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SINOPSIS

1. PENDAHULUAN

1.1 Latarbelakang
Terjemahan merupakan satu kegiatan dan disiplin ilmu yang semakin signifikan dan merupakan
satu proses utama dalam pemindahan ilmu. Terjemahan juga memainkan peranan yang penting
dalam arus globalisasi. Khidmat terjemahan dokumen menjadi satu perkhidmatan komersil dalam
dunia global akibat daripada pertukaran maklumat dan perdagangan merentasi sempadan
negara dan sempadan bahasa. Syarikat-syarikat global dan agensi maklumat semakin menyedari
mereka perlu menyediakan dokumentasi dalam pelbagai bahasa demi bersaing dalam dunia
global. Di Malaysia, usaha terjemahan (terutama dalam bidang sains dan teknikal) dipelopori dan
dikemudikan oleh Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka. Kerajaan juga meyedari kepentingan kegiatan ini
dengan tertubuhnya Institut Terjemahan Negara pada tahun 1995.

Dalam kajian terjemahan Inggeris – Melayu pelbagai aspek boleh dijadikan tumpuan kajian. Heah
(1989) mengkaji pengaruh bahasa Inggeris dalam perkembangan perbendaharaan kata Melayu.
Quah (1998) telah mengkaji terjemahan imbuhan bahasa Inggeris ke dalam bahasa Melayu.
Begitu juga pelbagai jawatankuasa telah ditubuhkan untuk membentuk istilah (satu aspek
terjemahan). ada juga kajian tentang terjemahan teks sastera (Norshimah xxxx). Satu aspek
yang kurang diberi perhatian adalah komponen lexical grammatical. Dari segi ini kata preposisi
merupakan satu aspek yang perlu diberi perhatian (cf. Ramlah 1990). Kepentingan kata preposisi
dalam linguistik dihuraikan oleh Imran (1999). Ini termasuklah

Kata preposisi merupakan kata yang paling kerap dalam bahasa. Dalam bahasa Inggeri setiap
kata yang kelapan dalam teks Inggeris merupakan satu kata preposisi. Kata preposisi
membentuk dua puluh peratus daripada lima puluh kata yang paling kerap dalam korpus LOB
(Johansson & Hofland 1989). Kekerapan yang tinggi kata preposisi membuktikan peri
pentingnya kata preposisi dalam bahasa itu. Sebagai kata leksikal yang berlaku dengan
kekerapan begitu tinggi, kata ini memenuhi kebanyakkan kriteria statistik yang ditekankan oleh
pengkaji ala stylometrik dan analisa kuantitatif bahasa (cf. Oakes 1998). Kekerapan penggunaan
kata preposisi menjustifikasikan kajian terhadap unsur nahu ini dalam kajian ini yang bertujuan
mengkaji secara empirikal strategi terjemahan kata preposisi dalam dua korpora kandungan
selari.

Frasa preposisi seringkali berfungsi sebagai frasa adverba yang membawa maklumat tambahan
yang khusus. Seseorang penterjemah juga perlu menghadapi bukan sahaja sifat polysemous
kata preposisi, tetapi juga dengan kepelbagaian fungsi yang sering dikaitkan dengan kata
preposisi seperti penggunaan kata itu sebagai partikel, kata penghubung, frasa idiomatik dsbnya.
Dengan kata lain, kata preposisi merupakan unsur linguistik yang kompleks dari segi sintaksis
dan semantik yang mempunyai high functional utility. Oleh sebab ini, kata preposisi perlu dikaji
secara mendalam dalam terjemahan. Dalam konteks kajian tentang laporan akhbar, satu sebab
praktikal untuk mengkaji terjemahan preposisi adalah kerana dalam laporan akhbar, maklumat
yang terkandung dalam frasa preposisi adalah crucial kepada kandungan laporan akhbar,
umpamanya, siapa, bila, bagaimana, di mana – semuanya lazimnya terkandung dalam frasa
preposisi.

Dari perspektif psychologikal, kata preposisi merupakan satu komponen yang integral dalam
ungkapan tentang semantik ruang, yang merupakan satu kategori ontologikal asas yang menjadi
penghubung konseptual kepada kategori yang lebih abstrak. Oleh itu, kata preposisi telah
didapati menstrukturkan bahagian-bahagian lain sistem konseptual melalui metafora dan
menunjukkan variasi cross-linguistic (Reboul 1997). Maka adalah penting dan wajar, kajian ke
atas strategi terjemahan bermula dengan kata preposisi.
Berdasarkan latar belakang ini, kata preposisi setentunya satu aspek kategtori lexical-
grammatical yang amat penting untuk sebarang kajian cross-linguistic atau kajian terjemahan.
Namun demikian, penyelidik mendapati, hanya terdapat sedikit kajian kritis tentang terjemahan
kata preposisi Inggeris – Melayu. Kajian-kajian ini akan dibincangkan seterusnya dalam bab yang
berkaitan.

1.2 Matlamat

Kajian ini bertujuan:

i) mengenalpasti strategi terjemahan preposisi-preposisi itu dalam bahasa Melayu


dalam satu korpus terjemahan laporan akhbar selari
ii) memetakan “the Malay equivalents’ preposisi-preposisi berkenaan dalam bahasa
Melayu
iii) membentuk satu algoritma terjemahan preposisi berkenaan ke dalam bahasa Melayu

1.3 Kepentingan Penyelidikan

Terjemahan merupakan satu proses menterjemahkan sebuah teks dari bahasa sumber
(bsu) ke dalam satu bahasa sasaran (bsa). Nida (1969) menyatakan bahawa terjemahan
bertujuan menghasilkan dalam bsa teks natural yang paling hampir sama (closest natural
equivalence) dalam bsu. Terjemahan kebiasaannya dibahagikan kepada into terjemahan teks
sastera dan teks teknikal. Contoh-contoh teks sastera yang sering diterjemahkan termasuklah
novels, cecrpen dan puisi. Contoh-contoh teks teknikal yang sering diterjemahkan pula terdiri
daripada manual, buku akademik dan laporan akhbar dari agensi berita dunia seperti Reuters
and Associated Press (AP). Kajian ini mengkaji terjemahan laporan akhbar bahasa Inggeris ke
dalam bahasa Melayu. Terdapat perbezaan antara terjemahan teks sastera berbanding teks
teknikal. Dengan teks teknikal, maklumat perlu diterjemahkan dengan jitu dan oleh itu terjemahan
literal atau kata untuk kata (word for word) sering digunakan. Secara perbandingan, dalam
terjemahan kesusasteraan, mesej atau ide merupakan unsur terpenting dan oleh itu terjemahan
kata untuk kata bukanlah satu perkara yang perlu diikuti secara teliti.

Dalam hal teks teknikal dan laporan akhbar, frasa preposisi lazimnya menyampaikan
maklumat penting dalam sesuatu ungkapan. Oleh itu, terjemahan frasa preposisi yang betul, jelas
dan tepat amatlah penting dalam terjemahan teks berkenaan. Terjemahan yang salah atau yang
kurang tepat dalam hal ini boleh menyebabkan salah maklumat atau maklumat tidak tepat. Maka
adalah penting untuk kajian seumpama ini dilakukan untuk mengenalpasti strategi terjemahan
serta menurunkan rumus yang sesuai untuk terjemahan preposisi.

Seperti diperkatakan di atas, terjemahan kata preposisi dan frasa presposisi merupakan satu
aspek yang terpenting dalam terjemahan of preposition. Ini kerana kata preposisi bahasa Inggeris
bersifat multi-fungi (multi-functional). Chief among these function is the adverbial clause which is
used to convey additional information such as where, when and how. The preposition is a word
usually preceding a noun or pronoun and is used to express a relationship with another word or
elements in the preposition phrase. According to Leech (1989:374) “a preposition is a word which
typically goes before a noun phrase or pronoun". The common prepositions are about, at, above,
across, up, down etc. In addition, Quirk and Greenbaum (1993:143) claims that a preposition
expresses a relation between two entities, one being that represented by the prepositional
complement. They also add that of the various types of relational meaning those of place and
time are the most dominant. The preposition is an important word class because it used to
frequently in both the written and spoken form to convey a rich variety of information. In Malay,
according to Nik Safiah Karim (1995:139), a preposition occurs before a noun or noun phrase.
Although all prepositions occur preceding nouns or noun phrases, they have different roles or
functions and their uses are governed by specific rules. In Malay language, prepositions are also
known as sendi nama, kata depan preposisi. Like their English counterparts, Malay prepositions
are used either before noun phrases or pronouns and cannot stand alone.

1.2 Statement of the problem

This research is to investigate the terjemahan of the English prepositions from into Malay.
Malay equivalents of this English preposition can come in various forms sometimes and at other
times the terjemahan may not even be a ‘preposition’. According to Asmah (1985:34) from is
usually translated into daripada or dari. However, it is possible in certain constructions that the
prepositions from may not be translated using either of these Malay prepositions, for example:

1a. ……an eye swolen shut from the blow of….


1b. …mata yang bengkak tertutup akibat ditampar….

The fact that the Malay equivalents can come in various form or class of word makes the
terjemahan of English prepositions more complex. This is due to the fact that the translator must
identify the functions of English prepositions before choosing the most appropriate or suitable
equivalents in Malay.

The multiple functions of English prepositions can be quite complex because of their different
usage. As Yule (1998:45) observes "the grammatical uses of English prepositions are actually
tied to the conceptual meaning of the noun phrases which come after them". As such a single
Malay preposition may not be able to fulfill all the functions of from. Thus, the terjemahan involves
a one to many mapping.

1.5 Limitations of the study

The study is based on data from a small corpus of English – Malay news report
terjemahan and only examines the terjemahan of one preposition, namely the preposition from.
Based on the small sample, it is possible that not every conceivable usage of from might be
realized in the data. As such the study is at best a pilot study into the terjemahan of from into
Malay in news reports.
Aslo due to the limitation of time, a more comprehensive look into the finer distinction of
usages of from is not possible, the categories of usage employed in the analysis is limited to
those usages which are listed in the dictionaries. Again, the list might be far from exhaustive.
Nevertheless, the study attempts to map each of this uses when they occur in the data..

TATA KAEDAH

Kajian ini menggunakan korpus terjemahan selari untuk mengenalpasti strategi terjemahan
preposisi bi ke bm. Kerangka penganalisaan menggunakan teroi semantik kognitif serta analisa
semantik perbandingan. Bahagian seterusnya akan membincangkan dan menghuraikan teks dan
alat yang digunakan dalam mendapatkan data kajian.

Pembinaan Korpus Kajian


Memandangkan belum ada satu korpus terjemahan selari yang dapat digunakan dalam
penyelidikan ini, maka satu korpus terjemahan telah dibina. Korpus ini berasaskan teks laporan
akhbar bahasa Inggeris (bahasa sumber) yang diterjemahkan kepada bahasa Melayu (bahasa
sasaran). Asalnya sebanyak 40 teks daripada Corpus of Written Malaysian English (Imran Ho
Abdullah 1999) telah dipilih sebagai teks sumber. Teks sumber ini dikumpulkan daripada terbitan
News Straits Times (NST) yang diterbitkan sepanjang 1990-1999. Sampel setiap teks adalah
lebih kurang 2000 patah perkataan dan mengikut piawaian LOB serta korpus teks lain.

Teks-teks ini telah diterjemahkan oleh penutur asli bahasa Melayu yang mengikuti program minor
terjemahan di Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Teks-teks terjemahan ini kemudian dikumpulkan
dan membentuk korpus terjemahan selari yang digunakan dalam kajian selanjutnya.
Kesemuanya, 39 teks telah diterjemahkan dengan 1 teks tidak dipulangkan oleh penterjemah.
Maka, koprus terjemahan selari yang akhirnya dibentuk mengandungi hanya 39 teks yang
diterjemahkan.

Sumber Terjemahan
Bilangan teks 39 39
Bilangan perkataan
Bilangan type

The parallel text technique for terjemahan study was introduced in the 1950’s. Basically, the
technique is used to analyze and evaluate terjemahan. Significantly, parallel text is appropriate
for interlingual comparison of both source and target languages at all levels of the text.

For the purpose ofthis study, ten parallel texts from the original corpus was examined. All the
texts werenews reports from the News Strait Times (NST) which has subsequently been
translated into Malay.. Mostly, the selected NST newspaper collections are about politics, country
development, tourism and problems towards public’s facilities. Overall, the source texts contains
82,656 words and the target texts contained 74,343 words. The source text was compared with
the translated version in the target text. The two texts form the domain for contrastive analysis.
The analysis focuses on the changes in the translated text or target text. The changes might be
derived from word order, phrases or even sentences from aspect of meaning.Apart from
contrasting the source and target text, further semantic analysis involved in determining and
resolving the meaning of the English preposition from was conducted. In doing this, the
researcher relied on existing lexicographic descriptions summarised in chapter 2.

3.3 Method and procedures.


There are four phases in the research. Further discussion on these four phases will be described
in sub-sections 3.3.1 to 3.3.4.

