Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Three Complex Prepositions with And

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Three Complex Prepositions with And

Article excerpt

Abstract

The discussion on complex prepositions has been centered on the string whose structure is preposition plus nominal plus preposition (PNP). However, there are other strings whose internal structures are quite distinct from the above and which are undergoing the process of grammaticalization and should be treated as single grammatical components, i.e. complex prepositions, in given circumstances where they appear. Three of those are up and above, down and below, and from top to bottom and across. They all share one characteristic that they have and in the second final position before the string final prepositions. They all appear in almost every circumstance where a single word preposition may appear. In addition, they all can be used as prepositional adverb which is a prominent major derivational use of single word prepositions.

Keywords: complex preposition, grammaticalization, corpus

1. Introduction

1.1 Complex Preposition as a Part of Grammaticalization

Grammaticalization is a process by which content words become grammatical items(Hopper & Traugott, 1993, 2003) In English there are a number of complex prepositions where prepositions and adverbs combine together and form single word prepositions, i.e. into, onto, upon, within, without, although the status of items which are considered as adverbs in these instances may be a little bit controversial. The fact is, they have already completed grammaticalization process and become single lexical items.

What has gathered attention was the existence of PREP1+NOUN+PREP2 (PNP) complex prepositions (Quirk et. al., 1972). Since strings of three items are claimed to form grammatical units on their own, their level of grammaticalization posed delicate questions whether they really are functioning as real grammatical entities.

1.2 Previous Discussions

The existence of complex prepositions consisting of PNP was noted by Quirk & Mulholland (1964). Seppanen, Bowen & Trotta (1994) refuted the existence of complex prepositions and claimed that they are instances of free forms. Hoffmann (2005), on the basis of vast corpus study, illustrated that they are actually grammatical units.

What has been absent in their scope of discussion was that there are other strings whose internal structures are quite different and which have gone through the process of grammaticalization and begun to function as complex prepositions. Inoue (2012) has indicated two instances of such fixed expressions.

1.3 Three Other Complex Prepositions

There are still other complex prepositions. Three of which are up and above, down and below, and from top to bottom and across. They all exhibit distribution patterns which are quite close to those of single word prepositions. In addition, they all can be used as prepositional adverbs. Thus, their unity as integrated strings is even stronger than PNP complex prepositions which can rarely be used as such.

1.4 Tests by Linguistic Functions

A single word preposition acts as a head of a prepositional phrase. This prepositional phrase is used for a number of linguistic functions. Among them are:

(1) Predicative Nominal Modifier a cup on the table

(2) Intransitive Verb Complement The building stands at the corner.

(3) Transitive Verb Complement I put the car into the garage.

In addition, a major derivational use of single word prepositions is a prepositional adverb.

We stayed on.

If a string in question can be used in all of these functions, it can be considered as a strong candidate for a complex preposition.

2. Distribution Patterns of Three Complex Prepositions with And

In this section, distribution patterns of three complex prepositions, up and above, down and below, and form top to bottom and across, which contain and in the second final position of the strings will be examined. From a semantic relationship between items before and after and within each string, the first two will be called synonymous type and the last, complementary type. …

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