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The grammar and semantics of near

Maria Brenda

Résumés

L’intérêt de la linguistique cognitive pour les prépositions est un axe de recherche relativement récent. La question de leur statut catégoriel n’a pas encore été résolue — les linguistes soulignent leur caractère soit purement lexical, soit purement grammatical. Cet article examine la structure sémantique de near, en tant que préposition, adverbe, adjectif et verbe, ainsi que la structure sémantique de la préposition complexe near to, pour déterminer si ce mot appartient au lexique ou à la grammaire de l’anglais. L’étude confirme que la structure sémantique de near gagne à être vue comme un continuum codant des informations aussi bien lexicales que grammaticales, donnant simultanément un aperçu de la polysémie de near, qui est relativement pauvre comparée à la polysémie d’autres prépositions spatiales comme over ou at. Enfin, la question de la différence sémantique entre les expressions simples et complexes near et near to est abordée. Bien que les deux structures soient souvent considérées comme synonymes, cette étude soutient l’idée que leur différence de forme reflète la différence de sens.

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Introduction

1The Oxford English Dictionary (henceforth OED 1989), as well as other monolingual dictionaries of the English language, such as the Oxford Dictionary,1 Merriam-Webster Dictionary2 and Free Dictionary,3 label the word near as a preposition, an adverb, an adjective and a verb. This categorization is confirmed by the research conducted for the purpose of the present study in the course of which over two thousand sentences from the British National Corpus (henceforth BNC)4 have been investigated to determine the semantic structure of the word near and its frequencies of use. As the word near can also be part of the complex preposition near to, the study looks into how and to what extent the two formally different forms are also different in meaning. Since prepositions and adverbs are both considered space characterizing words, an investigation into how the two word classes describe space is also in order.

2The long history of near, with the first records in English texts dating back to the 9th century (OED 1989), might suggest that the word is established in the language and entrenched in the minds of its users. Near derives from the comparative of the Old English adverb néah. The transition from the comparative to the positive sense in Old Norse probably originated in expressions such as koma or ganga nær meaning ‘to come/go nearer’ (to a person or place), which passed into the sense ‘close’ or ‘near.’ When the positive sense attached to nær, the word started to be used with stative verbs, such as standa or vera (‘to be’) as well. This transition might have been reflected in Old English where the word néar could be used either absolutely, without a complement, or governing a noun in the dative case. Both usages passed into Middle English when the construction near to was introduced.

3The analysis of the collected data reveals that the word near can function as a preposition, an adverb, an adjective and a verb, while the complex sequence near to is only a preposition. Despite the fact that near is a member of many word classes, its prepositional usage in the database is by far the most common–amounting to 1750 instances out of 2172. Table (1) below summarises the frequency of occurrence of the word near in the database–there are 1750 prepositional occurrences 166 occurrences as an adverb, 131 as an adjective, 3 as a verb, and 24 instances of idiomatic expressions (with only two elements far and near and near and dear).

Word class

Number of occurrences

 the preposition near

1750

 the preposition near to

98

 the adverb near

166

 the adjective near

131

 the verb near

3

 idiomatic expressions with near

24

 Total

2172

Table 1: Frequency of occurrence of near.

4The semantic analysis of the word near reveals five semantic categories: in the vicinity of, interaction, approaching, approximately and temporal. The analysis is based on the principled polysemy model (Tyler & Evans 2003) which is used to show how different senses of the semantic category of near may arise and how they are related to one another. The model proposes two criteria for distinguishing distinct senses of a preposition. First of all, a new sense may be postulated when it encodes a novel TR-LM spatial configuration or when it encodes a metaphorical meaning component not encoded by an already existing sense. The second criterion holds that the new sense should be context independent, that is, it should not be inferred from the context of use. Contextual modulations, however, do play a role at an initial stage of the expansion of semantic networks. Pragmatic strengthening allows for a contextual interpretation of a given spatial preposition to become associated with the form of the preposition as a new meaning component. After sufficient establishment in the linguistic community, the new meaning component becomes gradually more detached from its original context and starts functioning as a distinct sense of a given preposition.

5The model is especially fitted for a logical and an elegant presentation of the semantic structure of spatial prepositions. As with any other theory attempting to model rich and intricate reality a certain amount of approximation must be accepted. Thus, I consider individual senses of the word near as prototypical instances keeping in mind that there may be more and less prototypical usages of a given sense. Additionally, the motivations behind the expansion of prepositional semantic networks that the model provides are convincing as it is easy to trace the links between individual senses and see how they relate. Practical benefits of the model for second language learning (Tyler 2012) and for lexicography (Adamska-Sałaciak 2008a, 2008b) should also be appreciated.

6The present corpus-based study expands the principled polysemy model (Tyler & Evans 2003) by taking usage-data into account. As Lewis (2007) rightly points out, such data can be useful for investigating polysemy. The analysis of the data shows how distinct usages of the word near cluster to form crystallized and related nodes of meaning.

1 Methodological issues

7The aim of the research is to calculate the probability of occurrence of distinct senses of near in the database selected from the BNC. In order to do this, it is necessary to have a representative sample of the item in question. In mathematics, the law of large numbers assumes that the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials is close to the expected value, and becomes closer to it when the number of trials increases. The data selected should be random. The law of large numbers yields satisfying results when the number of trials equals or is larger than 1000, and increases with the increase of the number of trials.5

8The BNC is a 100 million word collection featuring samples of both written (90 per cent) and spoken (10 per cent) language coming from a wide range of sources. The sample was selected using the BNC http web interface available in July 2013 at the following URL: http://bnc.bl.uk/​saraWeb.php?qy=near&mysubmit=Go. Each http request allowed the download of 50 randomly selected samples of the word near according to the description on the webpage. A simple search yielded a sample large enough to satisfy the requirements of the law of large numbers and small enough to be manageable in a reasonable span of time.

9At the first stage of the analysis, a sample of 2200 sentences containing the word near was extracted from the BNC. The initial intention was to analyze 5000 instances of use; however, such a large number of samples would prolong the processing of the data, but it would not significantly reduce the statistical error. The cursory reading of the data resulted in 2172 instances of use. The rejected 28 instances constituted incomplete sentences difficult to make sense of or were repetitions of previously encountered examples. The remaining 2172 instances were all classified with more or less effort into one of the categories emerging during the process of analysis. In order to identify the occurrences of the complex preposition near to, the database of 2172 items was searched for the phrase. The first selection was subject to further scrutiny which resulted in rejecting phrases such as they perceive the sites as being too near to be worthy of a special car trip classified as adverb-infinitive structures.

10In order to establish individual senses of near and near to, the methodology to establish distinct senses outlined in Tyler & Evans (2003) is used. Individual examples are analysed in terms of TR-LM relationships between two objects they encode in order to assess geometric configurations between the two. Identified metaphorical meaning components are compared with metaphorical meaning components encoded by other non-spatial senses of near/near to in attempt to assess if they are, in fact, novel. After the process of classification into different semantic categories, each sense is given a name constituting its closest paraphrase.

11The OED (1986) is helpful in establishing the primary sense of the word near as Tyler & Evans’ (2003) criteria for establishing the primary sense of a preposition seem unreliable (Lewis 2007). Thus, I assume that the primary sense of the preposition near is spatial rather than metaphorical in nature, and locative rather than dynamic, as location seems conceptually simpler than motion. The OED (1986) is not a helpful source for establishing individual senses of near though, because it is not free of faults dictionaries are in general guilty of. Severe criticism of dictionary entries of content words comes from Wierzbicka (1996), but prepositions are probably even more challenging for lexicographers, as Adamska-Sałaciak (2008a, 2008b) rightly points out. Various senses of polysemous prepositions are listed in an apparently arbitrary way, superfluous and redundant information is provided and the same sense is illustrated in different places of the entry by different examples. However, OED (1986) is used for reference and confirmation of the findings concerning distinct senses of near.

12Although the study does not focus on text-type distribution, the source information identifying the discussed examples is provided in the footnotes. The abbreviation BNC together with a reference code of an example is provided first and bibliographical information of the source comes later. Two sentences were retrieved via Google Books,6 in which case it is indicated in the footnote.

2 Grammatical considerations

13There has been a great deal of discussion about what a word is and about the most fundamental distinction between lexical and grammatical words (for instance Lyons 1995, Cruse 2000). Generally speaking, words are considered composite forms as they have form (either spoken or written) and meaning (Lyons 1995: 23-26). In cognitive linguistics a word is defined as a symbolic relation between a phonological pole (its spoken form) and a semantic pole (its meaning) (Langacker 1987).

14Traditionally, words are divided into two classes–open-class words, also called lexemes or dictionary-words, and closed-class words, also called grammatical or functional words (Lyons 1995, Cruse 2000: 88-89). Specifically, open-class words belong to large substitution sets, carry meaning in a sentence, and undergo change relatively quickly, as they either come into existence or fall out of use. In contrast, closed-class words belong to small substitution sets, express grammatical functions in a sentence, and are relatively slow to change. Members of the open class include nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, while the closed class features determiners, prepositions, conjunctions, and particles, while (Cruse 2000, Talmy 2000).

15The categorical status of prepositions, however, has not been conclusively established. Radford (1997: 45), for instance, makes a strong case for the lexical nature of prepositions as they form antonymous pairs such as inside-outside or over-under, just like nouns, verbs and adjectives. Evans (2010) considers prepositions as lexical concepts which hints at their relationship with lexemes and concepts, suggesting, thereby, their ability to encode chunks of encyclopedic knowledge. Lakoff (1987), Brugman (1988), Herskovits ([1986] 2009), Talmy (2000) and Coventry & Garrod (2004) conceive of prepositions as closed-class items.