3.3.1 Phase one – Getting and preparing the texts


Phase one is basically preparing parallel texts. First of all, before starting the analysis,
the texts must be prepared for processing. As mention earlier, this study uses parallel texts
approach. Therefore it is imperative to have the source text and its translated version. Apart from
that, these two texts must be written in two different languages. In this study, the source text is
written in the English language and its translated version or target text is written in the Malay
language. Phase one of the study was relatively simplified because of the existence of the
parallel corpora. The researcher extracted the relevant ten source texts and ten target text from
the corpora and save them in two separate files. One for the source texts and the other for the
target texts. Printout of these text were prepared for easier comparison. 3.3.2 Phase two – data
generation.
Phase two involves generating the neceesary data from the parallel texts. In particular, it
involve the selection of the occurence of the the English preposition ‘from’ in the source text
(English text). In this phase, the identification and selection was done automatically using the
Oxford Concordance Program (OCP).
The Oxford Concordance Program (OCP) is a general-purpose computer program, which
makes concordances, indexes and word list from text in a variety of languages and alphabets.
The OCP program was first introduced in 1977. This program has two version, they are version 1
and version 2. The OCP can be applied in text analysis including the investigating of style,
vocabulary distribution, grammatical forms, rhyme schemes, text editing and language acquisition
and teaching. In running this program, the user must present two sets of information: the text,
which is to be analyzed, and a set of commands describing the analysis to be carried out. The
OCP is able to list all words in alphabetic order. Apart from that, each word is surrounded by
some words context from the text and is accompanied by a reference to the left, in this case a line
number, which indicates where that occurrence of the word is to be found in the text. In addition,
this program is very easy to operate especially for those who have had no previous experience of
computing.
In this study, the source text (NST) was processed using the OCP program. A command
file for the selection of theEnglish preposition ‘from’ from the source text was created with the
help of the supervisor. The output file was saved in Excel format for subsequent analysis. A
sample of the data generated is presented below (see Table 1). All in 72 occurences of from in
the source text was identified.

Table 1: Sample of the data


A01 64 "usinessmen, who would benefit from the exemption of tax-duties on var"
A01 81 hoped the increase in the tax from RM20 to RM40 effective January nex
A01 127 He said it would mop up funds from the market and mobilise funds whic
A02 1 x:- Mystery pool ... The pool from which Lubok Antu got its name.-By
A02 18 "h a total population of 3,275 from 524 families. When asked about it,"
A02 31 "terms of the income generated from the tourist trade. Elsewhere, the"
A02 40 "ndfather to one, Jaga retired from the police force two years ago aft"
A02 41 obody fought for their rights from the very beginning of the dam proj
A02 58 "says, the compensation ranged from between RM350 to RM600. As for fru"
A02 65 rn only about RM200 per month from these projects. Gerang anak Bukong
A02 80 "o far, there has been no word from the authorities. Most of the peopl"
A02 102 by seven longhouses. Profits from this shop are shared among the sev
A02 106 o the Hilton longhouse resort from the make-shift jetty next to her s
A02 124 "elayu located a stone's throw from the small Lubok Antu town, says th"
A02 176 "al of RM274,000 was collected from MIC leaders and members for the Ma"
A03 16 the co-operation and support from the public. Anwar said Siyasah Sya
A03 35 now witnessing extreme views from both sides which do not reflect th
A03 36 "nd interest to evaluate views from others, including the ulamaks. Anw"
A03 46 "ss, we have to defend the law from the Siyasah Syar'iyyah point of vi"

3.3.3 Phase three –Matching the English data to the Malay in the target text
In phase three, the data from phase two were matched with their counter parts. The
identification was done manually. The matching process was facilitated by the reference line
number generated by the OCP. In general, the occurence of the Malay terjemahan of from are
located within the vicinity of the source in the parallel texts.

3.3.4 Phase four – Semantic categorisation and analysis


In this phase, the English preposition occurence and the Malays terjemahan were placed
in separate columns in a table (using Excel). Other columns for the categorisation and analysis of
the data were also prepared. The columns are as follows:
i. Number of text (NT).
ii. Number of lines (NL).
iii. Category (CAT).
iv. Source text.
v. Various Malay equivalents.
vi. Category (CAT).
vii. Comments.

Phase four involves the researcher examining each occurence of from and their
terjemahan and filling in the table according to their own sections. The first-two columns
identify the exact location of the data in the source text. This made it easier to refer back
to the texts, especially for larger textual context. The most important analysis is the third
column, where a particular occurence of the preposition from is categorised for its
semantic category.. In this study, the categories are composed of source, space, time
and degree The source codes (SC)used are SP for space T for T and DEG for degree.
The fifth and the sixth column contain the target Malay texts in the examination of the
terjemahan. Lastly, the seventh column. contains the observation and comments of the
researcher in the course of carrying out the analysis. this column is very significance
because it is related to the process of analyzing the data and forms part of the results of
the study. The analysis and results will be discussed in chapter four.

3.1 Contrastive analyses.


Contrastive analysis is a process of contrasting different languages. According to Dune (1980:3),
CA is a linguistic methodology aimed at producing inverted (in contrastive, not comparative) two
valued typologies (a CA is always concerned with a pair of languages) and founded on the
assumption that languages can be compared.. Generally, contrastive analysis focus more on
contrasting the linguistic parts. By using this analysis, the researcher is able to contrast the
source language texts (English) by comparing it with the target language texts (Malay) .. Since
English is an Indo-European languages and Malay an Austronesian language, it might be
expected that there will be major linguistic differences. The contrastive analysis will focus on
these differences when English istransfered or translated into Malay.

Contrastive analysis is one of approach used in terjemahan. According to Basnett


(1991:2), terjemahan is the rendering of a source language (SL) text nto the target language (TL)
as to ensure that (i) the surface meaning of the two will be approximately similar and (ii) the
structures of the SL will be preserved as closely as possible but not to so closely that the TL
structure will be seriously distorted.
Since the purpose of terjemahan is to transfer or convert a text from one language to another
language, the connection between CA and terjemahan becomes even more crucial. According to
Quah (1997:41), CA is a branch of linguistics that emphasise the importance of comparing two
language or subsystems of a language for the purpose of determining the differences and
similarities between two languages. Such analysis wil enable translators to develop strategies in
their terjemahan tasks.
LATAR BELAKANG DAN KORPUS KAJIAN

HASIL

Terjemahan of the English prepositions into Malay

The preposition at
The findings indicate that the preposition at is translated in numerous ways depending on the
semantic domain of use. Even within the same domain, there often variants to the terjemahan of
at. In all, the terjemahan corpus used 45 different Malay equivalents to substitute the English
preposition at.

First of all, the highest instances were ranked by 'di' with 141 instances. The second highest
occurrence was ranked by zero prepositions 81 instances. Then, it is followed by ‘pada’, which
has occurred 58 times in target text. Then, followed again by 'sekurang-kurangnya' with 10
instances. In the fifth place, it was shared by two Malay equivalents which are 'cadangan' and
'pada masa yang sama' occurred 8 times in the target text. Then the sixth place are ranked by
'dalam' , ‘kerana’ and ‘untuk’ with 7 instances. Then, it is followed by ‘semasa’, which has
occurred for 5 times. After that, the next rating is ranked by two prepositions, which are ‘buat
masa sekarang’ and ‘pada masa sekarang’ with each 3 instances. Last but not least, the second
less use prepositions are ‘apa jua’, ‘diketika ini’, ‘di suatu ketika’, ‘masa seperti inilah’, ‘pada masa
itu’, ‘pada waktu itu’ and ‘tujuan utama’ with each occurred 2 times. Lastly, the most minimal used
prepositions are ‘ada’, ‘ada masanya’, ‘akhirnya’, ‘apa jua’, ‘berada’, ‘berada dikemuncaknya’,
‘berkaitan dengan’, ‘dengan sebaliknya’, ‘di dalam’, ‘di mana’, ‘ditahap yang terbaik’, ‘dikenakan’,
‘ialah’, ‘ke atas’, ‘kerana’, ‘ketika ini’, ‘kira-kira’, ‘lebih dari’, ‘pada akhir hayatnya’, ‘pada masa ini’,
‘pada masa yang tepat’, ‘pada saat yang terakhir’ and ‘pada setiap masa’ with each occurred
once in the target text.

Domain
Spatial (130) di (118)
ø (8)
pada (2)
dari (1)
dalam (1)
Temporal (72) di (9)
ø (18)
pada (37)
semasa (2)
untuk (1)
dalam (2)
sehingga
(1)
error (2)

Spatio-temporal (Events) (36) di (11)


ø (3)
pada (16)
dalam (3)
di dalam (1)
semasa (2)
Area di (2)
ø (24)
dalam (2)
kepada (6)
tentang (1)
untuk (4)
ke atas (1)
Circumstance (2) ø (2)

State (7) di (1)


ø (3)
dalam (1)
dengan (1)
semasa (1)

Manner (43) di (4)


ø (14)
pada (20)
dengan (5)

Cause / Reason (4) ø (2)


dengan (1)
kerana (1)

Out of the 130 instances of spatial usage,


A02 117 ve formed his conclusion
kesimpulan atas
on the matter if he was present at
pindaan-pindaan
the House to listen to the details of
tersebut jika beliau hadir
the amendments and the vi
pada perhimpunan
tersebut dan mendengar
M 1.s instn akan semua pindaan pada
A19 158 rawak State Government is Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak bersed
prepared to offer them a house at a low menawarkan mereka sebuah rum
cost housing scheme at Tudan, near Miri, kos rendah di Tudan, berdekatan
for his family. M 1.s scheme Miri.
A25 95 f the brothers and charged them
with a break-in reported at R.J. Reynolds
godown on Sept 12, 1991. Mohamed Noor, didakwa kerana memecah masu
Mohamad Y M 1.s godown gudang R.J Renolyd pada 12
A37 51 ding court until the end of the
month. Yew is a fixture at his club. Nursing
a drink and standing in the sidelines, he Yew merupakan orang
kee M 1.s club berkedudukan dalam kelabnya.
A25 9 thers' biggest hit - the
RM12 million predawn gold heist at
the cargo complex of the Kuala complex daripada RM12 million
Lumpur International Airport in M 1.s * dari dari
A03 26 at the opening of the two-
di pembukaan semianar
day Siyasah Syar'iyyah seminar at
Siyasah Sya'iyah dalam
Wisma Darul Iman here attended by
2 hari di Wisma Darul
about 1,000 people, including
Iman di sini yang dihadiri
lebih kurang 1,000orang,
M 1.s building termasuklah di
A02 75 ism. Aminah looks after a Aminah menjaga sebuah
floating grocery store located at one kedai runcit yang
end of the Batang Ai. The shop terletak di salah satu
belongs to the Koperasi Serb hujung Batang Ai. Kedai
M 1.s tersebut di

temporal:
A09 146 in November last year.
Ramli was speaking to reporters November tahu lalu. Ramli
at the end of the one day Perak bercakap kepada pemberita
State Assembly sitting. He was at the selepas berakhirnya sidang
as M 2.t end of sehari DUN. Dia ditanya *
A10 151 BANK Negara's Simpanan Bank Negara
reserves of about RM66.87 billion sejumlah *+Rm66.87 bilion
as at June 29, 1996, was 146 per sehingga 29 Jun , 1996 adalah
cent higher than the RM27.15 146 tinggi daripada jumlah
billion M 2.t.as at date *+Rm27.15blion direkodkan *
A04 127 "It looked like we are Ianyan akan menjadikan bahan *buat
being made a laughing stock, but jenaka , tetapi buat masa masa
at the moment, we are enjoying at the sekarang, kami sedang sekara
it. This is truly a test case and w M 2.t moment menikmatinya. Sesungguhnya g
A31 140 he age of 26, he made his
first billion dollars and now, at the
age of 31, Michael Dell is worth at the
US$4.8 billion - or more, M 2.t.age age of dalam usianya 31 tahun, dalam
A11 122 d the Act would be
amended to introduce new bagi memperkenalkan seksyen dalam
sections and at the same time, at the baru dan dalam masa yang masa
amendments would be made to same sama pindaan akan dibuat ke yang
certain existing cla M 2.t.time time atas klausa yang telah wujud sama
A37 91 ending up exhausted and
contented at the Boom Boom
Room at some unearthly hour,
proving that if you really try hard berhenti dengan letihnya di
enough M 2.t Boom di
A24 64 not work as the embryo
needs a right balance of hormones
at the right moments to develop. momen memerlukan hormon yang
The Malaysian Agricultural Resea M 2.t.m t disimpan di masa yang betul di
A23 18 rea must be present
before the doing of the act and
must at all times be accompanied
by the actus reus. "Having only at all dijalankan dan mesti di tiap
one e M 2.t.time times masa diikuti dengan 'actus reas' di
A27 163 ape of his wife although
that was not a crime in England at
that time and was sentenced to at that kejadian ini bukanlah satu
three years jail. The court rul M 2.t.time time kesalahan jenayah di England di
A23 138 aimi and the jury should
not believe what he had said." At di
this point Judge Datuk Mokhtar at this Di ketika ini hakim Datuk ketika
Sidin said if credibility was in M 2.t point Mokhtar Sidin ini
A20 160 tar tournament but with Selepas itu mereka akan
Thailand being another exception at at bertanding di pertandingan kecil
the end of the year because [of] its the utama tetapi Thailand
proximity." Han Jian said end dikecualikan pada hujung tahun
M 2.t of ini." Han Jian berpendapat pada
A22 30 the scene of the incident.
Mohd Ismail's body was found at
3.30pm, caught between some mayat Mohd. Ismail pula ditemui
driftwood, about two kilometres dow M 2.t clock pada jam 3.30 petang, pada

