In-phrases from a semantic perspective: Evidence from The York Cycle

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2006

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Adam Mickiewicz University

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Abstract

The York Cycle has been chosen as the corpus for a semantic study of in-prepositional phrases. The text belongs to a linguistic period in which the presence of in-phs had already increased. The total number of instances amounts to 1,420, which have been classified according to the semantic criteria of the MED. Taking into account the different semantic fields of the MED, the samples have been ascribed to three main distinct categories: spatial, temporal, and figurative. Generally speaking, the analysis will show a slight predominance of the figurative sense (52.81%) over the spatial sense (45.21%). Likewise, it will also emphasize the extremely low frequency of in-phs with a temporal meaning (1.97%). In addition, it will also account for in-phs dependent of a verb and an adjective. Moreover, the study will also prove that, in The York Cycle, the most common spatial meaning in PE of the preposition in when referring to something ‘enclosed’ or within a building, ship, etc. only amounts to 13.86% (within the spatial sense) whereas the use of the figurative meaning of the preposition plus a noun implying a state or condition rises to 59.06% within the figurative sense.

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Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, vol. 42 (2006), pp. 147-164

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego