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Contents:
  1. Andrea Tyler: Georgetown University
  2. The Semantics of English Prepositions
  3. Evans, Vyvyan

Using a cognitive linguistics perspective, this book provides a comprehensive, theoretical analysis of the semantics of English prepositions.


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All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically grounded in the nature of human spatio-physical experience.


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Addendum: of as a Functional Morpheme is too polysemous for me to query each individual meaning. Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need.

Andrea Tyler: Georgetown University

See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center , please edit the question.

There really isn't a great deal of "big picture" left. Of is just a shadow of its former lexical self.

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The Semantics of English Prepositions

Originally, it came from the dual facts of separation -- A off B -- and relation -- A of B. So of sounds exactly like the -'ve contraction of have in should've , which leads to should of. And like -'ve , of is now just a piece of the machinery, bleached of its semantics. So, of -- rather like de in Romance languages -- isn't really a lexical item any more, and has lost what little semantics it started with.

Evans, Vyvyan

Which wasn't much. All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically grounded in the nature of human spatio-physical experience.

English prepositions: "In", "Into", "On", and "Onto"

The original 'spatial scenes' provide the foundation for the extension of meaning from the spatial to the more abstract. This analysis articulates an alternative methodology that distinguishes between a conventional meaning and an interpretation produced for understanding the preposition in context, as well as establishing which of several competing senses should be taken as the primary sense.