Agent Prepositions

(Under Development)


This category includes prepositional complements denoting an agent – that is, a doer of some action. All such sentences could, in theory, be rewritten in a way that would make the agent the subject of a sentence, thus eliminating the prepositional construction. This rewrite is to be taken in a very broad sense here: not merely rearranging the words present, but expressing the same idea using different words.This discussion of the Agent class of prepositions is based on an examination of the 22 senses identified in The Preposition Project (TPP) with the Pattern Dictionary of English Prepositions (PDEP). This set of senses is discussed in section 9.50 of Quirk et al as part of the means/agentive spectrum of prepostions. There are 22 agent senses under 19 prepositions. In general, agent prepositions answer the question how, specifically with agentive role (through the agency of), usually a person or institution, but sometimes with inanimate entity that is the agent used to perform or instigate a process. Subtypes for this class add a specific role to the agent role, carrying nuances of meaning. (See Preposition Classes for how this class relates to other classes, particularly for others in means/agentive spectrum, including MeansMedium). For the supersenses (unlexicalized categores for prepositions), see PrepWiki; the PDEP database is being kept synchronized with this project, as they are assigned to TPP senses.

Category Types

An agent is a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect, including:

Selection Criteria

References

  1. Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., and Svartik, J. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman: New York, pp. 700-1.

Comments to: Ken Litkowski  Modified: December 23 2016 22:24:59.
PDEP Agent Class (58 senses)
PrepositionSenseSubclassSrtypeSupersenseClassedCountPctNF
\'pon11(5)-1InvolvedExperiencerBeneficiaryYes0100.00.19
\'pon21(11)DirectPartyPayingYes0100.00.19
\'pon6(1e)Involved:PossessorHolderPossessorYes0100.00.19
about5(3a)Involved:PossessorOwnerOfAttributePossessorYes3100.0134.02
according to1(1)DirectAuthorityYes94100.0500.21
at the hand of1(1)IndirectAgentYes7100.01.30
at the hands of1(1)IndirectAgentYes232100.043.03
behind7(4)InvolvedDepartedPartyYes6100.027.63
beyond8(4a)InvolvedPartyFlummoxedYes6100.025.21
by1(1)DirectAgentAgentYes0100.0119.21
by10(2e)DirectParentYes0100.0119.21
by2(1a)DirectAgentAgent,Causer,StimulusYes256100.030518.99
by21(7)InvolvedPartyAcceptingBeneficiary,Donor/SpeakerYes3100.0357.64
by22(8)InvolvedPartyInvokedMannerYes0100.0119.21
by3(1b)IndirectAgentAgentYes41100.04887.81
by4(1c)DirectCreatorCreatorYes43100.05126.24
by9(2d)DirectParentCo-AgentYes0100.0119.21
by courtesy of1(1)IndirectGrantorYes23100.04.27
by the hand of1(1)IndirectAgentYes8100.01.48
by the hands of1(1)IndirectAgentYes2100.00.37
care of1(1)InvolvedReceiverOfMailYes0100.00.19
courtesy of1(1)IndirectGrantorYes82100.015.21
for2(2)-1InvolvedExperiencerBeneficiary,ExperiencerYes17100.02702.71
frae12(9)-1DirectAgentSpeakerYes0100.00.19
from12(9)-1DirectAgentDonor/Speaker,SourceYes27100.02254.20
in1(1)-1Involved:AttributeThingWornAttributeYes2100.0741.97
in9(7)-1Involved:AttributeVariableQualityAttributeYes1100.0370.99
in the name of1(1)IndirectPartyNamedYes56100.016.29
in the name of3(1b)IndirectAuthorityYes33100.09.60
in the shape of1(1)DirectThingEmbodyingYes107100.020.88
o\'11(6)Involved:PossessorPossessorYes0100.00.00
o\'6(3)Involved:PossessorPossessorPossessor,TopicYes21100.00.04
o\'6(3)-1Involved:AttributeDefiningQualityAttributeYes4100.00.01
o\'7(3a)DirectCreatorSpeakerYes0100.00.00
of11(6)Involved:PossessorPossessorAgent,PossessorYes17100.04204.51
of6(3)Involved:PossessorPossessorPossessor,ProfessionalAspect,TopicYes170100.042045.06
of6(3)-1Involved:AttributeDefiningQualityAttributeYes26100.06430.42
of7(3a)DirectCreatorCreatorYes3100.0741.97
on11(5)-1InvolvedExperiencerBeneficiaryYes55100.04551.32
on21(11)DirectPartyPayingYes0100.082.75
on6(1e)Involved:PossessorHolderPossessorYes0100.082.75
on the part of1(1)IndirectAgentYes249100.0218.75
out of3(2)DirectParentYes0100.012.69
outta3(2)DirectParentYes0100.00.19
pace1(1)DirectAuthorityYes12100.02.23
per4(n)IndirectAuthorityYes1100.04.93
saving2(2)InvolvedPartyRespectedYes0100.00.19
under8(4)IndirectAgentControllingProfessionalAspect,StateYes19100.0430.11
under the heel of1(1)IndirectAgentControllingYes5100.00.93
up to6(4)InvolvedPartyResponsibleStateYes8100.067.64
upon11(5)-1InvolvedExperiencerBeneficiaryYes51100.0577.94
upon21(11)DirectPartyPayingYes0100.011.33
upon6(1e)Involved:PossessorHolderPossessorYes2100.022.66
with10(7a)Involved:AttributeMaladyAttributeYes10100.0790.54
with14(8a)IndirectPartnerProfessionalAspectYes4100.0316.21
with15(9)-1InvolvedPartyAgreedWithYes6100.0474.32
with3(2a)Involved:AttributeAccoutrementAttributeYes3100.0237.16
with8(6)InvolvedPartyResponsibleYes2100.0158.11
Total      109702.6