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7.8 Predicative Prepositions

  1. In the previous section we introduced the idea that predicative prepositions should be treated as 2-place relations:

    $\displaystyle \mathrm{\:under\:}(\mathrm{\:fido\:}, \mathrm{\:the\:table\:})

  2. In contrast, argument-marking prepositions are incorporated into the meaning of the verb:

    $\displaystyle \mathrm{\:rely\_on\:}(\mathrm{\:fido\:}, \mathrm{\:his\:master\:})

  3. One big advantage of treating predicative preps as 2-place relations is that the same meaning works for PPs modifying nouns:
    (a) A dog under the table barked.  
    (b) $ \exists x \mathrm{\:dog\:}(x) \wedge \mathrm{\:under\:}(x,\mathrm{\:the\:table\:})
\wedge \mathrm{\:bark\:}(x)$  
    (c) A traveler from Spain arrived.  
    (d) $ \exists x \mathrm{\:traveler\:}(x) \wedge \mathrm{\:from\:}(x,\mathrm{\:Spain\:})
\wedge \mathrm{\:arrive\:}(x)$  

Jean Mark Gawron 2009-02-16