16An interesting approach to the categorical status of prepositions in particular, and adpositions in general, is presented in Hagège (2010) who claims that “elements allegedly belonging to grammar, (…) also belong to the lexicon” (2010:332). In other words, the author advocates a morpholexical treatment of the category of prepositions pointing to the difficulties foreign language learners have when mastering prepositions of the target language and to the prepositional ability to function as stylistic markers in poetry (Hagège 2010: 268-270). To my mind, an equally convincing argument for treating prepositions as morpholexical units is that at least some of them can function as members of both grammatical and lexical categories (Brenda 2014). The preposition over, for example, can function as an adverb, an adverbial particle in a number of phrasal and prepositional verbs and a prefix in nouns, verbs adjectives and adverbs. Although over is not as productive as a member of lexical categories, it can be a noun (overs denote copies printed in excess (OED 1986)), a verb (as in the dialectal He done an operation on a woman and she never overed it (OED 1986)) and an adjective (as in a little outdated combination A skirt of black satin with over drapery of guipure lace (OED 1986)). The word near has similar characteristics because, as the research shows, it can function as an untypical preposition (by virtue of its ability to inflect for grade), an adverb, an adjective and a verb.

  • 7 It seems that there may be other prepositions taking intensifiers, for example, the preposition beh (...)

17Prepositions and adverbs which are identical in form are often considered semantically similar categories (Quirk et al. 1985). Frequently, as is the case with near, defining distinguishing features between them is a difficult task. For instance, the simple preposition near and the complex preposition near to behave as typical prepositions as they can be complemented by a noun phrase, a wh-clause and an -ing phrase. At the same time, near and near to are the only prepositions (together with close to) inflecting for grade, as in (1) below, and taking intensifiers, as in (2), which makes them similar to typical adjectives.7 Adverbial uses of near without a complement are also relatively common. These grammatical, formal and semantic similarities between the prepositional and adverbial categories may be the grounds for disregarding the distinction and treating the preposition and the adverb near in a unified fashion, as many dictionaries in fact do, listing distinct senses of the preposition/adverb near in one dictionary entry.

  • 8 Weger, Jackie. A strong and tender thread. (retrieved from: https://books.google.pl) (date of acces (...)
  • 9 BNC KD0, 106 conversations recorded by ‘Kevin’ (PS0HM) between 29 November and 5 December 1991 with (...)

(1)

Constance tiptoed nearer (to) the door.8

(2)

That’s why we stay quite near (to) the top.9

18The status of near in English grammar is not a clear-cut matter. Its prepositional character is reflected by the ability to take NP, wh- and -ing complements (Quirk et al. 1985), as well as by the ability to be fronted together with its complement and accept right as a modifier. Near generally does not complement the verb become (Huddleston & Pullum 2002). As an adjective near inflects for grade and takes intensifiers very and too (Quirk et al. 1985, Huddleston & Pullum 2002). Thus, it combines both prepositional and adjectival characteristics.

19Near is an attributive adjective in the near future, but the majority of its non-attributive uses are prepositional (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 609) as is the case in (1), where near/near to is treated as a preposition heading the prepositional phrase and not an adjective taking the to- complement. Most of all, prepositional phrases, unlike adjectival phrases, are able to function as non-predicative adjuncts in a sentence (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 604). In Near/nearer (to) the city there is plenty going on, for example, the word near heads the prepositional phrase near/nearer (to) the city which functions as a non-predicative adjunct. Also, near/nearer (to) can be fronted together with its complement in a relative clause as in The city near/nearer (to) which there is plenty going on (Brenda 2014: 81-82).

20Although simple prepositions have received relatively little scholarly attention so far, complex prepositions are even more neglected, with the most extensive corpus-based study being Hoffmann (2005) who analyses the class of complex prepositions in terms of their frequency of use. Unfortunately, his research focuses on PNP expressions (preposition-noun-preposition, for example in spite of), and excludes the phrase near to.

21Traditionally, complex prepositions are two- or three-word sequences. Two-word sequences usually consist of an adverb, adjective, or conjunction and a simple preposition, for example as for or apart from. The most common patterns of three word-sequences include preposition+noun+preposition, as in in view of or by means of (Quirk 1985: 669-673, Biber 1999: 75). However, it is difficult to distinguish between simple and complex prepositions in an absolute fashion and, according to Hoffmann (2005), manipulation tests designed to differentiate between complex prepositions and free forms (Quirk 1985, Seppänen et al. 1994, Huddleston & Pullum 2002) are inconclusive.

22Huddleston & Pullum (2002, 2005) suggest that the phrases in front of (2005) and out of (2002) do not always function as inseparable units. It is possible to say He ran of the office and He ran out but not *He ran out of. Similarly, they suggest that it is possible to say She stood in front of the car and She stood in front but not *She stood in front of. The analysis of the two phrases may be accepted. However, the authors (Huddleston & Pullum 2002, 2005) also cite other expressions, such as according to, owing to, because of and by means of which cannot be analyzed in the same way. For example, omitting the complement to the word according in the sentence According to Kim, most of the signatures were forged would result in an ungrammatical sequence even if the order of the sentential elements was changed into *Most of the signatures were forged, according. In the same way, the phrases owing to, because of and by means of cannot be broken into separate elements retaining, at the same time, their prepositional characteristics. Huddleston & Pullum (2005) claim that if by means of were a simple preposition, it would not be possible to insert similar in the phrase and drop of as in by similar means. However, clearly, by similar means is not a preposition at all. It is a prepositional phrase which functions as a sentence adverbial. What is more, it cannot be complemented by of, as we cannot say *by similar means of.

23The expression near to might be analysed in the fashion similar to that of out of and in front of. Specifically, in example (1) Constance tiptoed nearer (to) the door the phrase to the door can be dropped leaving a perfectly correct sentence Constance tiptoed nearer and showing that the preposition to might be analysed as belonging with the noun phrase the door. However, other manipulations are not allowed as we cannot say, for instance, *near at, which would be possible with a free expression (Quirk et al. 1985). In light of this inconclusive evidence, it would seem advisable to look for more support elsewhere. For example, Hoffmann (2005) suggests that the notion of frequency gives an insight into the research into complex prepositions. His survey of 30 most frequent complex prepositions in the BNC demonstrates that in the vast majority of the instances (92 per cent) no part of the complex preposition is repeated in coordinated constructions, 4 per cent of the instances involve full repetition of the complex preposition and 4 per cent involve partial repetition separating different constituents, which may suggest that complex prepositions are, in fact, inseparable units. Unfortunately, the expression near to is beyond the scope of the author’s research.

24Thus, in view of scant evidence, the present study follows the traditional distinction between simple and complex prepositions (Quirk et al. 1985). It is assumed that a complex preposition consists of two or three constituent parts, the second of which is a simple preposition. Space characterizing properties of near to, that is its ability to encode a spatial relation between two objects, also suggest that the sequence may be treated as a complex preposition.

25The word near realizes spatial relations of position and direction, both as a preposition and an adverb in a fashion similar to other spatial words. Formally the difference between prototypical prepositions and adverbs relies respectively in the presence or absence of complements and, semantically, in the presence or absence of the LMs which the complements encode. According to traditional accounts of grammar, prepositions are complemented by noun phrases, wh-clauses and ing-clauses (Quirk et al. 1985), while more cognitively oriented grammarians also include prepositional phrases, adverbial phrases and a variety of clauses into the group of prepositional complements (Huddleston & Pullum 2002, Biber et al. 1999). Certain approaches to grammar such as that of Huddleston & Pullum (2002), however, suggest that less typical derivational adverbs license direct complements and less typical prepositions license optional noun phrase complements or do not take complements at all. The authors attempt to reduce the extension of the adverb category by shifting the boundary primarily with regard to the prepositional category; however, they still maintain that “the pattern of complementation [...] provides the most general criterion for distinguishing prepositions from adverbs” (Huddlestion & Pullum 2002: 604).

26As for modification, adverbs generally modify verbs but also other adverbs (as in almost always), adjectives, (almost incomprehensible), determinatives, (almost all the candidates), as well as prepositional phrases (almost without equal), noun phrases (almost the whole book) and clauses (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 562). Adverbial elements serving as premodifiers belong to one of three types–polarity adverbs, such as not, comparison adverbs, for instance more, less, as and so, and intensification adverbs such as very, quite and nearly among others (Halliday 2004: 356-357). Different types of adverbial modifiers can obviously combine. With regards to postmodification, only comparison adverbs can serve this role as in, for example, as early as two o’clock.

27Similarly, prepositions form prepositional phrases which can function as sentence adverbials or noun postmodifiers. In The seal has been fired at by a man with a rifle, for instance, with a rifle postmodifies a man, and in A.M., 37, is alleged to have shot Robert with a rifle the same phrase is an adverbial. Prepositional phrases can also premodify nouns as in in-flight explosion. In fact, prepositional phrases are the most frequent type of postmodifier in all registers (Biber et al. 1999).

28On the other hand, prepositions form prepositional phases which can be themselves modified in a number of ways. They can be modified by degree expressions, such as completely or wholly, and noun phrases such as a long time–in a long time after the accident. Adverbs such as right and straight function as typically prepositional modifiers; however, other adverbial modifiers such as clearly, shortly or immmediately can modify prepositional phrases as well. Finally, prepositional phrases can be modified by other prepositions (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 643-645, Biber et al. 1999: 103-104).

