English prepositional usage : an attempt to give a comparative account of prepositional usage in English and Afrikaans on the basis of frequency and range of use
Venter, Jan Adriaan
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No abstract available The purpose of these notes is to explain briefly, by indicating the meaning that they share, the reason why certain usages were held to belong together, and were entered in the list as a group constituting one pattern of usage. In making this classification, I have tried to guard against not seeing the wood for the trees, a danger to which the semanticist exposes himself by attempting to distinguish too precisely and in too minute detail, between shades of meaning which do not strike the unselfconscious native speaker as distinct from each other. My efforts have been directed at grouping together such usages as might reasonably be expected to appear identical, or at least very similar, to the Afrikaans-speaking student of English. The purpose for which this list was compiled, made a classification on historical principles, as in the N.E.D., inadvisable. Except at advanced levels of study - at which the student will naturally have mastered at least the more common uses of the prepositions - an entry such as the following can hardly be said to be very helpful: "To, prep., VIII: Supplying the place of the dative in varios other languages and in the earlier stages of English itself." S.O.D. Occasionally the divergence in usage as between the two languages can obviously be attributed to different ways of regarding a situation. In cases of this kind, brief explanations in terms of habits of apprehension have been attempted. It is evident however, that any attempt at a comprehensive and systematic explanation of divergencies on this basis, would lead to wild and futile guessing. For this reason, and also because such comments would really be outside the scope of this study, I have refrained from "explaining "those usages listed as idiomatic. The notes are meant to be read in conjunction with the list of usages, and the serial number preceding each item refers to the list (Chapter V). S.O.D. means the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I.R. means the Interim Report of Vocabulary Selection.
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