Complex prepositions and variation within the PNP construction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study looks at the variations within preposition + noun + preposition (PNP) sequences such as at (the) risk of, commonly classified as complex prepositions (CPs). The current literature suggests that the more indivisible the structure, the more grammaticalised the unit. Representations of complex prepositions within contemporary grammars indicate that the most common intruder within the fixed PNP sequence is the definite article. Synchronic and diachronic corpus studies were carried out to assess how fixed the form with the definite article is, and whether any CPs have shown a recent tendency to lose it. Decategorialisation was found to be only a minor factor for the CPs investigated, with a combination of semantic and grammatical factors featuring in the grammaticalisation process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorpus perspectives on patterns of lexis
EditorsHilde Hasselgård, Jarle Ebeling, Signe Oksefjell Ebeling
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9789027271914
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameStudies in corpus linguistics
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Group

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Complex prepositions and variation within the PNP construction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this