Spatio-temporal:

A31 40 said SBB Securities chief


executive officer Low Mei Ling at a seminar Low Mei Ling di satu seminar
on the local stock market on Saturday. berkenaan pasaran saham
The seminar w M 1.s.e tempatan
A33 132 those in the lower income
group," he said in his address at a loan dalam kenyataannya sempena
signing ceremony. He said banks and majlis menandatangani perjanjia
finance companies t M 1.s.e pinjaman
A34 93 ercise, he would be meeting 200
Japanese bankers there. At the
extraordinary meeting earlier, YTL Di dalam mesyuarat yang luar
shareholders approved th M 1.s.e biasa itu,
A34 127 atories and the rest were for
calibration. He said this at the signing of a Beliau berkata ini pada majlis
memorandum of understanding between menandatangani memorendum
the counci M 1.s.e persefahaman (MoU)
A34 183 without barriers. Rafidah, who
will represent Malaysia at the meeting, told
a Press conference yesterday that she Rafidah akan mewakili Malaysia
would M 1.s.e pada Mesyuarat
A39 62 d everyone manages to keep
themselves busy. ICT performs at ICT membuat persembahan pad
launches, dinner shows, company parties pelancaran, pertunjukan makan
and even charity events M 1.s.e malam, parti-parti syarikat dan j
A03 25 lfilling the requirements of Islam." syarat-syarat dalam Islam." Anw
Anwar was speaking at the opening of the bercakap di pembukaan semina
two-day Siyasah Syar'iyyah seminar at Sayasah Sya'iyah selama 2 hari
Wisma M 1.s.et Wisma

Manner (on scale)

A34 100 idate Scientex Polymer's


six million ordinary RM1 shares at
RM1.50 per share. It said the enam juta saham pada harga
disposal of some shares in Scient M 3.m.p RM1.OO pada
A37 196 's Place which serves
local and international selections
at very reasonable rates. masakan tempatan serta
Heaven's knows what Bach would antarabangsa pada harga yang
have had M 3.m.p berpatutan. pada
A25 202 ched with offers to menjual jongkong emas atau
purchase gold bars or gold barang perhiasan emas dengan
ornaments at low prices M 3.m.p harga yang murah denga
A31 121 r philosophy is that we
can still offer the same service at
reasonably cheap rates in a turbo yang sama dengan kadar
propeller aircraft. So our ch M 3.m.p tambang yang berpatutan denga
A33 151 portant role in terms of
providing suitably located land at a
low cost. "That is why the Deputy lebih banyak tanah yang sesuai
Prime Minister Datuk Seri A M 3.m.p dengan bayaran yang rendah. denga
A06 44 n September last year krisis adalah tidak sah dan batal.
were also declared null and void. Di kemuncak krisis, Koding telah
At the height of the crisis, Koding mengantung Pandikar dari parti
had suspended Pandikar and his M 3.m crisis dan secara rasmi di
A25 150 the most appropriate
time to strike... when security was
at its lowest," said the source. A securit ketika keselamatan berada
senior Federal police source s M 3.m y ditahap yang terendah. di
A13 118 States, except Sarawak. ini juga tidak mempertandingkan
There is no election for posts at the jawatan-jawaatan di peringkat
divisional level this year as the bahagian kerana pemilihan
election was held last ye M 3.m.l level peringkat di
A16 115 he JFA each time we
needed money to carry out JFA setiap kali memerlukan wang
activities at district level. And untuk menjalankan aktiviti di
often, we had to wait for a long peringkat daerah. Biasanya juga,
time befor M 3.m.l level kami perlu menunggu dalam di
A34 62 to 1,082.79. Turnover was
296.159 million shares valued at
RM1.653 billion. "The stock market juta saham bernilai RM 1.653
had already discounted the t M 3.m.p billion. *
A34 159 ure company will then
proceed to set up a printing plant at
an estimated total cost of RM60 percetakan yang dianggarkan
million - either at Shah Alam M 3.m.p jumlah nilainya RM 60 juta *

A34 161 gi in Selangor.


The products will initially
be targeted at the
Malaysian market, but will akan dipasarkan di
eventually be distributed aim- pasaran Malayisa tetapi
withi M target target akan di
A26 151 as already done
so, but not Malaysia.
Carolyn Hong looks at
when speaking out is Carolyn Hong meneliti di
better than holding your look- mana berkata-kata lebih
tongue. CONVENTIO M target.a examine baik daripada berdiam diri di mana
A12 75 f jobs. "It is high "Sudah sampai masanya
time the authorities pihak penguatkuasa
concerned look at the mengambil berat ke atas
negative implications as a implikasi negatif sebagai
result of such exercises," look- satu akibat dari ramalan
he sa M target.a examine itu," katanya. ke atas
A39 35 mplified and they melemparkan kata-kata
clown around throwing yang pedas kepada satu
caustic comments at each sama lain. Semua yang ada
other. The air positively ketawa terbahak-bahak
crackles with wit and dengan kebolehan
humour, th M target throw berjenaka kepada
A40 154 fficult if you susah jikalau melatih
practise theatre in the local teater dalam bahasa
language." At whom is he tempatan". Kepada siapa
pointing this accusing yang beliau persalahkan?
finger? "Nobody in "tiada sesiapun. Ini
particula M target point sebenarnya mel kepada
A21 155 der. "Karen only
started competing four
months ago. Look at how Karen mula bertanding
she is doing now," She said. empat bulan yang lalu. Lihat
Karen, sister of nationalist M target.a look dirinya sekarang," *
A24 128 o similar cases
but this might not be so
when one looked at the full tetapi ia tidak begitu jika
facts of the case. Zainur look- kita melihat maklumat
said even when lawyers conside sepenuhnya tentang kes
made M target.a r tersebut *
A32 25 enturing into these
areas overseas." It is also syarikat itu juga
looking at oil and gas look- memandang serius terhadap
fabrication, turnkey civil conside potensi bidang fabrikasi
construction jobs, recyc M target.a r minyak dan gas, *
A03 9 ot betray the trust rakyat ke atas kita. Kita
and hope of the people. We haruslah mengambil kira
must look at the interest of minat rakyat dalam
the people and continue to look- membina negara dengan
develop the nation u conside menggunakan Siyasah
M target.a r Syar'iyah * / no terjemahan/
A39 115 y or anything like dengan sindiran yang
that, but politics we are berkaitan dengan politik,
hitting out at." Despite this, ini adalah kerana kami
it's a spicy, impudent and bukannya menekankan
brazen humour which M 4.a* hit out pada seseorang menteri *berkaitan dengan
A38 73 atherhood. "Nature is Ia beri aku bakat dalam
so mystifying. It gives me talent bermain snuker, aku berjaya
at snooker though I worked hard dalam bidang itu akibat
at it and became very good; now talent daripada usahanya itu; kini pula
it M 4.a at Ia dalam
A38 74 ying. It gives me talent M 4.a* work Ia beri aku bakat dalam dalam
at snooker though I worked hard hard at bermain snuker, aku berjaya (error)
at it and became very good; now dalam bidang itu akibat
it's given me a baby. Amazing. daripada usahanya itu; kini pula
Inc

Ia
A34 161 gi in Selangor. The
products will initially be targeted
at the Malaysian market, but will aim- akan dipasarkan di pasaran
eventually be distributed withi M target target Malayisa tetapi akan di
A26 151 as already done so, but
not Malaysia. Carolyn Hong looks
at when speaking out is better look- Carolyn Hong meneliti di mana
than holding your tongue. exami berkata-kata lebih baik
CONVENTIO M target.a ne daripada berdiam diri di mana

State

fixed expressions:
at least = sekurang-kurangnya (n = 10)
at times
at the present moment

At boleh digulungkan kepada tiga kategori – preposisi dalam frasa preposisi, partikel di dalam
kata kerja berpreposisi (prepositional verbs) dan partikel dalam kata kerja (phrasal verbs),
Ternyata strategi terjemahan amat berbeza mengikut kategori. Sementara kebanyakkan
terjemahan preposisi at dalam frasa preposisi adalah di, perkara yang sama tidak wujud dalam
kategori lain.

Hasil kajian mendapati bahawa kategori memainkan peranan yang penting dalam strategi
terjemahan. Ternyata bahawa sungguhpun data

Findings for English preposition 'at'.

Finding for English preposition 'on'.


Based on the analysis of English preposition 'on' translated into Malay in the news
reports there are 69 of equivalent in Malay. According to the analysis, the equivalent of zero
preposition rated the highest use in the translated text. The equivalent 'pada' placed second
highest occurrence with 91 instances. Then, third ranking is followed by 'di' with 48 instances
occurred in the translated texts. After that, it is followed by 'tentang' with 33 instances. The fifth
place is ranked by 'kepada' with 24 instances. This followed by 'dalam' with 22 instances which
ranked sixth. Then, 'di atas' occurred with 18 instances in the translated texts. Furthermore,
'untuk' occurred with 16 instances. Then, it is followed by 'terhadap' with 15 instances. The 'ke
atas' equivalent has occurred 14 times. Then, 'berdasarkan' has occurred with 12 instances. This
followed with 'dengan' with 10 instances. The equivalent 'bagi' occurred 7 times in the target
texts. Then followed by 'atas' with 5 instances. The 'berkenaan' and 'di dalam' both has occurred
4 times. Last but not least are 'berkaitan dengan' and meneruskan' both appeared with 2
instances. Lastly, the last place is shared by many equivalents with 1 instance in the target text.
They are 'agar', 'akan', 'akan mengurangkan', 'bagi menjalankan', 'beralih', 'berjalan',
'berteraskan', 'berterusan', 'dan mungkin', 'dan sebagainya', 'dari segi', 'daripada', 'di sekeliling',
'di ambil', 'di ambil', 'di bawah', 'diberi', 'digembar-gemburkan', 'dipamerkan', 'dipindahkan', 'dirasai
tidak lama lagi', 'diteruskan', 'ke', 'ke arah', 'kedudukan', 'kerana', 'melalui', 'melihat kepada',
'meminta', 'menanguhkan', 'mengalahkan', 'menggesa' 'menggunakan', 'mengulas', 'meningkat',
'menyaksikan', 'menyentuh', 'menyokong', 'oleh', 'pengekalannya', 'secara khususnya', 'selepas',
'semakin meningkat', 'telah', 'terus', 'turun ke padang', 'walaubagaimanapun' and lastly is 'yang'.
Findings for English preposition 'in’'

Based on the analysis, there are various equivalents were used in the English translated
text. Overall, there are 81 Malay equivalents were used to substitute English preposition 'in'. First
of all, the highest instances were ranked by 'di' with 485 instances. The second highest
occurrence was ranked by zero prepositions with 441 instances. Then, it is followed by ‘dalam’,
which has occurred 280 times in target text. Then, followed again by 'pada' with 115 instances.
The fifth highest occurrence was ranked by ‘di dalam’ with 74 instances. The sixth highest
occurrence was by ‘dengan’ with 46 instances. Then, ‘untuk’ with 27 intances, ‘semasa’ with 7
instances, and ‘tentang’ with 6 intances follow it. The tenth places in occurrence are shared by
‘terhadap’, ‘di antara’, ‘kepada’ and ‘ini’ with 4 instances each. The third less use prepositions are
‘ini, ‘sebagai’ and ‘sejak’ with 3 instances. The second less use prepositions are shared by ‘akan’,
‘atas’, ‘berhubung’, ‘dalaman’, ‘darisegi’, ‘ dimana’, ‘ke’, ‘ ke atas’, ‘ketika’, ‘ malah’ ,’ selaras’, ‘
sempena’ with 2 instances. The most minimal use prepositions are ‘akhirnya’, ‘bagi’,
‘berasaskan’, berkenaan’, bersempena’, ‘ caranya’, ‘ dahulu’, ‘ dalam hal ini’, ‘ dalamnya’, ‘ demi’,
‘ dihadapan’, ‘ di sini’, ‘ dilakukan’, ‘ disamping’, ‘di terima’, ‘ dulu’,’ iaitu’, ‘ingin dipersoalkan’, ‘ kali
ini’, ‘ kerana’,’ kesimpulannya’, ‘malahan’, ‘masih berjalan’, ‘ melihat kepada’, ‘membawa pulang’,
‘ memegang kuasa’, ‘ menarik perhatian’, ‘ mengikut’, ‘ menulis’, ‘ menyertai semula’,’mudah’, ‘
oleh’, ‘ pada dasarnya’, ‘penempatan’, ‘ pinjaman terus’,’ sealiran’,’ sebenarnya’, ‘ secara’,
‘selama’, selaras dengan’, ‘selari’, ‘sepanjang’, ‘setelah’,’ tambahan kepada’, ‘telah’, ‘teratur’, ‘
terjawab’, ‘terutamanya’, ‘tinggal’ with 1 instances.