29In light of what has been said, it is now possible to sum up the main characteristics of the word under study. The simple adverb near and the derivational adverb nearly often function as a clause element adverbial, in which case they modify a verb, as in He nearly forgot about it. The two adverbs appear as a premodifier of an adjective or another adverb in A solicitor’s undertaking is near/nearly absolute and near everywhere. Functionally, near and nearly may be classified as downtoners or, more specifically, as approximators (Quirk et al. 1985: 445). When they modify an adjective or another adverb, they scale downwards from an assumed norm expressed by the adjective/adverb, and when they modify a verb, they deny its meaning.

3 The senses of the preposition near

30A total of 2172 linguistic items were first and foremost divided in terms of the occurrence of the single word near, with 2048 instances, and the complex sequence near to, with 98. In the study, the complex sequence near to is considered a complex preposition, whereas the former group is classified into prepositional, adverbial, adjectival and verbal categories.

31Out of 2048 occurrences of a single word near 1750 turned out to be prepositional uses. The frequencies of occurrence of distinct prepositional senses of near are presented in Table 2 below. The semantic category of the preposition near includes: the primary In-the-vicinity Sense, with 1591 instances, the Interaction Sense, with 53, the Approach Sense, with 32, the Approximately Sense, with 20, and the Temporal Sense, with 54.

Sense

Number of occurrences

 The In-the-vicinity Sense

1591

 The Interaction Sense

53

 The Approach Sense

32

 The Approximately Sense

20

 The Temporal Sense

54

 Total

1750

Table 2: Frequency of the senses of the preposition near

3.1 The primary sense of the preposition near – In-the-vicinity Sense

32According to the OED (1989), the first meaning of both the adverb and the preposition near, already obsolete except when used dialectically, can be paraphrased as ‘nearer or closer (to a place, point, or person).’ The first record of the sense comes from Beowulf (line 745):

(3)

For

near

ætop

forward

near

approach

‘He approached forward.’

  • 10 After OED (1989), Gen & Ex. 2611

33The earliest attested sense of the preposition near which has survived into contemporary English denotes the spatial proximity of two objects and can be paraphrased as ‘to, within, or at, a short distance; to or in, close proximity.’ The origins of this sense can be traced back to around 1250 when it was clearly used as an adverb:10

(4)

Egipte

wimmen

comen

ner

Egyptian

women

should come

near

‘Egyptian women should come near.’

  • 11 Topological prepositions neglect Euclidean metric or, in other words, are magnitude neutral. The na (...)

34Locative prepositions are usually divided into two main subclasses–topological and projective (Coventry & Garrod 2004: 7-8). The preposition near is classified as a topological preposition, as it disregards the metric distance between the TR and LM, and, more specifically, as a proximity term denoting close distance between two objects (Radden & Dirven 2007: 311). The preposition near, like other topological prepositions, encodes a spatial relation which does not depend on the viewpoint of an observer and which does not change when the two objects involved are somewhat manipulated. The preposition can be used to describe a given relation when the most crucial structural properties of the relation between the two objects are preserved (Kemmerer & Tranel 2000: 394).11 In contrast, projective prepositions denote regions which project from the axis of the LM. The preposition over, for instance, specifies a ‘higher than’ relation of the TR relative to the LM along the up-down axis of the LM.

  • 12 There is a body of data showing that the geometric axiom of symmetry between two objects may be vio (...)

35The preposition near is one of the prepositions expressing a symmetrical relation between the TR and LM in the sense that when the TR is near the LM, the LM is also near the TR (Herskovits 1989 [2009]: 35).12 The preposition conveys the information concerning distance but not the orientation or direction of the objects involved (Ashley & Carlson 2007). In the database collected, the primary sense of the preposition near, the In-the-vicinity Sense, is frequently used with the proper names of human dwellings of different sizes and with names of geographical regions, such as mountain ranges, islands, lakes and forests, among others. The preposition is complemented by a proper name 771 times out of 1591 instances of the primary sense. The In-the-vicinity Sense of near is illustrated below:

  • 13 BNC B75, New Scientist. London: IPC Magazines Ltd, 1991.
  • 14 BNC ANB, Milan: the complete travel organiser. Sale, Richard. Marlborough, Wilts: The Crowood Press (...)

(5)

(…) CERN, Europe’s center near Geneva (…)13

(6)

Manzoni was born in 1785 near Lake Como (…)14

36The preposition near implies the presence of a TR on an unspecified territory adjacent to its LM. The interpretation of phrase (5) suggests that CERN, the centre for research into subatomic particles, is located somewhere in the neighbourhood of the city of Geneva. Similarly Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist in sentence (6), was born somewhere on the grounds surrounding Lake Como.

  • 15 The preposition at presupposes a distant perspective, which is why the TR and LM are often perceive (...)

37The preposition near is also used with common nouns denoting LMs having a variety of physical characteristics. A LM typical of the preposition near is usually one-, two- or three-dimensional, with the exception of zero-dimensional points usually functioning as LMs of the preposition at.15 Likewise, the orientation of the TR and LM is not an issue in the primary sense of the preposition near. The following sentences encode various types of LMs:

  • 16 BNC K32, Belfast: Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd, n.d., Leisure material.
  • 17 BNC GW6, The solar system. Jones, Barrie William. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1984.
  • 18 BNC G0L, The Lucy ghosts. Shah, Eddy. London: Corgi Books, 1993, pp. 321-452.

(7)

Azzafi could be beaten for speed near the finish.16

(8)

It has been suggested that the magnetic field (…) arises from magnetized rocks near the surface (…)17

(9)

There was nothing to alarm him, no activity in the building at the end or near the hangars.18

38Sentence (7) above encodes a one-dimensional horizontal LM, the finish line, sentence (8) a two-dimensional horizontal LM, the surface, and sentence (9) a three-dimensional LM, the hangers. All the sentences imply the presence of the TRs in the region adjacent to the LM without specifications concerning the TRs’ precise positions. Thus, it may be argued that the preposition near in its In-the-vicinity Sense highlights the outer borders of the LM together with an area surrounding it. The area surrounding the LM may be called “fuzzy” as its outer boundaries are undetermined. This brings two issues into question: 1) how distant can the TR be from the LM to be still described as “near”, and 2) can the TR be in contact with the LM and be still described as “near?”

39As has been said before, a topological preposition does not encode metric properties of objects or relationships involved. However, the use of the preposition near is determined by a number of characteristics of the spatial scene (Coventry & Garrod 2004: 113-114). First of all, geometric properties such as the size of the TR and LM and the spatial scale at which the objects are viewed are important for the choice. If a small TR and LM such as a fork and a knife are placed on a table one metre apart, the appropriate word characterizing their relation would probably be far, but when two large objects such as a ship and a sail boat are one metre apart, they are considered dangerously near one another. The scale at which the objects are viewed influences the choice of an appropriate proximity term as well. For example, the distance between the fork and the knife would be described with the word far when they are on the table and with the word near when they are placed on a football pitch. Small objects are also usually located with reference to larger objects, while mobile objects are more naturally located with reference to immobile objects. It seems more acceptable to say The boat is near the pier than The pier is near the boat both because of the sizes and im/mobility of the TRs and LMs. Experiments have also shown that the presence of a third object in the spatial scene influences human judgements for proximity terms. When the distance between the TR and the distractor object is larger than the distance between the TR and LM, the term near is judged more appropriate (Burgio & Coventry 2010).

40Nongeometric factors also determine the use of a given spatial term to describe a given spatial relation. Coventry & Garrod (2004) report on a body of psychological research proving the importance of the background knowledge of the world in the choice of proximity terms to describe spatial scenes. To a cyclist who had to travel five kilometres to his house (on his bicycle) and a car driver who had to go the same distance in his car, the five kilometres would seem longer to the cyclist. If, however, the house and the vehicle are separated by a series of lanes too narrow for the car to go through, the cyclist might consider the distance shorter and the driver as much longer (Coventry & Garrod 2004: 116). The functional relationship between the TR and LM also influences the choice of the preposition in the way that functionally related objects are termed as near more often than unrelated objects. Subjects rate near significantly more appropriate, for instance, when a couch is located in such a way relative to the TV that it is possible to view the program clearly whilst being seated on it (especially if they are short sighted) (Coventry & Garrod 2004: 117).

41Logan & Sadler (1996) provide an interesting answer to the question of distance between the TR and LM encoded by the preposition near. They suggest that language users decide if a given spatial term is appropriate to describe a spatial relation by applying a spatial template to the spatial scene, which represents the so-called regions of acceptability. A spatial template is a two- or three-dimensional field centered on the LM specifying whether a spatial relation applies to a pair of objects. In one of the experiments they tried to determine the regions of space corresponding to the best examples of English spatial prepositions. The results for near are presented in Figure (1).

Figure 1: Distances between the TR and LM encoded by the preposition near (Logan & Sadler 1996: 508)

  • 19 Salience is related to the basic phenomenon of attention attributive to the human conceptual system (...)

42The square in Figure (1) represents the LM and the dots show the positions of the TR which may be considered near the LM. It appears that, at least for some of the subjects, the preposition near can encode contact between the TR and LM. This is in contrast to Lindstromberg’s observation (2010: 152) that the preposition near entails no contact between the TR and LM. Lindstromberg (2010: 144) further specifies that the difference between the two proximity prepositions near and by rests on the lack and/or presence of contact or connection between the TR and LM respectively. It seems plausible, however, that the contact between the TR and LM cannot be precluded, especially in small scale scenes involving small objects. A fork and a knife on a table described as near each other may in fact be touching one another. What is important perhaps is that contact is not a salient feature encoded by the preposition near.19 Thus, the interpretation of sentence (10) below, for instance, suggests that the TR he is located in the region adjacent to the LM the side of the boat. It is quite feasible to imagine that the man is either leaning against the side of the boat, or that he is sitting a little away from the boat. In any case the exact distance is not encoded by the preposition near and it may be argued that it is not relevant.

