Cases of homonymy between adpositions and subordinators

Paolo Ramat paoram at UNIPV.IT
Fri Jan 21 10:54:31 UTC 2005

Dear Françoise,
examples of adposition/subordination morphs are easy to be found in many languages:

Cp. a)  Giovanni ha comprato un libro per Maria, Jean a acheté un livre pour Marie
      b) Giovanni ha studiato molto per passare l'esame, Jean a étudié beaucoup pour passer son examen

In b) per/pour introduces a non finite subordinate clause. (Your question 3)
Per/pour  from the Latin adposition per, which had many meanings replaces the desappeared ut (and the negative ne : per non/pour ne pas) (Your question 5). 
As for the semantic development of per toward subordination(your question 4), one should look at the corpora of Classical and Late Latin. Perhaps the evolution started from instrumental values, e.g. statuerunt iniurias per uos ulcisci  (Cic.) "they decided to avenge the offenses via you/with your help"

Best wishes.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Francoise Rose 
  Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 12:28 PM
  Subject: Cases of homonymy between adpositions and subordinators

  Dear Typologists,

  In many languages, the same form may fulfil the functions of adposition (preposition or postposition) and subordinator. My main interest lays in the cases where the adposition was reanalyzed as a subordinator. Nevertheless, I am still interested in the cases where the subordinator would be at the source of an adposition, as well as cases where both functions derive from another source.

  In the attached file in PDF Format, I give examples of such homonymies, as well as a series of questions. I would be very happy and thankful if you could answer them in case you know such homonymies in your favourite languages of the wide world. 

  Thank you!

  I wish you all a Happy New Year!


  Françoise ROSE




  94 801 Villejuif Cedex



  rose at
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