German two-way prepositions and related phenomena

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This paper examines German two-way prepositions governing both the accusative and the dative. It shows that sticking to concepts such as <i>static location</i> (DAT) vs <i>change of location, movement or direction</i> (ACC), as is still done in traditional grammars, falls short of being descriptively and explanatorily adequate. Although Paul&#8217;s (1920) dichotomy between <i>emerging relationship</i> (ACC) and <i>existing relationship</i> (DAT) constituted a major, though hardly noted improvement, it remains counterintuitive in that it characterizes ablative and perlative datives as expressing <i>existing</i> relationships. Shifting to a dichotomy between <i>emerging relationship</i> (ACC) and <i>non-emerging relationship </i>(DAT) permits to characterize the positively defined accusative as the marked option and the negatively defined dative as the default option, generalizing over all dative subclasses.


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