  • 20 BNC AS7, Tales of the loch. Sandison, Bruce. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company Ltd, 1990, pp (...)

(10)

Sometimes, when he had been sitting near the side of the boat (…)20

43The preposition near encodes the TR located in the area or space surrounding the LM and not in the area or space occupied by the LM itself, as is the case, for instance, with the preposition at which encodes a TR located within the surface or space of an object functioning as a LM. The difference between the two prepositions near and at is evidenced in the following sentence:

  • 21 BNC ASU, Wainwright in the limestone dales. Wainwright, Alfred. London: Michael Joseph Ltd, 1991, p (...)

(11)

Visitors to Yordas Cave who have left their cars parked at or near Masongill (…)21

44The coordinating conjunction or is used to show the choice between the two alternatives: the cars could have been parked either at or near the village of Masongill. The preposition at prompts for the conceptualization of the cars being parked in an unspecified area within the limits of the village, also along its borders, whereas the preposition near excludes the area occupied by the village and highlights the territory outside the outer borders of Masongill.

45Two other sentences containing the prepositions near and at are even more illustrative as far as the difference between the actual spatial relations is concerned:

  • 22 BNC GVL, The night mayor. Newman, Kim. Sevenoaks: New English Library, 1990, pp. 49-185.
  • 23 Lawless, Stephen F. The Gods’ Glass. (retrieved from: https://books.google.pl) (date of access: 17 (...)

(12)

(…) I shot near his head.22

(13)

The gunman raised his gun to fire at the door.23

46The preposition near in sentence (12) denotes that the bullet missed a man’s head and went past it without coming in contact with it. In contrast, when the gunman in sentence (13) fired at the door, he actually hit the door causing damage to it.

47Taking what has been already said about the preposition near into consideration, I suggest that Figure (2) below is an abstract graphic representation of the spatial arrangement between the TR and LM encoded by the preposition near. The black sphere represents the LM, while the dashed circle represents the region adjacent to the LM. The x-symbol indicates the possible, although undetermined, position of the TR relative to the LM.

Figure 2: The primary sense of the preposition near

3.2 The Interaction Sense

  • 24 After OED (1989), Charter in Old English Texts 445.

48In certain contexts, a geometric relation between the TR and LM encoded by the spatial preposition near is supplemented by a functional element suggesting contact and interaction as a consequence of the proximity between the TR and LM. The earliest use of the Interaction Sense dates back to 831.24

(14)

Nis

Eðelmode

enig

meghond

neor

ðes

cynees

ðanne

Eadwald

is not

Eðelmode

any

relative

near

this

kind

than

Eadwald

‘There is no one nearer of kin to Aethelmond than Eadwald.’

49The Interaction Sense of the preposition near arises via the process of pragmatic strengthening, whereby inferences of certain prepositional usages in certain contexts are associated with that preposition and, with time, start functioning as its separate sense (Tyler & Evans 2003: 38). The Interaction Sense arises when the preposition near is used with verbs denoting motion, such as come, go and get, as well as with verbs denoting permission, such as let and allow. A characteristic feature of this sense is that both the TR and the LM usually, although not always, denote people. The sense is illustrated below:

  • 25 BNC CH2, The Daily Mirror. London: Mirror Group Newspapers, 1992.
  • 26 BNC EFW, The siege of Krishnapur. Farrell, J G. London: Fontana Paperbacks, 1988, pp. 205-313.

(15)

He is the only person who could have got near the animal.25

(16)

On no account let that charlatan near me!26

50The spatial relation between the man and the animal in sentence (15) is encoded by the preposition near indicating proximity. However, all the sentential elements contribute to the interpretation which extends beyond the spatial arrangement. The man is the only person who can come into the vicinity of the animal not being threatened by it. Thus, the notion of proximity carries with it an additional element of possible interaction between the TR and the LM which, in (15), may be endangering for some. The notion of unwanted interaction is also conceptualized in sentence (16). The fact that the doctor approaches the patient physically implies negative consequences for the patient who is, clearly, reluctant to have anything to do with the doctor.

51Spatial proximity which invites interaction between the TR and LM encoded by the preposition near is represented in Figure (3) below:

Figure 3: The Interaction Sense of the preposition near

52A black sphere in the figure represents the LM, while an x-symbol represents the TR. The two remain in the relation of a spatial proximity enriched by the functional element of interaction symbolized by the left-right arrow.

3.3 The Approach Sense

  • 27 After OED (1989), Washington Thomas, translation of Nicholay’s (N. de) Nauigations into Turkie IV.X (...)

53The Approach Sense of the preposition near prompts for the conceptualisation of the TR becoming closer to the LM in various non-spatial domains. In the database the sense is used to encode different states (physical, emotional, importance, colour) and the concepts of achievement and failure. One of the first written records of the sense comes from 1585.27

(17)

The

people...

are

of

complection

neerer

the

blacke

then

The

the

people...

are

of

complexion

nearer

the

black

than

the

‘The people’s complexion is nearer black than white.’

  • 28 Shelvoke George (the elder) A Voyage round World, 1726.

54Numerous examples of the sense are also found in Modern English, for example They are in shape and bigness the nearest like our green grasshoppers (OED 1989).28 Sentence (18) below is a typical example of the sense in contemporary English:

  • 29 BNC BPF, Wedding and Home. London: Maxwell Consumer Magazines, 1992.

(18)

Check that all the wedding clothes are near completion.29

55In (18) the phrase wedding clothes is a TR and completion is a LM. The TR, undergoing the process of preparation, is approaching its final stage. In this sentence the LM is realized as a desired state for which the TR is heading. The Approach Sense can also encode LMs realized as various emotional states. Sentence (19), for instance, encodes the TR, Rosamund Coldharbour, who is on the verge of breaking into tears, a state of sadness functioning as a LM:

  • 30 BNC H8B, Clerical errors.Greenwood, D M Headline 1991, pp. 31-151.

(19)

Rosamund Coldharbour had been near tears, he had noticed, as he had gone into Wheeler’s room.30

56Figure (4) below represents a schematic relation between the TR and LM encoded by the Approach Sense of the preposition near. In the figure the x-symbol represents the TR, the black sphere stands for the LM which the TR is approaching and the left pointing arrow symbolizes the process of the TR drawing closer to the LM.

Figure 4: The Approach Sense of the preposition near

3.4 The Approximately Sense

57I argue that the Approximately Sense is an extension of the Approach Sense. The Approach Sense is non-spatial and so is the Approximately Sense; however, they encode two different metaphorical meaning components. The Approximately Sense makes clear reference to the concept of SCALE, that is quantitative and qualitative aspects of our experience. As Johnson (1987: 122-123) claims, human beings frequently experience reality in terms of more, less and the same.

58The Approach Sense of the preposition near prompts for the conceptualization involving the TR drawing closer to the LM. In the Approximately Sense the LM is conceptualized as a numerical value on the scale. The preposition near does not, however, encode a larger fraction of the scale with the neighbouring values, in the fashion similar to that of at, but only a small fraction of the scale with a given number the TR is close to.

  • 31 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi 3155 (The Cursor of the world) A Northumbrian poem of the 14th centu (...)

59The preposition near has encoded this non-spatial relation between the TR and LM for over seven centuries, as its earliest written record dates back to before 1300.31

(20)

He

welk

Þat

fell

ner

dais

thre

he

walked

That

hill

near

days

three

‘He took nearly three days to walk that hill.’

60A more modern example comes from Early Modern English (OED 1989).

  • 32 Grimstone Edward D’Acosta’s (J. de) Naturall and morall historie of the East and West Indies I.ii 5 (...)

(21)

I have sayled neere 70 degrees from North to South.32

61Sentences (22) and (23) illustrate the sense in contemporary English:

  • 33 BNC ABJ, The Economist. London: The Economist Newspaper Ltd, 1991.
  • 34 BNC H0D, Death in the City. Anderson, J R L. UK: F A Thorpe (Publishing) Ltd, 1980, pp. 1-200.

(22)

As growth in France’s economy slows to an expected 2 per cent this year after two years near 4 per cent, (…)33

(23)

He hadn’t been dead for very long—my earlier estimate of around six hours will be somewhere near the mark.34

62The TR in sentence (22), the growth in France’s economy, is estimated as roughly achieving the level encoded by the LM, 4 per cent. In other words, the growth amounts to, more or less, 4 per cent. Sentence (23) expresses a similar relation between the TR and LM, as the death of a person is estimated to have taken place approximately six hours before. The preposition near in the two sentences can be paraphrased with the prepositions around or about.

63The non-spatial relation between the TR and LM encoded by the Approximately Sense is given in Figure (5) below where the horizontal arrow represents a scale with numerical values indicated by the black points. The dashed circle surrounding the bold sphere (LM) shows the possible area of approximation, whereas the bold arrow represents the TR being fairly close to the value in question.

Figure 5: The Approximately Sense of the preposition near

3.5 The Temporal Sense

  • 35 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi 518023 (The Cursor of the world) A Northumbrian poem of the 14th cen (...)

64The preposition near, like many other spatial prepositions, such as over or at, can denote a temporal relation between the TR and LM. The Temporal Sense of the preposition near arises as a consequence of a metaphorical transfer of meaning when the spatial relation between the TR and the proximal LM is shifted to the temporal domain. This sense was in use as early as around 1300, when it was first recorded in sentence (24):35

(24)

It

sal

Be

nere

þe

worldes

end

it

shall

Be

near

the

world’s

end

‘It will be near the end of the world.’

