I lately lost a preposition

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Feb 10 15:33:45 UTC 2008

On Feb 9, 2008, at 6:28 PM, Joel Berson wrote (in reply to Mark Mandel):

> I thought "proceeded DD" was a case of lost preposition just like the
> "agreed"s previously on this chain.
> "Iraqi leaders finally agree a draft constitution" = "agreed to a"
> "Hall proceeded DD in 1596" = "proceeded to a" [Doctor of Divinity]
> At 2/9/2008 08:32 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

>> ... THEREFORE... the DNB quotation is not a case of dropped
>> preposition, or
>> British D.O. vs. US prepositional object, but a meaning that
>> doesn't occur
>> in the US at all, with its own valency.

the "proceeded" and "agreed" cases are not entirely parallel.  the
british "agreed" cases cited so far all have a full NP (with an
article, in the non-headline instances), and with a range of these,
but "proceed" seems to be used (well, have been used) with an
anarthous object, and then only one naming a university degree.  so we
   Hall proceeded DD in 1596
   Hall proceeded a DD in 1596
(which is what you'd expect if this use of "proceed" was just
transitivization via loss of a preposition) or
   Hall proceeded (a) new position in 1596.

so maybe the "proceed" cases are just instances of a small-scale
idiom, now vanished.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list