Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-based Approach

Overview

Preposition placement, the competition between preposition stranding (What is he talking about?) and pied-piping (About what is he talking?), is one of the most interesting areas of syntactic variation in English. This is the first book to investigate preposition placement across all types of clauses that license it, such as questions, exclamations and wh-clauses, and those which exhibit categorical stranding, such as non-wh relative clauses, comparatives, and passives. Drawing on over 100 authentic examples from...

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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-based Approach

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Overview

Preposition placement, the competition between preposition stranding (What is he talking about?) and pied-piping (About what is he talking?), is one of the most interesting areas of syntactic variation in English. This is the first book to investigate preposition placement across all types of clauses that license it, such as questions, exclamations and wh-clauses, and those which exhibit categorical stranding, such as non-wh relative clauses, comparatives, and passives. Drawing on over 100 authentic examples from both first-language (English) and second-language (Kenyan) data, it combines experimental and corpus-based approaches to provide a full grammatical account of preposition placement in both varieties of English. Although written within the usage-based construction grammar framework, the results are presented in theory-neutral terminology, making them accessible to researchers from all syntactic schools. This pioneering volume will be of interest not only to syntacticians, but also second language researchers and those working on variation in English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… Hoffmann's book is a pleasure to read and the arguments are easy to follow. I recommend it highly to anyone who has ever wondered about preposition placement in English.' Hans C. Boas, English World-Wide
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107631731
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/17/2014
  • Series: Studies in English Language
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Hoffmann is Assistant Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Regensburg, Germany. His main research interests are construction grammar and the syntactic and phonetic variation in world Englishes. He has co-edited the volume World Englishes: Problems, Properties and Prospects (2009, with Lucia Siebers) and together with Graeme Trousdale is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Data and methodology; 3. Case notes: independent factors; 4. Evidence I: corpus results; 5. Evidence II: experimental results; 6. Preposition placement: the case for a construction grammar account; 7. Conclusion: the verdict.

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