65As an extension of the In-the-vicinity Sense, the Temporal Sense of the preposition near encodes the TR localized close to the LM not in the spatial but in the temporal domain. The LM is frequently instantiated by temporal phrases, such as morning, end of September, beginning of the century, the end, an exam, etc. The sentences below illustrate the sense:

  • 36 BNC ASF, Time in history. Whitrow, G J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 19-120.
  • 37 BNC CGV, Machine Knitting Monthly. Maidenhead: Machine Knitting Monthly Ltd, 1992.

(25)

Most Greek religious festivals occurred at or near full moon (…)36

(26)

It was getting near Christmas and we were both under pressure to get orders completed.37

66Sentence (25) prompts for the conceptualization of the TR, Greek religious festivals, which usually occurs close to the period signified by the LM, the time of the month when the moon is full. The relation between the TR, it, and the LM, Christmas, mediated by the preposition near in sentence (26) yields to the interpretation that the time span between now and the holiday is getting shorter. In both sentences reflections of the primary spatial sense may be noticed with the exception that the relation is realized in the temporal domain.

67Taking the above into consideration, the following schematization of the The Temporal Sense of the preposition near may be suggested:

Figure 6: The Temporal Sense of the preposition near

68Figure (6) resembles Figure (2) representing the spatial primary sense of near as the number of participants in the spatial scene, and their configuration remain the same. The small unfilled circle represents the LM, the x-symbol stands for the TR located in the vicinity of the LM, while the dashed circle marks the region adjacent to the LM. Unlike the representation of the primary sense, however, the representation of the Temporal Sense makes use of the unfilled circle which is supposed to draw attention to the temporal nature of the relationship which the representation reflects.

69In summary, taking the above findings into consideration, it may be argued that five regions of “higher semantic density” (Cruse 2006[2000]) emerge in the semantic structure of the preposition near: the primary In-the-vicinity Sense, the Interaction Sense, the Approach Sense, and its extension the Approximately Sense, and the Temporal Sense. It may be noticed that the semantic structure of the preposition near is rather impoverished relative to some other spatial prepositions, such as over or at, which have over twenty distinct senses in their semantic networks (for example Tyler & Evans 2003, Kokorniak 2007). The senses associated with the preposition near may be arranged in a semantic network, given in Figure (7), following Tyler & Evans’ (2003) principled polysemy model. In the figure, the bold sphere represents the primary sense of near, the lightly shaded spheres represent its extensions, and the arrows indicate the direction of change motivating subsequent senses.

Figure 7: The semantic network for the preposition near

4 The complex preposition near to

70The analysis of the complex preposition near to reveals that its semantic network comprises the same senses as the semantic network for the preposition near. The difference between near and near to rests on a different conceptualization of the LM. While the preposition near encodes the same salience of the TR and the LM, near to prompts for the conceptualization of a highlighted LM. In purely spatial senses, such as the In-the-vicinity Sense, the side of the LM closer to the TR is usually more prominent, however, without any specific TR/LM orientation. In sentences encoding dynamic spatial scenes the LM may be conceptualized as a goal that the TR is trying to reach. In non-spatial senses, the whole LM receives a high degree of salience.

71The frequencies of occurrence for the preposition near to are presented in Table 3. Sentences comprising near to constitute a minority in the collected database, as only 98 instances out of 2172 contain this complex preposition. Despite the scarcity of the sample, it is noticeable that instances of the preposition near to fall into the following categories: In-the-vicinity (64 occurrences), Interaction (3 occurrences), Approach (34 occurrences), Approximately (3 occurrences) and Temporal (3 occurrences).

 Sense

Number of occurrences

 The In-the-vicinity Sense

64

 The Interaction Sense

3

 The Approach Sense

34

 The Approximately Sense

3

 The Temporal Sense

3

 Total

98

Table 3: Frequency of the senses of the preposition near to

72Distinct senses of near to can be arranged into a semantic network in the fashion similar to that of the preposition near (Figure 8):

Figure 8: The semantic network for the preposition near to

  • 38 After OED (1989), Genesis & Exodus 1395.

73The history of the preposition near to is shorter than that of near. The preposition near to was first recorded around 1250 in sentence (27):38

(27)

Laban

Cam

to

ðat

welle

ner

Laban

Came

to

that

well

near

‘Laban came near to that well.’

74The preposition belongs to a group of complex prepositions consisting of the adverb or adjective near, which is usually relatively stressed, and the simple preposition to (Quirk et al. 1985). The question arises if different forms correspond to different meanings of the pair near and near to or if the simple and complex prepositions mean the same regardless of the difference in form?

4.1 The primary sense of near to

75The spatial In-the-vicinity Sense of the preposition near to is the most common sense in the database collected and it amounts to 64 instances. Sentences (28) and (29) represent the simplest uses of the primary sense of the preposition as they encode stative rather than dynamic actions.

  • 39 BNC CB5, Ruth Appleby. Rhodes, Elvi. London: Corgi Books, 1992, pp. 109-226.
  • 40 BNC H88, Mathematics, teachers and children. Pimm, David. Sevenoaks, Kent: Hodder; Stoughton Ltd, 1 (...)

(28)

‘Where’s the fresh meat we were promised?-’ a man standing near to Ruth called out.39

(29)

At midday six guerrilla fighters arrived to help them from a military base near to their village.40

76In (28) the TR, man, is located in the vicinity of the LM, Ruth, and the relation is encoded by the complex preposition near to rather than the simple one near. The above discussion of the simple preposition near reveals that the preposition encodes the presence of the TR on an unspecified territory adjacent to the LM. The question arises, then, what semantic element the simple preposition to contributes. Quirk et al. in reference to the preposition to, talk about “completive movement in the direction of a place” (1985: 667) or “the assumption that the destination will be reached” (1985: 696). Lindstromberg (2010) defines the basic spatial sense of to as an endpoint of a path, as in went to their house, and he distinguishes various other senses, such as a metaphorical pointing in, for instance, refer to, directed physical connection in connected to, possession in it belongs to her and metaphorical presentation in known to everyone.

77An interesting account of the meaning of the preposition to is given in Tyler & Evans (2003: 145-153). The authors disagree with many previous analyses understanding the preposition to as an endpoint of a path and they rightly argue instead that the proto-scene for to encodes a stative TR oriented toward a LM given “an unusual degree of saliency” (Tyler & Evans 2003: 150). This analysis seems convincing as the proto-scene should, by definition, constitute the simplest physical configuration between the TR and LM which is later elaborated on in a context. The highlighted status of the LM makes it available for the interpretation as a target or a goal which constitutes a functional element arising from a geometric configuration encoded by the preposition. Specifically, the authors suggest that the LM of to functions as the primary target or goal, as opposed to the oblique goal encoded by the preposition for with the notions of passage, path and motion excluded from the proto-scene. It may be argued that one of the extensions of the proto-scene for the preposition to, its Locational Sense (Tyler & Evans 2003: 150-151), is part of the complex preposition near to.

78The preposition to contributes to the complex preposition near to–the element of salience of the LM involved in the spatial relation. The preposition near denotes the proximity of the TR relative to the LM, whereas the preposition to makes the LM a salient element of the scene. This is clearly seen if the preposition to is removed from the expression in question:

(30)

a.

‘Where’s the fresh meat we were promised?-’ a man standing near Ruth called out.

b.

‘Where’s the fresh meat we were promised?-’ a man standing near to Ruth called out.

(31)

a.

At midday six guerrillas fighters arrived to help them from a military base near their village.

b.

At midday six guerrillas fighters arrived to help them from a military base near to their village.

79In (30a), both the TR, a man, and the LM, Ruth, receive the same degree of salience. The interpretation of the sentence involves two participants in a symmetrical spatial relation. The situation changes in (30b) where Ruth is a more salient participant of the relation and where the bigger salience of the LM is prompted for by the preposition to. The same is also true about the second pair of similar sentences. In (31a), the TR and LM participate in a symmetrical relation where a military base is proximal to the village and none is particularly prominent. The complex preposition near to in (31b) adds the element of salience to the LM. It may be further argued that in the spatial In-the-vicinity Sense, the complex preposition near to highlights the side of the LM closer to the TR, but, without the TR or LM being oriented towards one another.

80Taking the above into consideration, the following schematization of the primary sense of the complex preposition near to may be proposed. In Figure (9) the black sphere represents the LM, while the dashed sphere represents the region adjacent to the LM. The x-symbol indicates the possible, although undetermined, position of the TR relative to the LM, as it was the case with the simple preposition near. The arc symbol to the right of the LM shows the more foregrounded side of the LM, closer to the TR, towards which the TR is oriented.

Figure 9: The primary sense of the preposition near to

81The primary sense of the complex preposition near to may also be used to encode dynamic spatial scenes, in which case the considerable saliency of the LM remains unchanged. In (32), for instance,

  • 41 BNC JYA, Sweet deceiver. Ashe, Jenny. Richmond, Surrey: Mills; Boon, 1993.

(32)

But this time I’ll get as near to the front as possible!41

82the TR, I, is trying to get closer to the LM, the front. The complex preposition near to denotes the proximity between the two entities in the scene and highlights the LM. However, as the verb get encodes a dynamic action, the LM may also be understood as a goal for the TR to achieve.

4.2 The Interaction Sense

  • 42 After OED (1989), Knight de la Tour-Landry The book of the... around 1450 (1868).

