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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) September 20, 2011

The distribution of labor between adpositions and case within complex spatial PPs

Sander Lestrade, Kees de Schepper and Joost Zwarts


This paper discusses a cross-linguistic sample of spatial PPs in languages that both have adpositions and case. It is shown that the distribution of labor within these potentially complex PPs follows from two general principles only. According to the principle of Grammaticalization, less frequent meaning elements should never be expressed by more grammatical means than more frequent ones. According to the principle of Compositionality, the syntactic construction should reflect the order of semantic function application. The only viable spatial PP constructions according to these principles are those constructions in which the P simultaneously expresses configuration and directionality, and constructions in which the P expresses configuration and the case marker on the P directionality.

Published Online: 2011-09-20
Published in Print: 2011-09

© by Akademie Verlag, JK Utrecht, Germany