Domain
Spatial (518) di (382)
ø (99)
dengan (1)
dalam (17)
di dalam (16)
ke (2)
oleh (1)
Temporal (173) di (11)
ø (46)
pada (83)
semasa (3)
untuk (3)
dalam (24)
sejak (3)

Spatio-temporal (Events) (36) di (11)


ø (3)
pada (16)
dalam (3)
di dalam (1)
semasa (2)
Area di (2)
ø (24)
dalam (2)
kepada (6)
tentang (1)
untuk (4)
ke atas (1)
Circumstance (2) ø (2)
State (7) dalam (13)
dengan (2)
ø (35)
di dalam (2)
untuk (4)
di (1)

Manner (43) dalam (8)


dengan (7)
ø (19)
di dalam (1)
di mana (1)

Cause / Reason (4) ø (2)


dengan (1)
kerana (1)

PENTAFSIRAN

RUMUSAN & CADANGAN

RUJUKAN

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The categorical classification takes precedence over the functional (semantic) classification.

STRATEGI PENTERJEMAHAN PREPOSISI BAHASA INGGERIS


DALAM LAPORAN AKHBAR

TERJEMAHAN STRATEGIES OF ENGLISH PREPOSITIONS INTO


MALAY IN NEWS REPORTS
CHAPTER ONE: CONTEXT

Background to the Research

This research was funded by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2001. The main aim of the
research was to analyze the strategies employed in the terjemahan of English prepositions into
Malay in news reporting. The information would be of use to help inform the building of
terjemahan algorithm in Machine Terjemahan of English into Malay especially with respect to the
terjemahan of prepositions.

It was also intended that the research would:

• provide a description and analysis of cross-linguistic relationship between English


prepositions and Malay prepositions and identify cross-linguistics differences of this
linguistic category.
• support the development of better and more accurate terjemahan of news report from
English into Malay.
• make recommendations as to how the terjemahan strategies could be implemented in a
Machine Terjemahan environment.

The research involved the use of data from an English newspaper, which is subsequently
translated into Malay. The prepositions in the English data and their terjemahan were extracted
using the Oxford Concordance Programme and analyzed. For the purpose of the research only
the three major English prepositions, namely at, in and on were examined. The methodology
adopted is described in more detail later in the report. The report also contains a number of
recommendations. This chapter of the report, however, is concerned with setting out the broader
context in relation to what is known about the English and Malay prepositions and seeks to
explore the theoretical basis for the study.

Theoretical Issues

A theoretical perspective is offered here which has guided the approach taken by this study.
Primarily, the linguistics analysis is anchored in cognitive semantics. It is hoped that this
framework will elucidate the terjemahan strategies of English prepositions into Malay as is evident
from the data under consideration.

The lexical items commonly associated with the English prepositions are multicategorial and
multifunctional items which are regarded as being historically related — a phenomenon referred
to as heterosemy (cf. Lichtenberk 1991:476). Both the categorical classification and the functional
(semantic) classification will be explored in order to properly circumscribe the scope of the
present investigation, namely in so far as strategies of terjemahan into Malay of these items are
concerned. Since terjemahan is essentially a ‘semantic’ task some issues in relation to the
semantics of these prepositions must be addressed. With these issues in mind, the research
considers four different descriptions of prepositional meaning in an attempt to construct a
framework for the strategies in translating prepositions.

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

The category of preposition


Lexical items such as at, in, on, under, with, by etc. have a broad variety of functions. 1 Rice
(1996:135-136) notes at least eight different functions of these items:

a. Head of Prepositional Phrase2 – She hid his letters in a letter box.


b. Head of Adverbial Phrase – This park is so pretty with the trees in bloom.
c. Adverb / Adjunct – Despite the weather, they continued on.
d. Component of Prepositional Verb3 – He was yelled at by his supervisor.
e. Component of Phrasal Verb construction – Can you pick his face out in the crowd.
f. Verbal Prefix – He outran the competition.
g. Nominal Prefix – They’ve moved to the outskirts of the community.
h. Predicate – They outed him in the magazine and he sued.
i. Complementiser – They prevented him from leaving the building.

Lichtenberk (1991), following Persson (1988), uses the term “heterosemy” to refer to
such multicategorial word forms, i.e. an item with “two or more meanings or functions that are
historically related, in the sense of deriving from the same ultimate source [or having a] common
source ... that belong in different morphosyntactic categories” (Lichtenberk 1991:476). This study
deals with a syntactically defined subclass of these items and hence adopts a more traditional
view of polysemy view by only looking at interrelatedness of meaning within a particular categorial
subclass of these items (cf. Leech 1981, Lyons 1977:561).

Defining “prepositions”

The class of prepositions analysed in this study is defined in terms of the [P + NP] construction.
Syntactically, the preposition heads a preposition phrase preceding a noun phrase (NP), a
nominal wh- clause or a nominal -ing clause (cf. Leech & Svartvik, 1975:275; Quirk et al. 1985).
Quirk et al. (1985:658) specify what types of NP the prepositions cannot have after them, namely
a that-clause, an infinitive clause, and a subjective case form of a personal pronoun. Based on
this structural definition, instances of since in (1a - b) are “prepositions”, and those in (1c - d) are
heteronyms belonging to different categories .

1. a. They have disappeared since the robbery.


b. They have disappeared since robbing the bank.
c. They have disappeared since.
d. They have disappeared since the police started the investigation.

However, the view that prepositions must be defined in relation to their NP complements has
been challenged. For instance, Jackendoff (1977:78) rejects the view “that the complement of a
preposition is inevitably an NP”. In his feature-based analysis of lexical categories, the
prepositions take their position alongside the other major categories, namely, nouns, verbs and

1However, not all items commonly called ‘prepositions’ have all these functions.
2In addition, the prepositional phrase has a large number of different grammatical functions. The number of
grammatical functions posited for the PP varies, depending on the theoretical framework one adopts and
the finer distinctions made. Downing and Locke (1992) identify 14 syntactic functions, while Quirk et al.
(1985) propose three main functions with further sub-types. The grammatical function of a PP is not always
clear-cut. For instance in the sentence I could hear the man in the next house, the PP in the next house,
could function as i) postmodifier in a NP, ii) a predication adjunct or iii) a sentence adjunct.
3Since Rice (1996) does not explain what is meant by ‘Phrasal Verb’ and 'Verb Particle construction', I use
the more commonly accepted terminology following Quirk et al.(1985) and Palmer (1988) of
‘Prepositional Verbs’ and ‘Phrasal Verbs’, respectively.
adjectives. These four major categories can then be distinguished according to the feature matrix
below:

TABLE 2.1: Jackendoff’s (1977:56) lexical categories


+ Subject - Subject
+ Object Verbs Prepositions
- Object Nouns Adjectives

Jackendoff concedes that a minor category of particles shares the same features with the
prepositions, i.e. [-Subject, + Object]. The particles are distinguished from the prepositions in that
particles do not take complements in contrast with prepositions, which do. Thus Jackendoff still
sees a need to make a subcategorial distinction between since in (1a - b) and since in (1c).
Radford (1988:133) also does not recognise the sequence of P + NP as the only possible
structure for a PP. Radford argues that on metatheoretical grounds of transformational
grammar , i.e. the need to constrain grammar, it would be undesirable to posit an additional
syntactic category such as particle. He argues that prepositions that do not take complements
(i.e. Jackendoff’s “particles”) are in fact prepositions. Radford’s view is based on several
observations.
Firstly, he notes that constructions with particles as in (2) can sometimes receive a NP
object as in (3). He claims that “when this happens, there is little doubt that the item is
functioning as a preposition”, and “therefore [it] seems plausible to extend [the preposition]
analysis to their use as so-called particles and conjunctions” (Radford 1988:134).

2. He put his hat on.


3. He put his hat on his head.

Secondly, Radford notes that many of the so-called multi-class prepositions can fulfill all three
functions:

4. a. I haven’t seen him since the party.


b. I haven’t seen him since.
c. I haven’t seen him since the party began.

5. a. He had been to the restaurant before 10 pm.


b. He had been to the restaurant before the sun set.
c. He had been to the restaurant before.

This being the case, Radford (1988:135) argues that:

any Theory of Categories which sees the three uses of words like since [and
before]... as systematically related and can provide a unitary account of them is
to be preferred to an atomistic approach (like that of traditional grammarians)
which stipulates that they function as Prepositions in [one instance], Conjunctions
[in another], and (Adverbial) Particles [in a third].

Under the preposition analysis, the preposition is said to admit the structures in (6) - (8) below.
For Radford, such an analysis is plausible since it has a parallel in the lexical analysis of verbs
such as know, dream etc.

6. P + NP comp
7. P + Clausal comp
8. P + Ø [intransitive]

Radford claims that his analysis is strengthened by the fact that all the three structures permit the
same kind of premodifiers:
9. a. He’s been difficult ever since the party.
b. He’s been difficult ever since the party began.
c. He’s been difficult ever since.

Nonetheless, Radford does admit that there are problems with his analysis, namely that
not all prepositions have the same predispositions. However, according to him, this does not
detract from his argument because collocational restrictions are found in almost all lexical
categories especially the verbs. As such, he believes that the restrictions are not categorial in
nature (i.e. they are not associated with every single item belonging to a given category) but are
lexical in nature — “that is to say, they are properties of individual lexical items, so that different
words belonging to the same category permit a different range of complements” (Radford
1988:137). He concludes that there really is no reason to expand the existing inventory of
categories to include “particle” and “conjunction”. Particles are merely prepositions without their
NP complements, and conjunctions are prepositions with clausal complements (Radford
1988:137).
The views of Quirk et al., Jackendoff, and Radford perhaps represent the various
positions one can adopt with regard to the issue of how one can define lexical items such as at,
in and on as prepositions. For the purpose of this study, I will adopt the more traditional and
conventional approach of Quirk et al. (1985). Thus only prepositions with some sort of NP
complement will be considered. This includes the prepositional verb uses where the NP serves
as an object, but excludes phrasal verb uses. The [P + NP] construction also captures a large
group of fixed expressions such as at war, at ease, in a fix, etc., which are also included in the
analysis. In the sections which follow, I will discuss prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs
separately and discuss how we can distinguish between the two. I will also explain why
prepositional verbs are included in the analysis of prepositional usage whereas phrasal verbs are
excluded.

Prepositional verbs

I will now turn to the phenomenon of the close affinities between verbs and prepositions. Often a
preposition occurs in combination with a verb to which the preposition is closely related
syntactically, for instance look at, drink up, dispose of, etc. Such instances have been identified
by Quirk et al. (1985:1150) as “multi-word verbs” comprising of two major types, namely
prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs. They behave syntactically as single units and share other
structural properties with verbs (e.g. complementation, passivisation). To distinguish the
prepositional lexemes in the prepositional verbs from the phrasal verbs, some grammarians use
the terms “particle” or “prepositional adverb” (chosen supposedly for its neutrality with regard to
word class) to distinguish the prepositional lexemes in the phrasal verb combination from those in
the prepositional verb combination. Thus, a phrasal verb is made up of [verb + particle], while the
prepositional verb consists of [verb + preposition]. I will consider the prepositional verbs in this
section and deal with phrasal verbs in Section 2.1.3.
One of the complexities of describing prepositions involves their occurrence in sentences
like (10 - 11), which are susceptible to multiple analyses.

10. They looked at the picture.


11. They relied on the corpus.

Basically the problem is one of identifying the constituent structures of these sentences. They
could either be analysed as either 12 -13 (a) or 12 - 13 (b):

12. a. They [looked at] [the picture].


b. They [looked] [at the picture].
13. a. They [relied on] [the corpus].
b. They [relied] [on the corpus]

In (a) the prepositions at and on are an integral parts of the verbs forming multi-word verbs, while
in (b) they are heads in PP construction preceding an NP. In other words, if we treat looked at,
relied on as single items, i.e. monotransitive multi-word verbs, the NP preceding it would be
viewed as the direct object NP. In the other analysis, the NPs immediately after at and on are
regarded as prepositional objects (i.e. the NP is a prepositional complement of the P).
One argument in favour of treating the NP in prepositional verb constructions as
prepositional objects is the adverbial insertion argument. Since an adverbial can be inserted only
at phrasal constituent boundaries, the structure of (14 - 15) must be [V + (PP)] rather than [(V +
P) + NP].

