Topic Prepositions

(Under Development)


This category contains many synonymous and related prepositions that establish a topic about which other sentence elements make some statement. In general, the complements of all prepositions in this class identify the subject of discussion and each preposition can be paraphrased as on the subject of. Virtually any topic can be the object of these prepositions; the only major difference seems to be the formality of the usage. This discussion of the topic class of prepositions is based on an examination of the topic senses identified in The Preposition Project (TPP) with the Pattern Dictionary of English Prepositions (PDEP), along with the discussion in sections 9.57 and 9.60 of Quirk et al. There are 41 topic senses under 37 prepositions. (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

Topics almost always provide a focus for its governor or the rest of the sentence, with the preposition itself providing some slight nuance of meaning, which is the basis for the distinctions below:

Selection Criteria

For the most part, topic prepositions can have any kind of complement. Topic complements range over the full set of possible syntactic types for prepositions: simple nouns, proper nouns, wh-clauses, and -ing clauses. Governors are being examined, and perhaps are generally verbs,

References

  1. Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., and Svartik, J. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Longman: New York, 706-7, 709-10.

Comments to: Ken Litkowski  Modified: January 01 2017 14:33:07.

PDEP Topic Class (54 senses)
PrepositionSenseSubclassSrtypeSupersenseClassedCountPctNF
\'pon8(3)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes0100.00.19
\'pon9(3a)ConnectionBasisTopicYes0100.00.19
about1(1)ReferenceThingConsideredAttribute,Stimulus,TopicYes218100.09738.96
about2(1a)ConnectionThingAffectedTopicYes8100.0357.39
anent1(1)ReferenceSubjectConsideredYes0100.00.19
apropos1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes8100.01.48
around2(1a)AttentionBasisTopicYes43100.0287.08
as for1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes46100.028.40
as regards1(1)AttentionSubjectReferencedTopicYes250100.051.57
as to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes138100.0710.09
concerning1(1)ReferenceSubjectConsideredTopicYes250100.0407.16
for2(2)ConnectionThingAffectedRecipient,Stimulus,ThemeYes113100.017965.08
having regard to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes134100.024.86
in6(4a)ConnectionSubjectConsideredActivity,Attribute,Patient,Stimulus,TopicYes41100.015210.42
in accord with1(1)ConnectionSubjectAgreedWithCircumstanceYes109100.020.22
in connection with1(1)ConnectionSubjectConsideredYes249100.0182.53
in line with1(1)ConnectionSubjectAgreedWithCircumstanceYes236100.0141.66
in re1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes3100.00.56
in reference to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes35100.06.49
in regard to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes183100.033.95
in relation to1(1)ConnectionComparatorYes248100.0545.40
in respect of1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes250100.0277.31
in terms of1(1)ConnectionSubjectReferencedTopicYes250100.01187.34
in the matter of1(1)ReferenceSubjectConsideredYes86100.015.95
into5(5)AttentionSubjectTopicYes35100.0921.59
o\'13(6b)AttentionScopeOfGovernorPossessor,TopicYes1100.00.00
o\'14(7)ReferenceSubjectConsideredTheme,TopicYes0100.00.00
o\'15(7a)AttentionMentationTopicYes0100.00.00
o\'er16(7)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes0100.00.00
of13(6b)AttentionScopeOfGovernorPossessor,TopicYes14100.03462.53
of14(7)ReferenceSubjectConsideredTheme,TopicYes2100.0494.65
of15(7a)AttentionMentationTopicYes22100.05441.12
on8(3)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes81100.06702.86
on9(3a)ConnectionBasisExplanation,Manner,State,TopicYes110100.09102.65
onto4(n)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes5100.06.57
over16(7)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes101100.01304.47
pursuant to1(1)ReferenceDocumentReferencedCircumstanceYes219100.040.62
re1(1)ReferenceSubjectConsideredYes24100.010.35
re2(1a)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes16100.06.90
regarding1(1)ReferenceSubjectConsideredTopicYes246100.0212.46
relative to2(1a)ConnectionConnectionBasisYes104100.052.16
relative to3(2)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes11100.05.52
respecting1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes29100.05.38
round2(1a)AttentionBasisTopicYes38100.063.81
to14(6)AttentionSubjectConsideredReciprocation,Stimulus,ThemeYes96100.012536.40
touching1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes0100.00.19
under11(4c)ReferenceDocumentReferencedCircumstance,StateYes90100.02037.38
upon8(3)AttentionSubjectConsideredTopicYes26100.0294.64
upon9(3a)ConnectionBasisTopicYes72100.0815.91
vis-a-vis1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes33100.06.12
with9(7)AttentionSubjectConsideredActivity,Co-Theme,Beneficiary,Recipient,Theme,TopicYes148100.011699.93
with reference to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes197100.036.54
with regard to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes250100.0152.48
with respect to1(1)AttentionSubjectConsideredYes249100.0158.52
Total      102766.22