Author Topic: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?  (Read 5829 times)

Offline zaba

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What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« on: March 21, 2014, 12:20:37 AM »
Is there a distinction to be made between a prepositional clause and a prepositional phrase? I have the intuition that a prep clause may include PPs, but I'm not sure.

Is every prep clause a PP?
Is every PP a prep clause?

Ugh. Terminology.

Online Daniel

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 07:40:41 AM »
What's a prepositional clause? Do you mean a P being used as Comp? I don't think that the standard analysis is to consider those as a special kind of clause. It's interesting but not otherwise noteworthy.
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Offline zaba

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 02:20:43 AM »
Well, I think of making a distinction between a PP that is a NP (that's a prepositional clause) and a PP that's VP (that's a prepositional phrase).

As an example of a prepositional clause would be "in a box", "in your stomach", "on the rooftop" , "to my castle".

Assuming that such a distinction is morphologically motivated, would these terms make sense?

Offline Jase

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 03:47:02 AM »
Well, I think of making a distinction between a PP that is a NP (that's a prepositional clause) and a PP that's VP (that's a prepositional phrase).

There are two different kinds of PPs within NPs (see my thread question on adjunct versus complement in this subforum) that form different phrase trees. I don't think I've heard anyone refer to them as clauses. They are referred to as prepositional phrases in any and every position.
Just getting into syntax. Appreciate any help I can find here.
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Offline jkpate

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 06:06:06 AM »
Well, I think of making a distinction between a PP that is a NP (that's a prepositional clause) and a PP that's VP (that's a prepositional phrase).

As an example of a prepositional clause would be "in a box", "in your stomach", "on the rooftop" , "to my castle".

Assuming that such a distinction is morphologically motivated, would these terms make sense?

I don't understand the distinction. All four examples you've quote above look like standard prepositional phrases to me. Could you give a full sentence exemplifying a "prepositional phrase" and a full sentence exemplifying a "prepositional clause"?
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Offline zaba

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 07:05:19 AM »
Before I go off a tangent, how do you fellas differentiate a phrase from a clause?

Online Daniel

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 07:25:01 AM »
A phrase is any set of words (that forms a constituent). A clause is a type of phrase that contains a verb/predicate.
The PPs above are unquestionably not clauses because they do not contain predicates, just nouns.


If is possible in a language with no overt copula to have a PP as a predicate. Roughly like "I at the house" but the examples above don't have subjects. And I don't know of languages that allow nonverbal predicates without overt subjects. (Arabic is an example of a language that requires subjects only with nonverbal predicates for example.) Regardless, those would still be PPs even if used as predicates.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 07:27:47 AM by djr33 »
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Offline zaba

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 07:46:49 AM »
Quote
If is possible in a language with no overt copula to have a PP as a predicate. Roughly like "I at the house" but the examples above don't have subjects. And I don't know of languages that allow nonverbal predicates without overt subjects.
This is one such language that can do 'I at the house'. Does this change my analysis of prep clause vs PP?

Online Daniel

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 08:18:03 AM »
It's a PP. Is it a full sentence also?
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Offline zaba

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 08:54:22 AM »
It's certainly a sentence. yes.

Offline Jase

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 01:10:10 AM »
Quote
If is possible in a language with no overt copula to have a PP as a predicate. Roughly like "I at the house" but the examples above don't have subjects. And I don't know of languages that allow nonverbal predicates without overt subjects.
This is one such language that can do 'I at the house'. Does this change my analysis of prep clause vs PP?

Hebrew also has verbless clauses, such as “I in the car” and “he at work.” It’s simply a lack of the present tense of the verb “to be,” there are instances in which a personal pronoun is used to emphasize the link. We say things like “the keys they on the table.” ;)
Just getting into syntax. Appreciate any help I can find here.
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Online Daniel

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Re: What's the diff btwn a PP and a prepositional clause?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 01:45:06 AM »
Jase, the subject pronoun is required in Hebrew as far as I know. The linking one is optional but the topic pronoun or full NP (the keys) is required. I was wondering if that's also true for the language Zaba was describing.

Zaba, are you asking about a full sentence including a subject or just the PP itself? I don't see how only the PP is a clause by itself, but it can be the predicate in a verbless sentence.
As for a term, I'm not sure of the best one. Null copula, verbless sentence, etc. in traditional Arabic grammar, there is a distinction between verbal and nominal sentences based on type of predicate. Effectively, a PP is a subtype of the nominal kind, because there is no agreement.
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