14. They approve whole-heartedly of mixed-marriages.


*They approve of whole-heartedly mixed-marriages.
15. They dispose quietly of the problem.
*They dispose of quietly the problem.

However, on the balance, the literature seems to support prepositional verbs as a single
item, monotransitive verbs (Quirk et al. 1985, Kilby 1984, Palmer 1988, Dixon 1991). The
evidence and their limitations can be summed up below:

a. Many such combinations can be replaced by a single verb used transitively. For instance
looked into in (16) can be replaced by investigated:

16. The police looked into / investigated the matter.


b. Questions can be formed with prepositional verbs eliciting the NP by means of “who(m)” or
“what”. The basis of this argument is derived from the fact that the NP in a prepositional verb
construction as in (17) serves as the complement of the prepositional verb and is regarded as
the direct object of the verb. The NP can thus be appropriately elicited in a question by “what”
or “who”.

17. She looked at the photographs.


What did she look at?

In contrast, in adverbial uses with semantic functions of place, manner, frequency etc. as in (18),
where the PP itself is not directly related to the verb, only the entire PP can be elicited by “where”,
“when”, “how” questions.

18. She bought the fruits at the supermarket


*What did she buy the fruits at?
Where did she buy the fruits?

However, there are cases (as in (19)) where both “what” and “where” for instance seem
appropriate and the test for prepositional verb as opposed to verb + PP becomes
indeterminate (cf. de Haan 1988):

19. She was sitting on the lounge chair


Where was she sitting?
What was she sitting on?

c. Many clauses containing prepositional verbs can be preposed forming a cleft sentence with a
resulting stranded preposition. This argument is related to the property of phrasal constituent
structures, i.e. phrasal constituent categories must move together. It is expected that
independent prepositions are emphasised or preposed together with their NP complements:

20. They were discussing in the library.


It was in the library that they were discussing.
?It was the library that they were discussing in.

In the case of prepositional verbs, the complements of the prepositions can be preposed
without the preceding prepositions. Thus, in (21) and (22), listen to and look at should be
regarded as single phrasal constituents as they stay together in the cleft sentence.

21. They were listening to Harry.


It was Harry that they were listening to.
22. She was looking at that man
It was that man she was looking at.

The fact that the preposition can be stranded from the NP in such a construction suggests the
possibility that the preposition is more closely related to the verb. If it were a strict PP
constituent, the whole phrasal category would have been moved. However, it has been
observed that this criterion also cannot be relied upon to resolve the question of the status of
the such constructions because the PP (together with its NP complement) is just as capable of
being preposed, i.e. there are cleft constructions where the preposition is not stranded as in
(23) and (24) (cf. de Haan 1988:123). Furthermore, given that the NP inside a PP is also a
constituent, the fact that the NP can be preposed independently of the P, does not itself
support the stranding argument as a test for prepostional verbs.

23. It was to Harry that they were all listening.


24. It was at that man she was looking.
d. The behaviour of certain [V + P] strings in passive sentences suggests that the combination
functions as a single monotransitive verb item (Kilby 1984:77). This is possibly the most
convincing argument in favour of a treating the [V + P] as a single unit.

25. We looked into the matter


The matter is being looked into.
26. We disposed of the problem.
The problem was disposed of.

However, the issue of passive forms for sentences with prepositional verbs (prepositional
passives) is more complex than I have made them out to be. Many prepositional verb
constructions do not passivise. Kilby (1984:78-79) notes that the sort of prepositional verb
constructions which do not passivise easily are usually “those which express very concrete
relationships — spatial relations, and others such as accompaniment, instrumental, etc. More
‘abstract’ prepositional meanings tend … to be more readily compatible with the passive”.
Other criterion suggested for passivisability include whether the NP to be promoted to subject
is affected by the action of the verb (cf. Couper-Kuhlen 1979, Davison 1980).

Thus, one can make a distinction between PPs as adverbials, nominal modifiers etc., and
prepositional verb constructions. Prepositions in prepositional verbs are syntactically associated
with the verbs. However, despite the preposition being an integral or composite part of a verb,
transitive prepositional verb constructions still have NP complements. Semantically, the
compositional meaning of the verb and the preposition in a prepositional verb are, in most cases,
analysable in that speakers are able to recognize the contribution that each component makes to
the whole (Langacker 1987:448). In most cases, the selection of which preposition the
prepositional verb combines with is without doubt semantically motivated. Thus, preposition
verbs such as account for, count on have a meaning which is subtly but significantly different from
their corresponding simple verbs account and count (Dixon 1991:272, cf. Quirk et al. 1985:1159).

Phrasal verbs

Some prepositions also combine with verbs to form phrasal verbs, whose constituency is
superficially similar to that of the prepositional verb. The preposition in a phrasal verb has been
analysed as a separate category commonly referred to as “particles” (Quirk et al. 1985). Kilby
(1984:99) agrees that the class of particles and the class of prepositions, though they overlap
quite considerably, are not identical and can be distinguished on several bases. He argues that
“constituent structure would be sufficient to distinguish phrasal and prepositional verbs”. Other
grammarians (e.g. Palmer 1988:218ff.; Quirk et al. 1985:1166) suggest phrasal verbs may be
distinguished from prepositional verbs fairly consistently based on four aspects of their syntactic
behaviour. Kilby (1984:77ff.) summarises these differences as follows:

a. Particles occur either immediately after the verb or immediately after the direct object, while
prepositions only occur before the NP to which they are attached and which they govern:

27. a. Everyone should look up this word.


b. Everyone should look this word up.
28. a. Someone needs to look at the carburettor.
b. *Someone needs to look the carburettor at.

Thus, look up is a phrasal verb and look at a prepositional verb. If the direct object is a personal
pronoun, the preposition may only precede it. In the case of the phrasal verb, the particle
always follows personal pronoun objects.

29. a. The police looked at them.


b. *The police looked them at.
30. a. *The police looked up them.
b. The police looked them up.

b. Phrasal verbs do not admit adverbs between the verb and particle, while prepositional verbs
can admit an adverb, in most cases:

31. *The police looked quickly up the name.


32. The police looked quickly at the mob.

c. Phrasal verbs can be followed by of when used in the nominal -ing form. Prepositional verbs
never occur in this context (cf. Palmer 1988:218):

33. Looking up of the name was a mistake.


34. *Looking at of the mob was a mistake.
d. In coordinate constructions with identical prepositional verbs, it is often possible to delete the
second verb leaving only the preposition. In the case of identical phrasal verbs, the verb
cannot be deleted leaving only the particle

35. The police looked at the mob and the tv crew looked at the police.
36. *The police looked up their names and the tv crew looked up their addresses.
The criteria above provide us with a set of possible guidelines for distinguishing prepositional
verbs (which are included in the study) from phrasal verbs (which are not). The essence of this
distinction is that the preposition in the prepositional verb makes up a single constituent with the
NP which follows the verb, while in the phrasal verb, the particle behaves partly as an
independent constituent and partly as a form attached to the verb (Kilby 1984:77). Thus
syntactically, the preposition in a preposition verb construction resembles that of the prepositional
phrase uses with the NP being the prepositional object. In contrast, the particle in a transitive
phrasal verb construction is often independent of the NP which serves as the verb complement or
the direct object of the phrasal verb (Quirk et al. 1985:1153-1154). For these reasons, and for
reason of manageablity and scope, prepositional verbs are included and phrasal verbs are
excluded from the present study.

Some issues relating to the semantics of prepositions

Prepositions are unique in the sense that their status as lexical items has often been challenged.
For instance, Fillmore (1968) and Postal (1971) claimed that unlike nouns and verbs, prepositions
do not comprise of a substantive lexical category but are seen simply as case markers of noun
phrases (NPs). In other words, “prepositions do the work of the lost inflections” (Proceedings of
the Philological Society 1843:I.66 cited in the Oxford English Dictionary, XII:379). This is true to
the extent that certain prepositions have very specific grammatical functions of marking cases,
such as of for marking possession and by for marking the agent in a passive construction.
However, most prepositions have no such well defined grammatical functions and even those
prepositions mentioned above have other functions quite distinct from a “case-marking” function.
The fact that prepositions have clear semantic content is undeniable. The difference in
meaning among the various sentences in (37a - e) can only be a result of the different
prepositions which appear in the same context. The items at, in, on etc. are involved in a
paradigmatic relationship which establishes them as “genuine” lexical items:

37. a. Danny was shouting at the car.


b. Danny was shouting in the car
c. Danny was shouting on the car.
d. Danny was shouting from the car.
e. Danny was shouting by the car.
In this respect, Rauh (1993) makes a distinction between lexical and non-lexical prepositions (or
case prepositions, as she calls them) and provides a set of criteria or conditions by which lexical
and non-lexical prepositions can be distinguished. In their non-lexical capacity, the prepositions
occur in [P + NP] constructions (called a PP-complement) strictly subcategorised by verbs,
adjective or nouns, the preposition being lexically required and in this sense governed by the
verb, adjective or nouns they occur with (Rauh 1993:133).

f. Danny believes in space exploration.


g. Danny is proficient in Russian.
h. Danny is an adept in carpentry.
Even then, the prepositions in (f) to (h) are not totally devoid of meaning. Rauh (1993:134)
argues that despite the fact that non-lexical prepositions do not define the type of internal
arguments (the internal arguments being semantically defined instead by the governing verb,
adjective or noun), the defining relations between the P and the NP can nevertheless be identified
“provided a metaphorical interpretation is assumed”. As will become clear in Chapter 3, this is
the position taken in this study. In other words, even so called “non-lexical” prepositions have
semantic content (which are related to their “lexical” counterpart), provided one is prepared to
allow for metaphorical interpretations of prepositional meanings.
Similarly, a third group involving prepositions in fixed expressions (which neverthless
maintains a [P + NP] construction) such as on the quiet, on the sly, in the clear, in the dark, in the
open, on the move, on the run, on the mend can be viewed as a mutual dependence of elements
of two categories, each providing properties (both semantic and syntactic) to the combination
(Rauh 1993:128). The semantic relationship between the preposition and the NP can be seen as
metaphorical extensions of the more regular PP.
A second issue with respect to the semantics of the prepositions is the matter of “real”
polysemy versus contextual modulation. The prepositions are often described as “lexically rich”,
“semantically dense” and “highly polysemous”. A glance at the entry for on in the Oxford
Advanced Learners Dictionary of English (OALD) will confirm this. The OALD lists forty-two
“senses” for on. However, Bennett (1975) suggests that only some of the “senses” listed in a
dictionary are directly in the lexical entries of the prepositions; the others are derived from the
context. Hence a major problem (at least for the purpose of devising a categorisation scheme of
prepositional usage) lies in determining just how many senses there are for any of these items.
How much of the difference is really polysemy and how much the influence of contextual
modulation? If the different uses of the prepositions are cases of polysemy, one might ask how
these different uses are related.
Without getting entangled in a theoretical debate in lexical semantics of whether the
various meanings of a preposition are genuinely cases of polysemy, monosemy, or homonymy, it
can generally be agreed that the different meanings of a preposition result from a combination of
some semantic content possessed by the preposition itself and an additional specification
provided by the textual context, i.e. its immediate syntactic environment (cf. Colombo & Flores
d’Arcais 1984:52). Thus, the difference between (38a) and (38b) in respect of the interpretation
of the preposition in (i.e., “location in the interior” and “participant / involvement in an
organisation”, respectively) can be accounted for in some ways by the different characteristics of
their prepositional complements:

38. a. He was in the room.


b. He was in the army.

Similarly, one can discern a difference in the prepositional relationship between (39a) and (39b).
In the case of (39a), the mattress designates a destination where the person comes to rest,
whereas in (39b), the mattress designates the location of a stative position.

39. a. He fell on the mattress.


b. He lay on the mattress.

