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The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning, and Cognition Paperback – November 29, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521044639 ISBN-10: 0521044634 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (November 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521044634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521044639
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,171,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'The authors present a very detailed descriptive analysis ... this well-produced and well-edited book is highly relevant for linguists interested in (cognitive) lexical semantics, polysemy, and spatial particles.' Journal of Linguistics

Book Description

Using a cognitive linguistics perspective, this book provides the most comprehensive, theoretical analysis of the semantics of English prepositions available. All English prepositions originally coded spatial relations between two physical entities; while retaining their original meaning, prepositions have also developed a rich set of non-spatial meanings. In this innovative study, Tyler and Evans argue that all these meanings are systematically related through a set of cognitive principles which emphasize the importance of human experience with the world as the foundation for lexical meaning.

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As an amateur lexicographer at Wiktionary, I am always looking for resources that will help me inform the practice there. Terms with a largely grammatical function (conjunctions, determiners, certain adverbs, and prepositions) are the most difficult for amateurs to work on. This fine book provides masterful examples of how to tease apart the meanings of prepositions (and the related adverbs and particles) and grasp how figurative meanings emerged from the basic spatial senses. It is more systematic and specific than earlier works in the same spirit that pointed the way theoretically.

For my purposes the book rates five stars, but I have difficulty understanding how many folks could possibly have a use for it.
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