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1 Where have all the prepositions gone? A Valency Analysis.

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1 1 Where have all the prepositions gone? A Valency Analysis

2 2 The two readings of the famous Chomskyan He decided on the boat can be represented in the following way: He decided (on) the boat. He decided on the boat.

3 3 On the first reading the preposition is syntactic, which means that it does not occupy a node of its own. On the second reading the preposition functions as a two-place predicate. Let us look at the representations once more:

4 4 He decided (on) the boat. He decided on the boat.

5 5 Free place adverbials are most often introduced by prepositions. With time adverbials it is different. There may, certainly, be prepositions: He worked for eight hours. Han arbetade i åtta timmar.

6 6 But in the Swedish example it is possible to omit the preposition: Han arbetade åtta timmar. Still, we need a node for the two- place predicate: Han arbetade «PREP» åtta timmar.

7 7 Case languages provide us with such nodes explicitly: Er arbeitete einen Tag. On rabotal nedelju.

8 8 We shall look into a special kind of adverbials, namely adverbials of measure. These are regularly formed without prepositions in Germanic languages but in Slavic languages they are almost pervadingly introduced by prepositions.

9 9 One companion to such adverbials are com- paratives. We shall first analyse comparative constructions without the adverbial. Jalta bolee privlekatelna, (chem) Vologda. Yalta (is) more attractive (than) Vologda.

10 10 If the comparative meaning is expressed by a suffix, there are two ways of expressing the second actant in Russian. Bajkal glub, (chem) Ladoga. Baikal (is) deep (than) Ladoga. Bajkal glub Ladogi.

11 11 Now let us add adverbials of measure. To achieve isomorphism we have to introduce an implicit node in English (P is short for PREP). On na tri goda star menja. He (is) «P» three years old (than) me.

12 12 With the noun raz (time) the Russian uses the preposition v instead of na. Kiev (is) «P» five times bigg (than) Oslo. Kiev v pjat raz bolsh Oslo.

13 13 Adverbials of measure can also be expressed by adverbs – in both languages. Coffee (is) now ice as cheap (as) before. K.* teper dvoe deshevl (chem) ranshe. *k. = kofe

14 14 As we can see, we even get rid of the «P» in English, provided we accept the adverb as a carrier of the same meaning. The Russian adverb could possibly more accurately be represented like this: ( oe) deshevl

15 15 In some cases – with low numerals – Russian can use the instrumental case instead of a preposition. He (is) «P» two years young (than) me. On dvumja godami molozh menja.

16 16 From comparatives there is a short step to a special type of time adverbials which, optionally, combine with adverbials of measure: He died «P» five years before the revolution. On umer za pjat let do revoljucii.

17 17 A different Russian preposition is used in the converse expression: The war began «P» two years after her death. V. nachalas cherez dva goda posle ee smerti. v. = vojna

18 18 One type of adverbials of measure often occur with verbs of location. First let us have a look at ordinary place adverbials occupying the second valency position of such verbs. He lives (in) this town. On zhivet (v) ètom gorode.

19 19 The place adverbial can be replaced by an adverbial of measure. He lives «P» two miles (from) us. On zhivet v dvux kilometrax (ot) nas.

20 20 Because of its dependent position, the preposition («P»/v) has been deprived of one actant. In a free position it comes out as a three-place predicate. The bomb exploded «P» six yards (from) her. Bomba vzorvalas v shesti metrax (ot) nee.

21 21 The preposition («P»/v) can be replaced by a preposition phrase: (at a) distance / (na) rasstojanii. The third actant is often omitted. The bomb exploded (at a) dist. (of) five yards. Bomba vzorvalas (na) rasstojanii pjati metrov.

22 22 In Russian, the preposition v can be replaced by za. Odnazhdy ja rybachil kilometra za poltora ot berega. Once I was fishing about a mile and a half from the shore. Odn. ja ryb. kilom. za polt. [INV] (ot) ber. [INV] = inversed word order

23 23 Finally, in Russian the preposition cherez can be used, but the noun it governs is of an other nature than with v, za. Ob zhil cherez odin dom (ot) menja. He lived one house away (from) me.

24 24 One more example: muzhik, stojavshij cherez cheloveka ot babki Sofi (V. Pecux) the fellow standing one person away from aunt Sophie. M. stojal cherez «odnogo» chelov. (ot) Sofi. The fellow (was) st. one person away (from) S.

25 25 Blagodarju (za) vnimanie! Thanks (for) the attention!

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