The Destination versus Position reading will in most cases be signaled by the accompanying
verb: a stative verb (stand, be, live) will most likely entail a position reading whereas a verb of
motion will evoke a destination reading. It seems then that the difference in the meaning of on in
(39a) and (39b) is attributable to the preceding verb rather than the polysemy of the preposition
alone. Thus one wonders whether the finer Spatial distinctions of Destination and Position are
part of the semantics of on or of the verb predicate.
One can be neutral with respect to the question of whether the differences in the meaning
of the preposition in each instance between (38a & 39a) and (38b & 39b) are distinct uses of in
and on, or whether the difference is entirely attributable to the lexical semantics of the NP
complements in (38) and the verb predication in (39). In fact, as we shall see later, the cognitive
linguistic framework adopted in this study resolves some of the dispute between monosemic,
polysemic and homonymic accounts of word meaning (cf. Rice 1993:208).
Having limited the scope of the data set of the study and bearing in mind both the
syntactic and semantic complexity of the prepositions, I will proceed to a critique of how
prepositional meanings are described and (re)presented by the lexicographers, grammarians and
linguists in an attempt to construct a framework for semantic classification of prepositional usage.
Conclusion

An examination of various descriptions of prepositional meaning has shown up the great difficulty
of explicating prepositional meaning rigorously and consistently. One might argue in favour of an
eclectic approach, i.e. building a list of different senses (usage-types) based on what
lexicographers, grammarians and lexical semanticists have collectively produced. The eclectic
approach is attractive in that it takes into account, and seeks a compromise between, the various
approaches to prepositional meanings. However, the different theoretical assumptions (or non-
theoretical stance) underlying each of the different approaches (not to mention the differences
within a particular approach) makes compromise and resolution difficult.
The different approaches examined so far have also failed to address the issue of
idiomatic and figurative uses of the prepositions adequately. Almost all the dictionaries examined
note some of these as separate entries with cross-reference to their lexical collocate (e.g. “For
idioms such as at hand, at once, at a low ebb, etc. see entries at hand, once, low etc.” OALD
1994:63). The grammatical compendia have largely ignored the issue of idioms. However, they
do recognise that some uses of the prepositions are metaphorical extensions of more basic uses.
On the other hand, cognitive linguistic lexical-semantic analyses often highlight how such uses
fall into natural conceptual domains or usage domains (e.g. at ease, at war, at risk etc. are seen
as falling within a State domain in Dirven (1993)).
This study adopts a cognitive linguistics (lexical network) description of prepositional
usage. The rationale for this choice rests on the explanatory powers of the cognitive approach.
Cognitive lexical networks provide a motivated account of the various prepositional uses and the
relationships between them. In relation to the study of language variation, such an approach will
allow us to investigate not only the semantic range of the items in the different varieties of English
but also the patterns of meaning extension among these varieties.

THE TERJEMAHAN OF ENGLISH PREPOSITIONS INTO MALAY


IN NEWS REPORTS

CHAPTER TWO: SURVEY OF PREPOSITIONAL MEANING

Introduction

This chapter sets out the literature review of the semantics of the English and Malay prepositions
studied. The meaning of the English prepositions has been the subject of extensive research
from various theoretical perspectives. For the purpose of the survey, the discussion is divided into
thre sections: grammatical description, lexicographical description and linguistic description.
Discussion of the English prepositions are drawn from the following sources:

• Quirk et al. (1985)


• Downing & Locke (1992)
• Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman (1983);
• Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD),
• Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (Cobuild)
• Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE).

Discussion of the Malay prepositions are derived from two major sources:

• Asmah Haji Omar (1990); and


• Nik Safiah et al. (1992)

A critique of several descriptions of prepositional meaning

In order to understand the strategies employed in translating preposition into Malay it is


necessary to explore the linguistic properties of the English prepositions. It is also important to
examine the semantics of the prepositions in some detail.

In this section, I consider several descriptions of prepositional meaning in an attempt to construct


a classification framework for the analysis of prepositional usage. These include lexicographical
descriptions of prepositional meanings, descriptions from three grammatical compendia, and the
thematic-role marker approach and the cognitive linguistic approach. Where relevant, I would
point out the limitations of these descriptions as classificatory framework for the present study.

Lexicographical descriptions of prepositional meaning

An obvious place to start a lexical study of this nature, especially one that purports to investigate
the semantic range of an item, is the dictionary. A detailed examination of the three items, at, in,
on, in three dictionaries was carried out. The dictionaries consulted are the Oxford Advanced
Learner’s Dictionary (OALD), the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (Cobuild) and the Longman
Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE). They were chosen because they represent the
major monolingual dictionaries used by Malaysian learners of English. These three dictionaries
are of comparable size and compiled for advanced learners of English. Since ME is essentially
acquired as a second language, one can expect the coverage in these dictionaries to
approximate the fluent ME speakers’ competence. I will not discuss in detail the meanings of
each item as they are presented in these three dictionaries. Instead my focus will be on the
possibility of utilising the lexicographic descriptions as the basis for classifying prepositional
usage in the present study.
In examining the three dictionaries’ entries for these items, a major difficulty we
encounter is the problem of how to reconcile the discrepancies, not only in the number of senses
each dictionary attributes to an item but also the lexicographers’ perception of which semantic
distinctions deserve to be treated as sub-entries. In most cases the differences are a result of the
different lexicographic practices of the editors. These include the principle of organising the
major entries. In some cases the editors follow the lexico-syntactic criteria, while in others a
semantic criterion is adhered to. Despite the different lexicographical practises, often the primary
senses for each item such as the Spatial and Temporal senses are recorded in all three
dictionaries. However, on the whole, there seems to be more differences in their descriptions
than similarities. I will illustrate with reference to one of the most polysemous and most frequent
English prepositions – in. The discussion is equally valid for the other two prepositions.
The OALD has three entries for the item in. The three entries are distinguished
according to their grammatical functions. Thus, there is an entry for adverbial in (twelve sub-
entries), a second entry for prepositional in (fifteen sub-entries, with two of the fifteen sub-entries
having a further two sub-sub-entries each) and a third entry for a nominal idiomatic phrase,
namely the ins and outs (of something).
In contrast, the Cobuild lists five entries for this same item. The five entries are motivated
not on the basis of grammatical word classes as in the OALD but are based on the concepts they
denote. The four major concepts are “position or movement” (eleven sub-entries), “inclusion or
involvement” (four sub-entries), “time and number” (seven sub-entries), and “states and / or
qualities” (eight sub-entries). In addition they have a fifth entry labeled “Other uses and phrases”
with seven sub-entries. Thus in stark contrast to the OALD where the lexical (or grammatical)
class information is used to justify three different entries, in the Cobuild, the word class is treated
as additional information listed in a separate column “so that it does not interfere with the
explanations and examples” (Cobuild 1995:xvii).
On the other hand, the LDOCE has four entries distinguished on the basis of the lexical-
syntactic criteria. They posit three entries corresponding to the prepositional uses, the adverbial
uses and the adjectival uses of the item. A fourth entry (as in the OALD) captures the idiom ins
and outs.
When we further compare only the prepositional sub-entries in the three dictionaries, we
find that there are conflicting descriptions. Firstly, even when a particular sense is common to all
three dictionaries, they are not accorded the same priority. For instance, all three dictionaries
include the locative use of in to indicate place as in She lives in a small village in France. But
while it is recorded as the first entry in the OALD, in the Cobuild this locative (place) sense is
second to the containment / enclosure sense, e.g. He was in his car; Put the knives in the kitchen
drawer. In the LDOCE, in meaning “location in some place or countries” is the fourth sub-entry in
the preposition entry.
Secondly, some senses that are identified in one dictionary are not mentioned in others.
For instance, the eleven additional sub-entries found in the Cobuild but not in the OALD are very
specific uses, or specific expressions which are not mentioned or are subsumed under a more
general entry in the OALD and LDOCE. For instance, in a window; in a mirror; wrapped or
covered in something; and a crack in some surface each count as different sub-senses in the
Cobuild. Equally, in a play or in a race (taking part); in their 60s (age); wept in anger (feelings,
desire, cause); quality in someone; in colour are all treated as distinct sub-senses of in in the
Cobuild. In the OALD and LDOCE most of these sub-entries are subsumed under one of the
more general senses or not listed at all.
In part, the discrepancy in the number of senses is a result of the different assumptions
on the part of the dictionary compilers as to what constitutes a separate sense (or sub-sense).
Hence, while the OALD makes three distinctions of temporal uses (two sub-entries with one sub-
entry having two sub-sub entries), the Collins distinguishes at least five temporal uses. What is
subsumed under one entry in a particular dictionary might be given separate “entry” status in
another dictionary. As one might expect of a dictionary, the criteria for sense distinction are never
explicitly presented.
Although most of the sense distinctions are supposedly made clear through the use of a
sample sentence, in some cases, almost identical sentences are used to illustrate one sense in
one dictionary and a different sense in another dictionary. For instance, read about in the
newspaper is used to illustrate the sense of “indicating place” in the OALD, but is also an
example of the sense of “inclusion” (2:1) in the Cobuild. In the OALD, queue in the thousands,
along with novel in three parts and to sit in rows are used to illustrate the single sub-entry
“indicating form, shape, arrangement, quantities” but according to the Cobuild this trio would
constitute at least two different senses. The example to sit in rows is akin to the Cobuild example
of the cards need to be laid out in two rows, which is used to illustrate the use of in “to describe
the arrangement or shape of something” (4:6). On the other hand, queue in the thousands with
its counterparts men who came there in droves and the jugs were produced in the millions in the
Cobuild are examples for the use of in “to indicate how many” (3:6). Thus, what are taken to be
examples of a single more general sense (often achieved by listing or accumulating a group of
uses) in one dictionary is treated as examples of two senses in the Cobuild.

TABLE 2.2: Comparison of number of senses for at, in and on in three different
dictionaries
Cobuild LDOCE OALD
at 19 15 10
in 37 22 17
on 42 19 15

This state of affairs makes it difficult (though not impossible) to compile for our purpose a
definitive list of prepositional meanings from the dictionaries. Researchers in computational
linguistics and natural language processing who have looked to the dictionaries in their attempt to
automate sense resolution have reached similar conclusions (e.g. Kelly & Stone 1975;
Pustejovsky & Boguraev 1994; cf. Fillmore & Atkins 1994). Their major criticism of the dictionary
is similar to the one I have outlined above, namely that dictionaries do not always agree on the
number of different senses (see Table 2.2) or on how to partition the space of possible uses of a
word into different senses. Constrained by space and also editorial and commercial
considerations, the number of senses listed is often dependent on the type and purpose of the
dictionary. Even between dictionaries of comparable size and compiled for similar purposes (as
is the case of the dictionaries discussed here), the number of senses posited for a particular item
often differs between them. In particular, what is treated by one dictionary as separate senses
(worthy of note) is treated as non-distinct from some other uses in another dictionary.
Puestejovsky & Boguraev (1994:298) also point out that dictionaries depict meaning as
“static”, i.e. that senses within an entry are “frozen” into the dictionary at compilation time, thus
assuming that there is an unchanging inventory of senses for a word. This view of word meaning
as fixed with a predetermined number of senses per word needs to be examined more closely.
The possible functions or allowable uses of a word are perhaps not best represented by a finite
set of senses for that word. Furthermore, presenting the division of the meanings of a word as a
list, as the dictionary does, portrays meaning as well-delimited entity with clear-cut distinctions,
when this is blatantly not the case. Dictionary definitions of the prepositions fail to account for the
creative use of words in novel contexts and ultimately fail to account for the fact that the usage
potential of a word is a dynamic phenomenon (cf. Sandra & Rice 1995:101). Thus, a more
flexible categorisation scheme, which acknowledges that the boundaries between different uses
of the prepositions are not necessarily clearly demarcated and are more dynamic, is perhaps in
order.

Grammatical compendia descriptions of prepositional meaning

Most grammarians seem to agree that the prepositions have multiple semantic functions but like
the lexicographers, they disagree as to just what these areas of meaning are, or for that matter,
how many different types of meaning each preposition might have. Often, in line with their
pedagogical objectives, only the most common uses of an item are selected for presentation and
illustration.
In the sub-sections below, I will review how three grammatical compendia of the English
language deal with prepositional meanings. In all three compendia, the items at, in and on are
discussed under the heading “preposition” despite the fact that they are multi-category or
heterosemous items. In general, the descriptions of the semantics of the English prepositions in
all three compendia investigated, focus on highlighting and differentiating the many uses of the
different English prepositions rather than aiming to provide a lexical description of individual
prepositions. Thus, the items are never described individually (except for over in Quirk et al.
(1985) and for in Downing & Locke (1992)).

2.3.2.1 Quirk et al. (1985)

Quirk et al. (1985) devote almost the entire Chapter 9 of A Comprehensive Grammar of the
English Language (CGEL) to prepositional meanings. Their approach is to categorise the various
meanings of the prepositions into several large fields or spectra of meaning. In doing so, the
authors admit that “the fields of prepositional meanings are notoriously difficult to classify” and
that in most cases the meanings are not discrete but rather fall into a spectrum or continuum of
overlapping meaning (Quirk et al. 1985:695).
The two basic fields of prepositional meanings denote spatial relations and temporal
relations. In addition, they posit two other major spectra of English prepositional meanings,
namely the Cause / Purpose spectrum of meaning and the Means / Agentive spectrum of
meaning. Finer meaning distinctions can be made within each field. For instance within the
Spatial usage, Quirk et al. illustrate how the different English prepositions are use to denote
distinguishable spatial relationships. Utilising the topological concept of dimension, and the
conceptual distinctions between positive / negative destination and positive / negative position,
they come up with twelve different spatial uses. (See Figure 2.1).

destination position destination position


(away) away
Dimension
• to at from
from
Type 0
(point)

Dimension on (to) on off off


Type 1 - 2
(line or
surface) FIGURE 2.1: Spatial uses of the prepositionsnegative
positive
Dimension (from CGEL
in(to) inFig. 9.15 Space and dimension)
out of out of
Type 2 - 3
(area orTo a large extent, Figure 2.1 does capture the differences among many of the English
prepositions by relying on the notions of dimension, position and destination. However, as Quirk
volume)
et al. acknowledge, this oversimplified geometric / topographical representation of form and
function correspondences can be misleading. For instance, positions may be construed as
dimensionless (i.e. dimensionally irrelevant) or as an area or volume: the meeting took place at
City Hall, the meeting took place in City Hall. Likewise, at and on can often denote both Position
(40a - b) and Destination (41a - b):

40. a. He is at the store.


b. They lived on the island.
41. a. They threw the brick at the store.
b. Dusk descended on the island.
Since “position” versus “destination” depends on the verbal predication, in some respect, Quirk et
al.’s topological distinctions do not consistently get at sense differentiation.
Some Positional uses may also have an additional dimension of indicating a functional
relationship between the entities related by the preposition. This is especially true where the
prepositional object denotes a place / building that can be associated with a specific function or
activity, e.g.