83The presence of the TR in the vicinity of the LM may result in an interaction between them. The Interaction Sense of the preposition near to denotes the interplay of the TR with a salient LM. One of the earliest records of the Interaction Sense comes from 1450.42

(33)

Y

saide

she

was

bothe

good

and

faire

but

she

I

said

she

was

both

good

and

fair

but

she

shulde

be

to

Me

no

nere

than

she

was

should

be

to

Me

no

near

than

she

was

‘I said that she was both good and fair, but she should be no near to me than she was.’

84The following sentence illustrates the use in contemporary English:

  • 43 BNC H92, Murder unprompted. Brett, Simon. UK: Futura Publications Ltd, 1984, pp. 45-170.

(34)

To his surprise, the strongest argument in favour of taking the job had been that it would keep him near to Frances.43

85The interpretation of (34) does not suggest that accepting the job would cause only the physical proximity of the TR, him, and the LM, Frances. Rather, the TR hopes for a possible frequent contact and broadly understood interaction with the LM. The to element contributes to the salience of the LM and makes it an important participant of the scene in the same fashion as it does in the primary sense.

86Figure (10) below is a graphic representation of the sense. The black sphere in the figure represents the LM while the x-symbol stands for the TR. The two remain in the relation of spatial proximity enriched by the functional element of interaction symbolized by the left-right arrow. Additionally, the salience of the LM is represented by a circle embracing the shaded sphere. As the Interaction Sense is not spatial, the TR interacts with the whole LM and not with its salient side.

Figure 10: The Interaction Sense of the preposition near to

4.3 The Approach Sense

  • 44 After OED (1989), Udall Nicolas Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte saiynges. First gathered by (...)

87The Approach Sense of the preposition near to parallels the Approach Sense of the preposition near. Specifically, this sense encodes the TR drawing closer to the LM in various non-spatial domains. In 1548 we find one of the early examples of the sense:44

(35)

He

came

verai

nere

to

man

bothe

seeying

and

beeyng

seen

he

came

very

near

to

man

both

seeing

and

being

seen

‘He came very near to the man so that he could see him and be seen.’

88The interpretation of sentence (36), which is the contemporary example of the sense, suggests that we will probably never get closer to knowing the truth. The contrast between the Approach senses of the prepositions near and near to is based on different conceptualizations of the LM, which for near to functions as a salient participant in the relation and constitutes the TR’s goal.

  • 45 BNC B20, Look about and die. Butters, Roger. Lewes, East Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 1991, pp. 45-1 (...)

(36)

Speculative, as you say, but I think it’s as near to the truth as we’re going to get.45

89A schematic relation between the TR and LM encoded by the Approach Sense of the preposition near to is presented in Figure (11). The x-symbol represents the TR, the black sphere stands for the LM which the TR is approaching, and the left pointing arrow symbolizes the TR drawing closer to the LM. The circle around the LM indicates its salient nature.

Figure 11: The Approach Sense of the preposition near to

90The Approximately Sense of the preposition near to is used with numbers and it constitutes an extension of the Approach Sense denoting coming closer in respect of estimation. There are only three instances of the Approximately Sense of the complex preposition near to in the database collected and, although the scarcity of the sample does not allow for generalization, the interpretation of the examples shows that the difference between the Approach senses of near and near to consisting in the salient nature of the LM is still maintained. Sentence (37) is a typical example of the sense:

  • 46 BNC A14, What’s brewing. St Albans: CAMRA, 1991.

(37)

This time last year Bulmers shares were at 170p, today they are near to 260p.46

91Bulmers shares function as the TR, and the LM, 260p, is the value the price of the shares is approaching. The preposition at denotes the price that amounts to exactly 170p, whereas the preposition near to indicates that the price is getting close to 260p. The preposition near to highlights the LM, 260p, which would not be as salient if the preposition encoding the relation were replaced with near.

92The abstract relation between the TR and LM encoded by the Approximately Sense is given in Figure (12). The shaded sphere symbolizes the LM, encircled to indicate its salient role in the relation. The thin horizontal arrow represents a scale with growing numerical values shown as small points. The dashed circle around the LM limits the adjacent price region, including for example 258p and 259p, and the bold arrow shows that the TR is getting closer to a certain price value.

Figure 12: The Approximately Sense of the preposition near to

4.4 The Temporal Sense

93The Temporal Sense of the preposition near to reflects that of the preposition near in the sense that it encodes the metaphorical movement of the TR in the direction of the LM in the temporal domain. Sentence (38) illustrates the usage:

  • 47 BNC JY1, His woman. Steele, Jessica Mills & Boon Richmond, Surrey 1991.

(38)

You’re coming near to the end of your shift.47

94The TR, you, is drawing close to the LM, the end of the shift. The preposition near to encodes the temporal relation between the TR and LM, where the preposition to introduces the salience of the LM to the sense in much the same way it did in other senses.

95The relation between the TR and LM encoded by the Temporal Sense is shown in Figure (13) below. The unfilled thick circle represents the highlighted LM, a certain moment in time, and the x-symbol stands for the TR. The dashed circle around the LM symbolizes the region in the temporal domain considered proximal to the LM.

Figure 13: The Temporal Sense of the preposition near to

5 The adverb near

96The frequency of occurrence for the adverb near is presented in Table 4 below. In the sample collected for the purpose of the present research, 166 sentences out of 2172 contain the adverb near. The high frequency of the Approach Sense is particularly striking among all the adverbial senses described (89 occurrences), with the spatial In-the-vicinity Sense ranking second (56 occurrences). Next come the Temporal Sense (12 instances of use) and the Interaction Sense being the least frequent in the database (9 instances). The adverb near does not encode the Approximately Sense.

 Sense

Number of occurrences

 The In-the-vicinity Sense

56

 The Interaction Sense

9

 The Approach Sense

89

 The Temporal Sense

12

Total

166

Table 4: Frequency of the senses of the adverb near

5.1 The In-the-vicinity Sense

  • 48 Beowulf 745.

97The earliest record of the adverb near is in the following line from Beowulf: Forð near ætstop (OED 1989)48 which may be translated into contemporary English as “forward near he approached.” Similarly, the adverb near is used in the phrase from King Aelfred’s Boethius De consolatione philosophiae dated 888 (OED 1989):

(39)

Đa

Eode

se

Wisdom

near...

she

Went

his

wisdom

near

‘She drew near his wisdom.’

98It is not an exaggeration to say that the majority of citations provided by the OED (1989) to illustrate the history of various senses of the word near involve the adverb rather than the preposition. This might suggest that the adverb near has been more frequently used in the English language than the preposition; however, the observation is not supported by the present analysis.

99The primary sense of the adverb near, the In-the-vicinity Sense, roughly reflects that of the preposition; however, with a few modifications. First of all, an adverb remains in a closer relation to a verb it modifies than a preposition focused on the spatial relation between the participants of a spatial scene. For example, the adverb near in (40) provides additional information about the verb hover, making it clear that the action denoted by the verb was performed nearby:

  • 49 BNC AE0, Lying together. Thomas, D M. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1990.

(40)

A slim attractive girl in jeans hovered near, her pose suggesting I could approach her.49

  • 50 The observation about the implicit nature of the LM has already been made in relation to other adve (...)

100Specifically, the adverb cannot overtly encode the relationship between two objects in the scene because it is not complemented by a noun phrase encoding a localizing object. The TR in (40), a slim attractive girl, who hovered near, is not in an explicit spatial relation with another object functioning as a LM. Interestingly, however, the second part of the sentence suggests that the adverb near does provide the information about where the action takes place relative to another participant of the scene encoded by the pronoun I. What is more, the adverb near would also imply an implicit localizing entity even if we disregard the second part of the sentence. The clause A slim attractive girl in jeans hovered near characterizes the localization of the girl in relation to another object not implicitly encoded in the sentence.50

5.2 The Interaction Sense

  • 51 After OED (1989), Haye, Sir Gilbert The buke of the law of armys or buke of bataillis 204, 1456.

101The purely geometric localization encoded by the adverb near in the In-the-vicinity Sense is now transferred to the non-spatial domain of human interaction. The Interaction Sense of the adverb was first recorded around 1456, in example (41).51 The contemporary example is given in (42), where the presence of the TR, the Lord encoded by the verb is, is modified by the adverb near.

  • 52 BNC G5H, Sermons (Public/institutional). Recorded in April 1993, with 1 participant.

(41)

His

inymyes

pressit

him

sa

nere

that…

his

enemies

pressed

him

so

near

that

‘His enemies pressed him so near that...’

(42)

Let us rejoice in the Lord always, in the midst of everyday life, for the Lord is always near.52

102Again, the absence of the implicit LM is related to the fact that the adverb near does not take a noun complement. Even though implicit, the LM is very well understood, making clear reference to the faithful over whom the Lord watches.

5.3 The Approach Sense

  • 53 Ormin The Ormulum 9638, around 1200.

103In the collected database the Approach Sense of the adverb near is used in the context of object qualities, with the notions of failure and success and with the concept completion. The early usage of the adverb near modifying the verb be is illustrated in the sentence coming from about 1200 (OED 1989).53

(43)

Forr

all

þe

Judewisshe

follc

Well

ner

wass

all

forrworrpenn

for

all

the

Jewish

folk

well

near

was

all

renounce

‘For all the Jewish people were nearly all renounced.’

104The adverb near encodes the same semantic information of a diminishing distance as the preposition, but the LM is not explicitly encoded by a particular linguistic expression. In (44), for instance, the speakers see themselves as very close to achieving a certain goal:

  • 54 BNC K8S, The green branch. Pargeter, Edith. London: Warner Books, 1987, pp. 126-232.

