preposition stranding

Paul J Hopper ph1u+ at ANDREW.CMU.EDU
Mon Oct 26 16:53:21 UTC 1998

Excerpts from mail: 26-Oct-98 Re: preposition stranding by Mauro
> French "avec" ("with") is rightly labelled in any French dictionary as a
> preposition AND as an adverb (with the specification "colloquial" in my
> dictionary); in French, "with" is possibly encroaching "together"; Italian
> keeps the two strictly separated ("insieme" is much more used than its
> French cognate), while in Piedmontese (geographically, too, between French
> and Italian) "together" has almost completely taken the place of "with".

Is the dictionary to be our ultimate authority in how words are to be
assigned to classes? If so, it would seem that the debate over the
Somali examples is superfluous - we should instead simply consult a
Somali dictionary, where words are presumably also rightly labeled for

Presumably the dictionaries' designation "Preposition AND adverb" for
words like avec is based precisely on their ability (in the colloquial
language) to be stranded. If there is any different kind of evidence
supporting the analysis of avec as an adverb, I would be very curious to
know it, as in general I'd be interested to know why avec in the French
example (les femmes qu'il a couche' avec) is an adverb while "with" in
the corresponding English phrase (the women he has slept with) is a


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