42. She’s at Oxford.


43. Ismail is in hospital.
Now, whether this additional dimension of meaning amounts to a different “use” as opposed to
the more literal location uses is unclear. If we turn to the dictionary for clarification, some
dictionaries (such as the Cobuild) treat them as a separate sub-entry, while others do not mention
such usage (hence assuming that their basic meaning in such cases is spatial).
Quirk et al. allude to other metaphorical / metonymic or abstract extensions from the
spatial use. They see expressions such as in danger; in difficulties; in office (i.e. holding a
position) which denote a state or condition as extensions of their spatial (location) counterparts.
Similarly, expressions such as in the army, on the school board also involve extension from the
spatial (position) meaning to one of membership and participation. By contrast, ideas in books,
run in a race which denote abstract inclusion are said to be extended from the spatial sense of
enclosure. However, the status of these metaphorical extensions as separate and distinct uses is
not apparent from the description in the compendium, i.e. whether such extensions are unique to
particular expressions and prepositions or whether they form a more general pattern of meaning
extension is not made clear. If such uses can be shown to be regular, it might justify a category
of usage-type of its own.
In relation to Temporal uses of the prepositions, Quirk et al. observe that Temporal uses
are in many ways parallel to Spatial uses. For instance, at, on and in can all indicate different
“time-positions” (Quirk et al. 1985:687). At is used to indicate “points” on a clock time and also a
period of time conceived of as a unitary point in time such as at noon. On is used to denote
segments along the time continuum such as days (both unconditionally as in on Monday or
partially as in on Monday morning). On can also serve to indicate a recurrent segment of time,
e.g. on the hour every hour. On the other hand, in is said to denote two kinds of temporal
relations. Firstly, in is used with expressions for temporal periods, e.g. in August, in 1997, in the
18th century, or with specific time expressions construed as being an expanse of time such as in
the evening, in the night (cf. at night). Secondly, in also indicate measurement into future time,
e.g. We’ll meet in three months’ time.
Apart from the temporal relations noted above, the prepositions can be used to indicate
temporal frequencies in “frequency constructions” such as at regular intervals, at the rate of 20 an
hour, at all hours, on specific occasions (Quirk et al. 1985:694). Whether Temporal frequency
uses are to be regarded as comprising a sub-type of Temporal meaning or whether they reflect
some other category of usage type (e.g. Manner) is unclear.
Within the Cause / Purpose spectrum of meaning, the CGEL distinguishes at least six
usage-types – Cause, Reason, Motive, Purpose, Destination, Target. How these usage-types
are to be differentiated from one another or whether they are specific to particular prepositions is
not discussed. Furthermore, there appears to be a duplication of terminology here – we have
Spatial Destination and also Cause / Purpose Destination. These overlaps make the task of
defining categories of usage-types just that bit more troublesome.
Another shortcoming of the description of prepositional meanings in the CGEL is the
proliferation of types in the discussion of a particular category. For example, Recipient and Goal
are placed alongside Target to capture this group of expressions: kick at goal, charge at, bite at,
catch at, shoot at, chew at, smile at, snap at, laugh at, point at (Quirk et al. 1985:696-697). It is
not clear whether “Recipient”, “Goal” and “Target” are interchangeable terms for a similar usage-
type or whether they are three different uses. Quirk et al. also suggest that a finer distinction can
be made of Goal and Target uses depending on whether the intended goal is achieved or
otherwise. They also note that certain expressions such as run at, throw at may carry with them
an additional meaning of “hostility”. In most cases, these expressions with such specialised
“pragmatic” force and the distinction between Recipient / Goal / Target do not constitute
metonymically extended separate meanings but are just a result of contextual modulations.
Consequently, a certain amount of overlapping between different usage types is present
in their description of prepositional meaning. For instance, working on her new play, work at her
left-hand passes are regarded as expressing Target. However, these expressions could equally
be used to exemplify another miscellaneous category posited by Quirk et al., namely Subject
Matter. Another confounding Target example is the expression to laugh at. While one can most
certainly perceive a smile as an abstract sort of physical energy being directed at a target, a smile
could equally be perceived as a reaction to certain events or things which coincide with yet
another category proposed by Quirk et al., specifically Stimulus and Reaction which incidentally
falls in a totally different spectrum of meaning altogether, namely the Means / Agentive spectrum.
Within the Means / Agentive spectrum, the more traditional distinctions of Manner, Means
and Instrument are made. However, the test Quirk et al. use to distinguish these three categories
is far from conclusive. For instance, they propose that the Manner category can be elicited by a
“how” question “especially if the sense of Means is excluded by the context or meaning of the
verb” (699). Yet, the problem is precisely that both Means and Instrument can answer the
question “how...?” (see 44 – 46). After all that is one reason for placing the three in the same
spectrum in the first place.

42. Manner: He performed in the job with diligence.


How did he perform in the job?
43. Means: He left by plane.
How did he leave?
44. Instrument: He cut the cake with a knife.
How did he cut the cake?
Two other sub-types in the Means / Agentive spectrum are Agentive (e.g. noticed by the
man) and Stimulus (e.g., astonished at your reaction).
In terms of Agentive uses, Quirk et al. note the difference between animate and
inanimate agents. Inanimate agency is further distinguished from instrumental uses in that
inanimate agents refer to natural elements while instruments are more concrete objects, to which
one would not normally ascribe agentive properties.
Although Quirk et al. limit “Stimulus” specifically to cases where an abstract stimulus
triggers of a particular emotional / psychological response (e.g. alarmed by / at his behaviour,
interested in history, furious with John), many actions, expressed for instance by cry at his
misfortune, laugh at the idea, swear at the administrative blunders, are so emotionally charged
that the actions themselves may be regarded as an emotional state triggered by the stimulus, i.e.
that his misfortunes causes him to cry, the idea made him laugh and the administrative blunders
caused him to swear. However, such expressions (because they have intended targets, if not
recipients) would be classified as examples of Target usage in the Cause / Purpose spectrum in
the CGEL.
In addition to Spatial, Temporal, Cause / Purpose and Means / Agentive, other
prepositional meanings mentioned in the CGEL which are relevant to at, in or on (not necessarily
to all three prepositions) will be dealt with here briefly.4
Of the miscellaneous types of prepositional meaning mentioned in the CGEL, Respect
and Subject Matter are manifested by the prepositions in and on. Respect uses, e.g. opinion on
legal abortion, can be paraphrased by “concerning”, “in respect of”, or “on the matter of”. How
Respect is to be differentiated from Subject Matter is not immediately clear. The separation of
these two uses seems to be made on syntactical grounds – between the PPs functioning as
postmodifiers in noun phrases (707) and PPs used chiefly in complementation of certain verbs
and adjectives (710). Thus, (47) is taken to indicate Respect and (48) Subject matter.

45. Has the candidate expressed an opinion on legal abortion?


46. She lectures on Post-Modernism at the department.

Quirk et al. note “Subject matter uses [are] reserved for deliberate, formal linguistic
communication (public speaking, lecturing, writing) and therefore inappropriate for verbs like chat
or quarrel” (710). However, such verbs of formal linguistic communication often have nominal
counterparts which can be postmodified. Do we then assign a lecture on new techniques; a talk
on superannuation; a debate on university funding as Respect and to lecture on new techniques;
to talk on superannuation; to debate on university funding as Subject matter? This seems an
unnecessary complication of prepositional meaning and perhaps both uses could be subsumed
under a single category of prepositional meaning.
Another prepositional meaning posited in the CGEL is Standard, e.g. good at / expert at
something. In the Standard usage type a comparative norm is made explicit by the PP. Thus in
(49) the adjective preceding at indicates the “standard” or extent of his skills in relation to the
subject matter (711). However, such uses are not restricted to adjectival complementation but
also modify heads of other phrasal categories as in (50 -51).

4
Besides the four fields of meaning (Spatial, Temporal, Cause / Purpose and Means /
Agentive) Quirk et al. also identify a host of other ‘prepositional meanings’ such as
Accompaniment (comitative function), Support and Opposition, 'Having', Concession,
Respect, Exception and Addition, Negative condition, Material, Standard. How these
meanings are related, or whether they are related at all to the major fields, is not
discussed. In each instance, some prepositions which exemplify that particular meaning
is presented via the use of example sentences. However, few of these usage types are
relevant to the three basic prepositions under investigation and they are not discussed
further.
47. He is good at mathematics.
48. I am a complete dunce at economics.
49. She is getting on very well at her job.

One other semantic function of the prepositions mentioned in the CGEL is Reaction.
Reaction in this instance (as opposed to Reaction in the Cause / Purpose Spectrum) focuses
mainly on the use of a preposition with certain participial adjectives, used mainly in
complementation of verbs and adjectives, e.g. alarmed at, amused at, disgusted at, delighted at.
The need to posit a separate category of meaning for this group of expressions is questionable.
An additional Reaction usage type alongside the Stimulus usage type appears redundant in this
instance.
A summary of the prepositional meanings of the three prepositions as discussed in the
CGEL is given in Table 2.3. While it is possible to elicit a set of uses for at, in and on based on
the CGEL, I am not certain as to the status or the nature of these categories. Quirk et al. do not
explain how the various meanings are established and what their spectra of meaning purport to
represent. There also seems to be a degree of terminological overlap and indeterminacy.
However, the overlaps and indeterminacies are consistent with the authors’ view that
prepositional meaning extends over a continuum within a larger field of prepositional meanings
that are difficult to define.
It is also not clear from their descriptions how metaphorical uses are to be treated, i.e. as
separate categories of sense, or as contextually modulated sub-categories. For instance, while
the authors briefly mention State and Condition uses as being extensions of spatial uses, they do
not elaborate on the nature of these extensions nor whether these extensions occur for all the
prepositions or are idiosyncratic to individual items. Likewise they have not addressed whether
cases of idiomatic usage can be accounted for under their “fields of prepositional meanings”.

TABLE 2.3: Prepositional meanings of at, on and in (Quirk et al. 1985)

at on in
Spatial (position): (position): (position):
at the station on the table in the station
Temporal time position: time position: time position:
at nine o’clock on Monday in 1996

time measurement into


the future:
in three hours
Cause / Goal, Target: Target:
Purpose aimed at achieving fame work on the play
Means / Stimulus: Means & Instrument:
Agentive alarmed at the news on foot
Others Standard: Respect : State / condition:
good at hockey opinion on abortion in misery

Reaction: Subject matter :


disgusted at the scene book on bioethics

2.3.2.2 Downing & Locke (1992)

Using a Hallidayan systemic-functional approach to grammar, Downing & Locke (1992:591ff.) in


their discussion of the “semantic features of the prepositional group”, first distinguish two classes
of prepositional uses which they claim are “two types of prepositional meanings” (Downing &
Locke 1992:592). This distinction correlates with Rauh’s (1993) lexical / non-lexical distinction of
the English prepositions discussed in Section 2.2.
a. Dependent prepositional uses – where the choice of preposition is determined by the verb,
noun or adjective preceding it and the meaning is tied into that of its completive. E.g. agree
with, insist on, confidence in, good at, an attack on; and

b. Variable prepositional uses – where the choice of the preposition can be varied
independently in accordance with the speaker’s intention. E.g. The book is at / on / in the
desk.

They provide a list of prepositional meanings (which they call “relationships”) under three
main categories – Spatial, Temporal and Abstract. How these “relationships” are related to the
Dependent and Variable dichotomy they make above is not elaborated on.
Within the main categories of Spatial, Temporal and Abstract uses, they distinguish
twenty-two sub-types of Spatial uses, seven sub-types of Temporal uses and twenty-six sub-
types of Abstract uses, making a total of fifty-five sub-types. These sub-types cover the whole
inventory of prepositions and not all sub-types will be found as meanings of any single
preposition. A summary of the different prepositional meanings of at, in, on identified by Downing
& Locke is presented in Table 2.4. (Note that the authors do not provide examples for the sub-
types they identify.)

