Preposition Classes: General

In The Preposition Project (TPP), each sense was assigned a semantic relation type by the lexicographer. These types were grouped together into 20 larger classes. The assignment of these two labels was a local decision, that is, without any a priori theoretical perspective. Once completed, the overall collection of these classifications are amenable to more detailed analysis. In particular, each class can be subjected to a digraph analysis and examined in relation to the other classes. In addition, the classes can be compared to the frame element hierarchy. The digraph analysis suggests that several of the classes are really subtypes of other classes. Examination of the frame element hierarchy assists in a clearer perception of the semantic roles filled by prepositional phrases.

The 20 classes of prepositions are: Activity, Agent, Backdrop, Barrier, Cause, Doubles, Exception, Means/Medium, Membership, Party, Possession, Quantity, Scalar, Spatial, Substance, Tandem, Target, Temporal, Topic, and Void. The 12 primitives in the frame element hierarchy are: Cause, State, Degree, Entity, Role, Purpose, Instrument, Phenomenon, Time, Path, Reason, and Topic. In the draft paper, Analysis of Preposition Classes, I provide a detailed examination of each class, providing a link to the digraph for the class and identifying the FrameNet frames and frame elements evoked by the class.

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