Actual Behaviors of Newly Observed Phraseological Units Comprising Two Prepositions

Ai Inoue


This paper describes, from a phraseological perspective, phrases created by combining two prepositions into a complex preposition (CP), defined as a word group that functions as a single preposition; for example, into, within, and upon. In particular, this work focuses on the newly observed CPs on against and in to and proposes that be on against and be in to are newly observed phraseological units in contemporary English, which have not yet been described in previous research or English dictionaries. A recent trend in English is to combine two prepositions into new CPs such as in at, and in for. In particular, two adverbial particles in and on co-occur with various prepositions and help establish new CPs. For example, MED2 (Macmillan English Dictionary, 2nd edition) lists new CPs such as in at, in for, in on, on about, and on at. Data obtained from corpora of present-day English show that on against and in to mainly co-occur with be verbs, and be on against and be in to are also observed. However, an extensive literature review shows that previous research and English dictionaries do not address this trend. This research describes their polysemy in different contexts, their functions, formations, and stress patterns.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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