TABLE 2.4: Prepositional meanings of at, on and in. (Downing & Locke 1992)
at on in
Spatial Contiguity Superiority Interiority
Direction Direction Direction
Origin
Temporal Point in time Point in time Relative to a point in time
Relative to a period Relative to a period
Frequency
Abstract Purpose Reference Manner
Reaction State Means
Process Attribution
State
Process

They argue that these broad relationships are subjected to contextual modulation. Because of
this, a full description of prepositional meanings is probably not possible because meanings are
“affected by lexical and situational context” (593). For example, the broad relationship of “spatial
circularity” typified by the preposition around can be contextually modulated to refer to either
“circular movement” as in (52), “circular position” as in (53), “imperfect circular movement” as in
(54) or “indeterminate movement in different directions” as in (55). In other words, any broad
relationship could be contextually modulated to designate a more specific kind of that
relationship.
52. He danced around the teacher.
53. He sat around the teacher.
54. He drove round the track.
55. He walked around town.
(cf. Downing & Locke 1992:594)

According to Downing & Locke, such contextual meanings of a given broad relationship
are not easy to formulate and may sometimes appear as vague as the broad terms themselves.
They claim that it might not be possible to systematise them adequately, and consequently it is
even less possible to systematise their exponents. The selection of one meaning rather than
another depends on the semantics of the prepositional relations and on their lexical collocations.
In other words, they take the position that the modulation of meanings is contextual, claiming that
prepositional meaning depends greatly on the semantic references of one or both of the
constituents which are linked by the preposition. Thus, the spatial proximity meaning of by in (56)
is partly a result of the semantics of the verb SIT. If the verb denotes a Process and is in the
passive structure as in (57), the same prepositional phrase (by the secretary) expresses an
Agentive relationship.

56. I sat by the secretary.


57. The application will be processed by the secretary.
Further, if the prepositional object changes e.g. from [ANIMATE] secretary to an expression denoting
an inanimate object as in (58), the relationship indicated by the preposition would be that of
Instrument or Means, not Agency.

52. The application will be processed by the computer.

To reiterate, the specific meaning of a preposition has to be inferred from the lexical
environment, that is, the preceding verb, noun or adjective and the following completive.
Essentially, Downing & Locke recognise the fact that in dealing with the semantics of the
prepositions, one is not dealing with the prepositions as such but also the semantics of the entire
prepositional phrase and also possibly the semantics of the predication since “any attempt to
refine the description of [prepositional] relations bring us into the area of contextual features”
(Downing & Locke 1992:594).
As with Quirk et al., Downing and Locke also note that in some cases, the prepositional
expressions have conventionally idiomatic meanings. The relationship between the idiomatic
meaning and the the compositional “literal” meaning can be rightly understood in terms of the
states and activities these expressions imply within the socio-cultural context of the expressions:

53. She was at church = She was attending a church service.


54. She was at the wheel = She was driving.
55. He is on a pension = He is retired.
Downing & Locke also recognise the plasticity and vagueness of some prepositions
especially in certain fixed phrases and that the meaning of the prepositions in such fixed phrases,
e.g., in fact, all in all, in the know, on the whole, on line, on the cheap, at a loss, at first sight etc.,
are difficult to identify and are best analysed as semantic wholes.
In contrast to Quirk et al., Downing & Locke (1992:596) suggest that prepositions seem to
have “core sense” or “prototype meaning”. However, they argue the core meaning of a
preposition is often extraordinarily difficult to formulate clearly. In fact they conclude that

the commonest and most polysemous prepositions, that is to say, some forty
of the one-word items, cannot be reduced to ‘core’ meanings, and may
almost be regarded as mere signals pointing in different directions.
(Downing & Locke 1992:596)

Besides noting the polysemous nature of the English prepositions, Downing & Locke also
note the converse, namely that a particular preposition can “also share some of its meanings with
other prepositions” (597). That is to say there can be several prepositions denoting a given type
of general semantic relationship but differing in the details of their denotation. For instance, in
and at can be used interchangeably in I felt sick in / at the stomach. This aspect (one meaning,
several forms) of the prepositions makes alternative choice possible in some cases. As
mentioned in Section 1.1.3, these aspects of prepositional usage have been the concern of some
lexicographers’ approaches to variation. For instance, Algeo (1989) has pointed out such
(choice) differences with respect to American English and British English. Thus American English
usage is more likely to have in reference to your letter and fill in a form while the British might
prefer with reference to your letter and fill out a form. In most cases, the choice of one variant or
the other is a matter of convention and correspond to dialectal differences between varieties.
Some other variations may correspond to genre or register differences.
While Downing & Locke’s description of the semantics of the English prepositions reveals
a considerable breadth of coverage, it is nevertheless far from comprehensive. The division of
prepositional meanings into only three major categories, namely Spatial, Temporal and Abstract,
makes the classification too general for the present purpose of categorising usage-types.
Furthermore, there is not a single “Abstract” usage-type alongside Spatial and Temporal. While
“interiority” and “exteriority” are clearly two Spatial sub-types, “cause” and “manner” could hardly
be described as sub-types of Abstract relationship but are two distinct abstract concepts
altogether.
Furthermore, most of the “relationships” they posit are not described in sufficient detail to
allow us to formulate a framework which may be applied to the present study. However, they
have highlighted several matters relating to prepositional meaning such as the variable-
independent dichotomy, the prototype nature of meaning and the existence of idiomatic
expressions containing prepositions that must be considered in formulating an analytical
framework of prepositional usage.

2.3.2.3 Celce-Murcia & Larsen Freeman (1983)

Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman recognise two aspects of prepositional meanings – semantic


case functions of the English prepositions (255ff.) and the non-case semantic functions (257ff.)
Their description of the semantic case functions of the preposition is borrowed from
Fillmore (1968), who describes many uses of prepositions as being like case markers (See
Section 2.2.3). Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman recognise that a preposition may signal more
than one case and that only highly frequent prepositions signal case. However, they fail to
provide an exhaustive list for English cases. Some of the case functions they mention in their
compendium include:

a. Agentive — It was done by John.


b. Means — We went there by bus; He went on foot.
c. Instrument — He broke the window with a rock.
d. Comitative — I went to town with Jack.
e. Joining — We presented him with a gift.
f. Locative — Craig planted beans in his yard.

In relation to the non-case semantic functions of the prepositions, Celce-Murcia &


Larsen-Freeman attempts a partial systemisation of the various functions of the English
prepositions. These are said to be related to concepts such as Space, Time and Degree. A
summary of the various uses they have identified for at, in and on is given in Table 2.5.

TABLE 2.5: Prepositional meanings of at, on and in. (Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman 1983)
at on in
Space Point / Intersection: Contact: Enclosure:
meet at the corner on the wall the man is in the room

Target: Along:
throw the stone at the I live on this street
wall
Time Point in time: Day, date: In a period:
We met at 1:30 on Friday, WWII ended in 1945
on Nov. 9th.
Future appointment:
Come in 10 minutes
Degree Temperature:
Water freezes at 0oC
Others Idiom: Communication: Currency:
(including He works at keeping in on the radio pay me in dollars
idioms) shape.
Concerning: Language:
book on magic say it in English

As Downing and Locke do (1992), Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman also comment on the co-
occurrence properties of some prepositions with particular verbs and adjectives, e.g. to rely on, to
part with, to be interested in. In their analysis “such a preposition must be entered in the lexical
entry of the verb or adjective concerned, and it must be learned as an integral part of the verb or
adjective even though these are still combinations of V + PP or Adj + PP from the structural point
of view” (253). Interestingly, they too fail to clarify how the meaning of prepositions in such
combinations is to be analysed.
A point of agreement among all the three compendia of English grammar is that the
English prepositions are truly polysemous. Thus, in relation to the ten most frequent English
prepositions, Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman state that the frequency of their use in the
language might be “somewhat misleading, because each form has multiple meanings and
functions”. They argue that “each of these frequent prepositions must be studied in detail to
isolate a small but optimal number of meaningful functions that it performs in English” (254). In
many ways this challenge can be said to have been taken up by cognitive linguists (see Section
2.4 below and Chapter 3).
Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman also suggest that further research into the functions of a
prepositional item be drawn from actual discourse since there is a need to know which of their
functions is the most frequent so that the ESL syllabus could be ordered accordingly. In some
ways, the Cobuild dictionary entries based on frequency already provide this information.
However, as we have seen earlier, the different “uses” in the Cobuild are too numerous and it
cannot be verified whether speakers actually make that many distinctions in their use of
prepositions. Furthermore, the Cobuild database is solely based on British English. There is a
need to investigate whether similar patterns of usage will be present in other varieties of English.
To sum up, not unlike the dictionaries, grammatical compendia are necessarily selective
in their presentation of the functions (meanings) of the prepositions. There is also not a single
definitive set of “meanings” which they all agree on, though most grammar presentations identify
the “core” usage types, the Spatial and Temporal uses. But even within these categories, there
are differences in the finer distinctions that they make. As our review of the three compendia has
revealed, grammarians vary in the number of prepositional meanings (sometimes called “cases”)
that they recognise, as well as in the way they categorise certain types. By and large, the
compendia are more concerned with illustrating the most common usage types via examples than
they are with explaining and justifying their description. However, a common thread which runs
through the three grammatical compendia examined is that the writers all agree that there are
different categories of use despite the difficulty of defining their semantic boundaries.

Prepositions as thematic role markers

Within the framework of case grammar (Fillmore 1968, Cook 1979, Stockwell et al. 1973), certain
English prepositions can be regarded as markers of semantic roles. In Fillmore’s case grammar
of 1968, the following cases (semantic roles) are posited: Agentive, Instrumental, Dative,
Factitive, Locative, Objective, Benefactive, Time, and Comitative. Cook (1979) adds at least
three other case functions, namely Experiencer, Goal, and Source. Each role function is
associated with a default choice of preposition. For instance, the preposition with is the
suggested default Instrumental marker, exemplified by (62), while to is the default marker of the
Benefactive (63). Preposition selection rules are said to operate on the deep structure markers to
provide for the choice of prepositions for all roles.

62. He opened the door with a key.


63. He gave the book to Mary.
In terms of our present goal of analysing terjemahan strategies of the prepositions, the
role marking approach is of limited service. In the first place the number and types of roles that
may be posited remains uncertain. While most linguists can agree on the essential and core
roles, they do not agree on the final number and types of roles that may be posited. The
possibility of the proliferation of semantic roles gives the theory limited predictive utility. In any
case, even if we are able to associate a preposition with a particular semantic role, its semantic
role function does not exhaust its meaning. For instance, in and on can both be locative markers,
yet they can also be used for other non-locative purposes. Secondly, prepositions as role-
markers focus only on the non-lexical function of prepositions (cf. Rauh, 1993). In many
instances prepositions function as lexical items with authentic semantic substance rather than just
as morpho-syntactic markers of roles. In other words, viewing prepositions only as role markers
cannot account for the “relational” uses of prepositions which do not mark cases. In any case,
case grammar was not intended to be a comprehensive account of the semantics of the
prepositions; rather it was an attempt to incorporate semantic roles into deep-structure (within the
early transformational tradition). So there is no way it can provide a semantic categorisation of
prepositions.

Cognitive linguistic approaches to prepositional meaning

From the above lexicographical, grammatical and linguistic descriptions of prepositional meaning,
it would seem that the semantics of prepositions is far from being a settled and conclusive matter.
In fact, the prepositions have shown themselves to be highly polysemous, verging on the chaotic.
In such an atmosphere, the “cognitive linguists have taken up the challenge of this alleged
arbitrariness of prepositional usage” (Taylor 1995:110). Cognitive linguists’ interests in the
prepositions have been chiefly driven by the enormous semantic potential and wide syntactic
distribution of these items, hence making them “an ideal lexical class for postulating and testing
theories of lexical representation and processing” (Rice 1996:136). In their endeavour, they have
been highly successful in explicating the complexity of prepositional usage as highly structured
(Brugman 1988, Vandeloise 1994, Hawkins 1988, Dirven 1993).
Within CL, prepositional items are treated as complex multiple categories exhibiting
systematic polysemy (or more precisely heterosemy, see Section 2.1). The numerous distinct
uses of a preposition are shown to be related using a lexical network. The network consists of
nodes representing distinct senses or usage-types of a lexeme, which are linked together in a
complex yet systematic manner (cf. Brugman & Lakoff 1988). The arcs connecting the various
nodes indicate the particular categorising relationships between the various senses in the
network. Although most prepositional lexical networks in cognitive linguistics have attempted to
analyse the semantics of an item within only one domain (mainly Spatial or Temporal), thus
producing very fine-grained distinction of usage types within that domain, it is possible to step
back (as it were) and take a more macroscopic view of the network with different conceptual
domains as the nodes. (A microscopic examination of such a node would reveal a network of its
own.) One such network is Dirven’s (1993) radial network of the different uses of the English
prepositions in various conceptual domains. The radial network could be utilised to establish a
priori a set of usage types based on the different conceptual domains in which they are used.
Each of these domains would constitute an “area of meaning” or usage type. Other domains of
use (or usage types), if need be, could be added on to this network. In this fashion, all
instantiations could be categorised into particular usage types. A more detailed examination of
the Cognitive Linguistic approach and the network of meaning of at, in and on will be the subject
of the next chapter.