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Original scientific paper

Daniela Katunar; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb




Prepositions as a word class pose various questions as to the relation between lexical
and functional language units and their place in the lexicon (Jolly 1991, Šarić and Reindl
2001). Though often referred to as function words, prepositions show a) systematic semantic
relations, ie. near–synonymy, polysemy, antonymy and b) a wide variety of lexical
and functional (grammatical) uses, indicating a complex interplay of systematic features
and contextual modifications which participate in the formation of their meaning. Semantic
relations such as antonymy are mostly discussed in terms of adjectives, nouns
and verbs, leaving out a detailed description of antonymy effects in other word classes
such as prepositions (e.g. Lyons 1977, Cruse 1986, Jones et al. 2012). By adopting the
methodology of antonymy research developed for identifying and extracting antonyms from
corpora, we examine the co–occurrence of prepositional antonyms in the Croatian National
Corpus. We take up the cognitive linguistic position of examining antonymy as a prototype
based category based on both conceptual opposition and contextual modifications (Paradis
et al. 2009), and we observe its workings on the novel prepositional dataset. Based on
the primary domains and conceptual structures that motivate prepositional opposition
formation, we divide the antonyms into spatial (directional and locational), temporal and
non–dimensional types. For each of the antonym types there are different contextual
modifications and conceptual structures that shape these antonymy relations, indicating a
complex interplay between language system and language use.


Key words


prepositions, lexical relations, antonymy, opposition, Croatian

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