Chapter 6: Adpositions and Conjunctions
In discussing the question of whether certain words are adpositions or conjunctions, we might first mention the view that there is no real distinction between these types of words, i.e. that they belong to the same word class. This position (which is in essence the same as saying that all conjunction are adpositions, or that all adposi- tions are conjunctions) has been held by various scholars; we have already seen (section 1.1) that Jespersen (1924/1965) regarded adpositions and conjunctions, along with two other traditional parts of speech, as belonging to the same word class. Referring to more recent times, Aarts (2004:19) states, “Ever since Emonds (1976:172f.) it has been common to conflate the categories preposition and conjunction.” However, I believe many or most of the works involved have focused on subordinating conjunctions, and might not necessarily claim that conjunctions overall are adpositions. On the other hand, Cuyckens (1991:115) says: the traditional definitions cannot sufficiently distinguish between the semantic properties of prepositions and conjunctions, simply because these categories are indeed semantically simi- lar (and not because of inadequate definitions). Now this similarity should not cause any problems: it is ironed out by the different grammatical properties of both categories. (Indeed, as I pointed out earlier, grammatical criteria carry more weight in traditional definitions.) As a result, the distinction between conjunctions and prepositions can be maintained. 6.1 Words Meaning ‘With’ as Conjunctions Words meaning ‘with’ in a comitative sense and those meaning ‘and’ are quite similar in meaning. Not...
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