Backdrop Prepositions

(Under Development)


Prepositional senses in this category are very often couched in disjuncts and subjuncts, i.e., prepositional phrases serving as sentence adverbs or quasi-independent observations, describing circumstances or features that are present as a way of characterizing or coloring how the subject and predicate are interpreted (in the face of stiff opposition . . .). Such prepositional phrases can also serve as entire predicates, when they describe a situation generally prevailing (they were at a serious disadvantage), and some of them can also be postpositive (dinner by candlelight, a man all at sea). In all cases the purpose is to associate the presence of a particular condition or fact with some other element of the sentence. This discussion of the backdrop class of prepositions is based on an examination of the backdrop senses identified in The Preposition Project (TPP) with the Pattern Dictionary of English Prepositions (PDEP). This set of senses is discussed in sections 9.56 and 9.58 of Quirk et al (addition, concession). There are 59 backdrop senses under 45 prepositions. The complements of most senses in this class identify something additional to be taken into account. The prepositions may provide some information about how the complement is to be viewed with respect to the rest of the sentence. (See Preposition Classes for how this class relates to other classes. 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

Backdrop senses fall into two major categories, identifying something additional or something additional that is to be construed as contrasting, 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. 705-9

Comments to: Ken Litkowski  Modified: December 23 2016 14:47:04.
PDEP Backdrop Class (63 senses)
PrepositionSenseSubclassSrtypeSupersenseClassedCountPctNF
\'pon20(10)SupplementingDrugStateYes0100.00.19
absent1(1)Contrasting:NegativeThingMissingYes0100.00.19
after11(n)ContrastingThingContrastingYes19100.0597.25
amid2(1a)SupplementingBackdropYes203100.0102.57
amidst2(1a)SupplementingBackdropYes208100.038.58
apart from2(2)SupplementingThingSupplementedElementsYes94100.0134.75
as well as1(1)SupplementingThingSupplementedYes181100.01423.82
at7(4)SupplementingConditionStateYes27100.02084.77
bare of1(1)Contrasting:NegativeThingMissingYes9100.01.67
behind2(1a)SupplementingThingCamouflagedPossessorYes58100.0267.11
below5(n)ContrastingThingCamouflagingYes9100.017.67
beneath6(2c)ContrastingThingCamouflagingYes51100.048.32
beside3(2)SupplementingThingSupplementedYes16100.011.06
besides1(1)SupplementingThingSupplementedElementsYes247100.085.77
considering1(1)ContrastingCircumstancesYes39100.012.59
contrary to1(1)ContrastingThingContrastingYes248100.0147.02
despite1(1)ContrastingThingContrastingCircumstanceYes250100.01661.65
failing1(1)Contrasting:NegativeOutcomeDesiredYes0100.00.19
for all1(1)ContrastingThingContrastingYes25100.074.72
forbye1(1)SupplementingThingSupplmentedYes0100.00.19
given1(1)SupplementingCircumstancesYes0100.00.19
in5(4)SupplementingConditionAge,StateYes36100.013355.49
in addition to1(1)SupplementingThingSupplementedElementsYes250100.0211.83
in case of1(1)ContrastingEventArisingYes138100.025.60
in contravention of1(1)ContrastingRuleYes74100.013.73
in default of1(1)Contrasting:NegativeThingMissingYes9100.01.67
in default of2(n)Contrasting:NegativeDefaultYes6100.01.11
in face of1(1)ContrastingEntityConfrontingYes29100.05.38
in face of2(1a)ContrastingThingContrastingYes8100.01.48
in spite of1(1)ContrastingThingContrastingCircumstanceYes250100.0190.50
in the face of1(1)ContrastingThingConfrontingYes161100.0115.52
in the face of2(1a)ContrastingThingContrastingYes79100.056.68
in the grip of1(1)SupplementingThingControllingYes50100.09.27
in the midst of3(n)SupplementingConditionYes33100.06.12
in the teeth of1(1)ContrastingWeatherOpposingYes2100.00.37
in the teeth of2(1a)ContrastingForceOpposingYes34100.06.31
minus2(1a)Contrasting:NegativeThingMissingAttribute,ElementsYes65100.012.06
neath6(2c)ContrastingThingCamouflagingYes0100.00.19
notwithstanding1(1)ContrastingThingContrastingYes243100.063.28
off6(3b)Contrasting:NegativeSubstanceAbandonedStateYes1100.04.82
off7(4)Contrasting:NegativeSubstanceAbandonedYes0100.04.82
on20(10)SupplementingDrugStateYes3100.0248.25
on top of4(3)SupplementingThingSupplementedElementsYes76100.035.53
on top of6(n)SupplementingSystemYes3100.01.40
out of9(n)Contrasting:NegativeConditionYes37100.0469.53
outta9(n)Contrasting:NegativeConditionYes0100.00.19
over and above1(1)SupplementingThingSupplmentedYes167100.030.98
sans1(1)Contrasting:NegativeThingNotPresentYes0100.00.19
short of5(n)Contrasting:NegativeThingMissingYes58100.049.06
to the accompaniment of1(1)SupplementingSoundAcccompanyingYes31100.05.75
to the accompaniment of2(n)SupplementingThingAccompanyingYes8100.01.48
under10(4b)SupplementingThingInfluencingStateYes16100.0362.20
under13(4e)SupplementingOperatingSystemStateYes3100.067.91
under15(5a)SupplementingConditionStateYes38100.0860.23
under16(5b)SupplementingCropYes0100.022.64
under5(2b)ContrastingThingCamouflagingStateYes4100.090.55
under cover of1(1)ContrastingThingCamouflagingYes18100.03.34
underneath2(2)ContrastingThingCamouflagingYes48100.08.90
up against2(1a)ContrastingForceOpposingYes65100.015.96
upon20(10)SupplementingDrugStateYes0100.011.33
with1(1)-1SupplementingCircumstancesCircumstanceYes95100.07510.09
within3(1b)SupplementingActivityLimitingLocationYes9100.0191.42
without1(1)Contrasting:NegativeThingNotPresentAccompanierYes50100.0842.25
Total      31625.68