Spatial adpositions between lexicon and grammar

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This chapter presents an FDG analysis of spatial adpositions, showing that they divide into two classes, lexical and grammatical. Lexical adpositions are primitives that feed into formulation, whereas grammatical adpositions are primitives at encoding, realizing semantic functions from the Representational Level. Not only complex adpositions but also many simple adpositions co-express a semantic function and a lexical adposition, but an unmarked spatial adposition can also signal the semantic category Location (l1). Drawing on a 50-language sample, the chapter demonstrates that the great majority of these use one of two constructions that involve an interplay of lexical and grammatical adpositions, the Lexical Head Construction and the Lexical Modifier Construction. The chapter concludes that the spatial adposition lies between lexicon and grammar.


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