(44)

But to be so near, and then to fail!54

105If near functioned as a preposition in this sentence, the goal the speaker aimed at would be overtly stated. Since near is an adverb, we can only suppose that the LM is a generally conceived success to which the speakers came close and which they did not achieve. The lack of an explicitly mentioned LM also makes it difficult to propose a separate, though related, Approximately Sense as is the case with prepositions where the scalar and nonscalar nature of the LMs is the reason for the distinction between the two senses.

106In the majority of instances in the database, the Approach Sense of the adverb under study modifies an adjective, as in the near universal experience, a near vertical climb and near discordant notes, or a verb, as in we were near deluding ourselves and in the colloquial it’ll damn near cut you in two. Although not marked as obsolete in the OED (1989), this usage is frequently replaced by the adverb nearly in contemporary English.

107The typical uses of the Approach Sense, illustrated in (45) and (46), prompt for the conceptualization of coming closer to an implicit standard, norm, value or state, and may well be paraphrased as ‘almost.’ In (45) a representative assembly is characterized as coming close to being universal among western democracies. Similarly, in (46), where the adverb near modifies the verb, the action of killing oneself is almost completed. The interpretation suggests that a man endangered his life to such an extent that he was very close to losing his life but, at the same time, we know that he survived the peril.

  • 55 BNC C8R, An introduction to British constitutional law. Calvert, Harry. London: Blackstone Press, 1 (...)
  • 56 BNC KDN, 90 conversations recorded by ‘Raymond2’ (PS1HH) between 15 and 17 April 1992 with 10 inter (...)

(45)

A representative assembly is a near universal feature of modern western democracies.55

(46)

Did a man near kill himself?56

108The Approach Sense does not yield easily to the interpretation in terms of the TR and LM. Clearly the adverb near does not mediate a relationship between two entities in (45) and in (46), as it is closely related to, respectively, the adjective and the verb it modifies. Thus, rather than indicating a relationship of any kind, it delimits the meaning of the modified word. Specifically, in accordance with its function as a downtowner, it scales downwards from the value universal and it approximates the action denoted by the verb kill.

5.4 The Temporal Sense

  • 57 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi (The Cursor of the world). A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century i (...)

109The Temporal Sense of the adverb near was first registered around 1300 in the sentence57

(47)

þe

time

es

nu

comand

nere

the

time

is

now

command

near

‘The time to command is now near.’

110The Temporal Sense of the adverb prompts for the conceptualization of the proximal TR relative to the implicit LM in the domain of time reflecting, thereby, the prepositional usage. The interpretation of sentence (48) suggests that the TR the competitive end is localized in a future long ahead of Navratilova.

  • 58 BNC K2L, Belfast: Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd.

(48)

Sukova said she hoped the competitive end was not near for Navratilova.58

111The word near in example (48) is considered an adverb even though it might resemble an adjective used predicatively, since it can inflect for grade. However, relying solely on morphological evidence when determining categorical status of a word is not enough owing to the fact that morphology may be irregular (Radford 1997: 43-44). Thus, syntactic criteria should be used in conjunction with morphology. Even though the word near could inflect for grade in (48), syntactically it is in a much closer relation with the verb be than with the noun the end.

6 The adjective near

  • 59 After OED (1989),Cursor Mundi (The Cursor of the world). A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century in (...)

112131 out of the 2172 sentences in the database contain the adjective near used in an attributive function. The adjectival usage of near appeared much later in the history of English compared to the preposition and adverb, as the earliest quotation59 dates back to around 1300:

(49)

Sant

iohan

þat

was

his

sibe

ner

kines-man

Saint

John

that

was

his

relative

near

kinsman

‘Saint John that was his relative, near kinsman.’

113The collected sample demonstrates that the semantic information encoded by the adjective near reflects that of the adverb, including the senses such as In-the-vicinity (37 occurrences), Interaction (6 occurrences), Approach (28 occurrences) and Temporal (60 occurrences). The frequency of occurrence for different senses of the adjective near is presented in Table 5.

 Sense

Number of occurrences

 The In-the-vicinity Sense

37

 The Interaction Sense

6

 The Approach Sense

28

 The Temporal Sense

60

 Total

131

 Table 5: Frequency of the senses of the adjective near

114The first two senses listed in the adjective entry of near in the OED (1989) can be subsumed under the cover term interaction. They relate to either blood relations or are used to described very intimate and familiar relations between friends. The above-quoted earliest example of the adjective near also encodes the Interaction Sense. Other instances of the adjectival usage in the collected database include: a near relation, a very near kinsman and a near neighbour.

  • 60 Stapleton Thomas Bede’s History of the Church of England 68, translation.

115The adjective near is relatively frequently used in a spatial sense corresponding to the In-the-vicinity Sense of the preposition and adverb. We find the earliest use in 1565 in For that was the next nere water, which he could conueniently use for baptism (OED 1989).60 Similar examples in the database include the Near East, the near bank, the near vision and the near side. The expression her near shoulder in sentence (50), for instance, suggests the proximal location of the girl’s shoulder in relation to the LM of the sentence, the man.

  • 61 BNC G13, The magus. Fowles, J. London: Pan Books Ltd, 1988, pp. 72-175.

(50)

The girl moved a little closer to the man, who put his hand ponderously, patriarchally, on her near shoulder.61

116Sentence (50) may, however, be interpreted in a different way as the adjective near may also signify the left or right hand side (OED 1989). The adjective was frequently used in relation to animals, especially horses, often approached from the left side which was consequently near the person dealing with the animal. The sentence dated 1884, To mount without stirrups the rider should stand facing the near shoulder of the horse, also contains the phrase near shoulder with the difference that it refers to an animal not to a person. The sense was subsequently extended to refer with the same meaning to motor vehicles, with the exception that in countries where one drives on the right side of the road the adjective near came to signify “the right hand side.”

11728 out of 131 sentences in the database collected encode the Approach Sense of the adjective near. The phrase a near miss appears 10 times, while other examples include near certainty, near ellipses and near pandemonium. In sentence (51), for instance, the adjective near modifies the noun starvation, indicating the seriousness of the situation in the city of Kabul last year.

  • 62 BNC A1G, Independent, electronic edition of 19891002. London: Newspaper Publishing plc, 1989.

(51)

A US-trained officer, 48-year-old General Hakim is the most experienced convoy trouble-shooter in the regime, having organized the relief convoy to the besieged city of Khost two years ago and saved Kabul from near starvation last year.62

118The Temporal Sense of the adjective near, with its 60 uses, is the most common in the database; however, the sense is instantiated by only two expressions–the near future, appearing 59 times, and near time used only once. Sentence (52) represents the typical use of the Temporal Sense of the adjective near where it characterizes the future as proximal in the domain of time:

  • 63 BNC FS1, The spinning wheel. Lorrimer, C. London: Corgi Books, 1993, pp. 289-409.

(52)

We look forward to hearing from you regarding the above in the near future.63

7 The verb near

  • 64 After OED (1989), Douglas Gavin AEneis XII, xii. 147.

119The word near is sometimes used as a verb with the meaning ‘approach, draw or come near’ (OED 1989); however, in the collected database the verb near occurs only 3 times. For the first time, it appears in 1513 in sentence (53)64 which is relatively late even when compared to the first occurrence of the adjective.

(53)

The

swipir

Tuscan

hund

assais

And

nerys

fast

the

agile

Tuscan

dog

attacks

and

nears

fast

‘The agile Tuscan dog attacts and nears fast.’

120The uses of the verb in (54) and (55) are spatial, while the one in (56) is clearly temporal.

  • 65 BNC KCV, 50 conversations recorded by ‘Katherine’ (PS0H7) between 2 and 5 June 1991 with 3 interloc (...)
  • 66 BNC F9F, The trials of life. Attenborough, David. London: David Collins; sons, 1990, pp. 1-161.
  • 67 BNC CBP, The complete video course. Brookes, Keith. London: Boxtree, 1989, pp. 7-119.

(54)

I don’t just near the cabbage.65

(55)

as they near the Sargasso (…)66

(56)

As you near the end of your first video safari.67

121In all the three sentences near prompts for the conceptualization of movement either in the spatial domain, or in the temporal domain.

8 Final remarks

122The analysis conducted for the purpose of the present study reveals that the word near belongs to prepositional, adverbial, adjectival and verbal word classes. It can also function as part of the complex preposition near to. In the collected database the discrepancy between prepositional and other usages of near is striking. The word appears as a preposition with the highest frequency of 1750 occurrences. The second frequent adverbial category contains 166 occurrences, then goes the adverbial category, with 131 occurrences. A complex preposition near to appears 98 times, the verb near is found only 3 times, and a miscellaneous idiomatic category features 24 items.

123The two prepositions near and near to, although undeniably semantically similar to one another, encode slightly different relations between the TR and LM, once again making a case for the absence of redundancies in language. The two formally different linguistic expressions convey, if only a little, different meanings. As the analysis reveals, the particle to contributes a semantic element of salience to the complex preposition near to where the LM is much more highlighted than the LM of near. The salience of the LM in near to makes it readily available for its interpretation as a goal the TR aims at. The added salience makes the LM of near to a prominent participant of the spatial scene.

124Likewise, the preposition and the adverb near, belonging to two different word classes which share the function of characterising spatial relations, perform this function in a different manner. A prepositional complement encodes a LM making it an overt participant of any spatial scene. On the contrary, as adverbs do not take complements, the localizing entity in a spatial scene described by the adverb near is usually backgrounded to a considerable extent.

