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Complex prepositions (was: ANADEWISM: Natlangs that do comparison with true verbs?)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 18:58
On Monday, November 8, 2004, at 10:55 , Roger Mills wrote:

> Rene Uittenbogaard wrote:
>> BTW, is there a general term for "prepositional constructs" like "with >> respect to"? I usually refer to them as "compound prepositions", but >> what is the official terminology? > > I'm not sure there is an official term; both of your proposals make sense.
Indeed - what body is there to make any such terminology "official"? When I was taught grammar 50 years back in the UK, they were called "prepositional phrases', that is phrases that functioned as prepositions. However, "prepositional phrase" is now-a-days almost invariably used to mean: a phrase consisting of a preposition & a noun phrase (We used to call these things either "adjectival phrases" or "adverbial phrases", depending upon their function). IMO "compound preposition" is quite an acceptable term. However both Larry Trask (A Dictionary of grammatical terms in Linguistics) and David Crystal (A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics) call them "complex prepositions". I guess that reflects the general terminology in current linguistic circles. ============================================================ On Tuesday, November 9, 2004, at 12:18 , caeruleancentaur wrote: [snip]
> The official term is complex preposition (David Crystal, "A > Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, p. 275).
But as far as I know nobody has made David Crystal the _official_ authority. Certainly where he and Trask differ, I would always put more weight on Trask's definition (as for example concerning 'obviative' and 'proximate' - in fact Crystal does not even define the latter term).* But neither are "official" - and I am sure neither claimed to be. It is a matter of usage which, as I have seen in my life-time, does change. *Thus for example on the _obviative_ - TRASK: One of a set of third-person pronominal forms occurring in certain languages and used exclusively for the second or later third person entity to be mentioned in a discourse, the first such entity being referred to by one of a contrasting set of 8proximate* forms. Obviative forms are often misleadingly called 'fourth-person' forms..." CRYSTAL: A term used in linguistics to refer to a fourth-person form........This form (of a PRONOUN, VERB, etc.) usually contrasts with the third person...." [Crystal, as I have said, makes no mention of 'proximate'] Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]