Iconicity in question
This article analyzes three cases of competition between a preposition and its corresponding case or the use of the case by itself. It shows that the difference between the two types of constructions is always the same: the case alone is used to express an unmarked relationship, whereas the prepositional phrase + the corresponding case is used to focus on one of its aspects. This could be analyzed in terms of ‘iconicity of motivation’, as the instance marked semantically (with focalization) is also marked syntactically insofar as two markers co-occur. However, the author shows that this analysis which directly links form and meaning without taking into account the linguistic operations implemented by the linguistic forms, is unsatisfactory. She proposes an alternative analysis based on the hypothesis that a case and a preposition are ‘relators’ and explains that the focalization observed in the constructions with two relators (case+preposition) is not so much due to the fact that more markers are used, but to the fact that two semantically close relationships involving the same terms are fully implemented.