5answers
2k views

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) ...
2
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1answer
51 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
171 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
71 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
384 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
114 views

Can prepositions take raised objects in English?

In English, some verbs are said to take raised objects as in: I believe you to be seriously mistaken. Here, the verb believe takes you as a raised object. Can the same be said about prepositions? ...
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0answers
40 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
72 views

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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3answers
364 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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3answers
1k views

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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3answers
3k views

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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2answers
148 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
135 views

Is “Since + clause” a noun clause or adverbial clause in this phrase?

I wanted to know if "since + clause" was an adverbial clause or noun clause in the phrase or after the phrase "it's been a while since I've seen you.". I was thinking “it's been … ...
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2answers
553 views

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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0answers
54 views

Substituting prepositional phrases

In English, if you take the sentence behind the house was untidy, what is untidy is really an area behind the house – so assuming for now that behind the house can be regarded as the subject of the ...
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0answers
24 views

Has there been any development or long lasting influence of Leonard Talmy's work?

I've read some of Talmy's work particularly that of his semantic analysis of the spatial organization inherent in the meaning of prepositions like "across","around" or "over" among others. I've found ...
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0answers
35 views

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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0answers
53 views

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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0answers
53 views

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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3answers
130 views

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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0answers
77 views

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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0answers
38 views

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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0answers
350 views

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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0answers
197 views

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 ...