125Finally, it must be noticed that, although prepositions are generally regarded as highly polysemous words, the polysemy of the preposition near is significantly impoverished when compared to other prepositions, such as over (e.g. Brenda 2014, Brugman 1988, Lakoff 1987) or at (Kokorniak 2007). The semantic network for the preposition near comprises five different senses and so do the networks for the preposition near to and for the adverb near. The semantic range for the word near is considerably insignificant when compared with well over twenty senses of the prepositions over and at.

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Notes

1 www.oxforddictionaries.com /definition/english /near?q=near/

2 www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/near

3 www.thefreedictionary.com /near

4 www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/

5 Encyclopeadia Britannica (retrieved from www.britannica.com/science /law-of-large-numbers) (date of access: 25th Sept, 2015), Wolfram Math World (retrieved from www.mathworld.wolfram.com) (date of access: 25th Sept, 2015).

6 books.google.com

7 It seems that there may be other prepositions taking intensifiers, for example, the preposition behind. The Google search provides over 66 thousand hits for the phrase quite behind in sentences with positive and negative polarity (not quite behind bars yet facing the threat of imprisonment and beautiful open pool quite behind the hotel). To make sure that behind takes an NP complement and is a typical preposition, not an adverb or a noun, the searched for quite behind the and quite behind a was conducted and it yielded respectively over 17 thousand and over 9 thousand hits. I would like to thank an anonymous reviewer for bringing the matter to my attention.

8 Weger, Jackie. A strong and tender thread. (retrieved from: https://books.google.pl) (date of access: 12th March 2015).

9 BNC KD0, 106 conversations recorded by ‘Kevin’ (PS0HM) between 29 November and 5 December 1991 with 14 interlocutors.

10 After OED (1989), Gen & Ex. 2611

11 Topological prepositions neglect Euclidean metric or, in other words, are magnitude neutral. The name topological makes reference to topology, the mathematical study of shapes, also called “rubber-sheet geometry”, which allows objects to be stretched or bent without losing their properties (Talmy 2003: 25-32, http://www.mathworld.wolfram.com/Topology.html.)

12 There is a body of data showing that the geometric axiom of symmetry between two objects may be violated. Specifically, the estimated distance between a good reference object and a poor reference object is considered greater when the poor reference object functions as a LM (Coventry & Garrod 2004: 117).

13 BNC B75, New Scientist. London: IPC Magazines Ltd, 1991.

14 BNC ANB, Milan: the complete travel organiser. Sale, Richard. Marlborough, Wilts: The Crowood Press, 1991, pp. 37-145.

15 The preposition at presupposes a distant perspective, which is why the TR and LM are often perceived as coinciding points. In contrast, the preposition near encodes a proximity between two objects which, in consequence, are not scaled down to a point.

16 BNC K32, Belfast: Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd, n.d., Leisure material.

17 BNC GW6, The solar system. Jones, Barrie William. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1984.

18 BNC G0L, The Lucy ghosts. Shah, Eddy. London: Corgi Books, 1993, pp. 321-452.

19 Salience is related to the basic phenomenon of attention attributive to the human conceptual system (Croft & Cruse 2004: 47), and it is understood as the foregrounding or prominence of an object or its part, or, alternatively, as strength of attention directed towards this object or its part (Talmy 2000: 76). Thus, in the present study, salience refers to participants of spatial scenes encoded by spatial expressions which are, for some reason, foregrounded or made prominent.

20 BNC AS7, Tales of the loch. Sandison, Bruce. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company Ltd, 1990, pp. 1-102.

21 BNC ASU, Wainwright in the limestone dales. Wainwright, Alfred. London: Michael Joseph Ltd, 1991, pp. 1-122.

22 BNC GVL, The night mayor. Newman, Kim. Sevenoaks: New English Library, 1990, pp. 49-185.

23 Lawless, Stephen F. The Gods’ Glass. (retrieved from: https://books.google.pl) (date of access: 17 March 2015).

24 After OED (1989), Charter in Old English Texts 445.

25 BNC CH2, The Daily Mirror. London: Mirror Group Newspapers, 1992.

26 BNC EFW, The siege of Krishnapur. Farrell, J G. London: Fontana Paperbacks, 1988, pp. 205-313.

27 After OED (1989), Washington Thomas, translation of Nicholay’s (N. de) Nauigations into Turkie IV.X. 122 b, translation.

28 Shelvoke George (the elder) A Voyage round World, 1726.

29 BNC BPF, Wedding and Home. London: Maxwell Consumer Magazines, 1992.

30 BNC H8B, Clerical errors.Greenwood, D M Headline 1991, pp. 31-151.

31 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi 3155 (The Cursor of the world) A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century in four versions 13.., 14..

32 Grimstone Edward D’Acosta’s (J. de) Naturall and morall historie of the East and West Indies I.ii 5, translation.

33 BNC ABJ, The Economist. London: The Economist Newspaper Ltd, 1991.

34 BNC H0D, Death in the City. Anderson, J R L. UK: F A Thorpe (Publishing) Ltd, 1980, pp. 1-200.

35 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi 518023 (The Cursor of the world) A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century in four versions 13.., 14..

36 BNC ASF, Time in history. Whitrow, G J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 19-120.

37 BNC CGV, Machine Knitting Monthly. Maidenhead: Machine Knitting Monthly Ltd, 1992.

38 After OED (1989), Genesis & Exodus 1395.

39 BNC CB5, Ruth Appleby. Rhodes, Elvi. London: Corgi Books, 1992, pp. 109-226.

40 BNC H88, Mathematics, teachers and children. Pimm, David. Sevenoaks, Kent: Hodder; Stoughton Ltd, 1988, pp. 69-182.

41 BNC JYA, Sweet deceiver. Ashe, Jenny. Richmond, Surrey: Mills; Boon, 1993.

42 After OED (1989), Knight de la Tour-Landry The book of the... around 1450 (1868).

43 BNC H92, Murder unprompted. Brett, Simon. UK: Futura Publications Ltd, 1984, pp. 45-170.

44 After OED (1989), Udall Nicolas Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte saiynges. First gathered by Erasmus Luke X.93b, translation.

45 BNC B20, Look about and die. Butters, Roger. Lewes, East Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 1991, pp. 45-167.

46 BNC A14, What’s brewing. St Albans: CAMRA, 1991.

47 BNC JY1, His woman. Steele, Jessica Mills & Boon Richmond, Surrey 1991.

48 Beowulf 745.

49 BNC AE0, Lying together. Thomas, D M. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1990.

50 The observation about the implicit nature of the LM has already been made in relation to other adverbs in, for example, Lindstromberg (2010) and McMichael (2006).

51 After OED (1989), Haye, Sir Gilbert The buke of the law of armys or buke of bataillis 204, 1456.

52 BNC G5H, Sermons (Public/institutional). Recorded in April 1993, with 1 participant.

53 Ormin The Ormulum 9638, around 1200.

54 BNC K8S, The green branch. Pargeter, Edith. London: Warner Books, 1987, pp. 126-232.

55 BNC C8R, An introduction to British constitutional law. Calvert, Harry. London: Blackstone Press, 1985.

56 BNC KDN, 90 conversations recorded by ‘Raymond2’ (PS1HH) between 15 and 17 April 1992 with 10 interlocutors.

57 After OED (1989), Cursor Mundi (The Cursor of the world). A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century in four versions. 18023 (Gött).

58 BNC K2L, Belfast: Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd.

59 After OED (1989),Cursor Mundi (The Cursor of the world). A Northumbrian poem of the 14th century in four versions. 20068 (Gött.).

60 Stapleton Thomas Bede’s History of the Church of England 68, translation.

61 BNC G13, The magus. Fowles, J. London: Pan Books Ltd, 1988, pp. 72-175.

62 BNC A1G, Independent, electronic edition of 19891002. London: Newspaper Publishing plc, 1989.

63 BNC FS1, The spinning wheel. Lorrimer, C. London: Corgi Books, 1993, pp. 289-409.

64 After OED (1989), Douglas Gavin AEneis XII, xii. 147.

65 BNC KCV, 50 conversations recorded by ‘Katherine’ (PS0H7) between 2 and 5 June 1991 with 3 interlocutors.

66 BNC F9F, The trials of life. Attenborough, David. London: David Collins; sons, 1990, pp. 1-161.

67 BNC CBP, The complete video course. Brookes, Keith. London: Boxtree, 1989, pp. 7-119.

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Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1: Distances between the TR and LM encoded by the preposition near (Logan & Sadler 1996: 508)
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/865/img-1.png
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Légende Figure 2: The primary sense of the preposition near
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Légende Figure 3: The Interaction Sense of the preposition near
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/865/img-3.png
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Légende Figure 4: The Approach Sense of the preposition near
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/865/img-4.png
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Légende Figure 5: The Approximately Sense of the preposition near
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Légende Figure 6: The Temporal Sense of the preposition near
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Légende Figure 7: The semantic network for the preposition near
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Légende Figure 8: The semantic network for the preposition near to
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/865/img-8.png
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Légende Figure 9: The primary sense of the preposition near to
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Légende Figure 10: The Interaction Sense of the preposition near to
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Légende Figure 11: The Approach Sense of the preposition near to
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Légende Figure 12: The Approximately Sense of the preposition near to
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Légende Figure 13: The Temporal Sense of the preposition near to
URL http://cognitextes.revues.org/docannexe/image/865/img-13.png
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Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Maria Brenda, « The grammar and semantics of near », CogniTextes [En ligne], Volume 14 | 2016, mis en ligne le 23 mai 2016, consulté le 29 mai 2017. URL : http://cognitextes.revues.org/865 ; DOI : 10.4000/cognitextes.865

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Auteur

Maria Brenda

University of Szczecin

Katedra Filologii Angielskiej
al. Piastów 40 B
71-065 Szczecin
Poland

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