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Essay example - Foreign language learners and spatial preposition
Pages 15 (3765 words)
Prepositions are used to show or relate the relationship between two or more words or events. Most of these relations that prepositions define involve position and direction. For example, the words 'down' and 'over', which are relational prepositions, and many others tend to be more abstract in nature, as they involve notions like benefit…
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They can also involve possession, like the word 'of' in this phrase 'The books of the school.' When prepositions take on a relational meaning it is common to encounter errors of omission, and errors of commission
Errors of omission occur when foreign language learners, or growing children, "fail to use a preposition where one is called for (for example: 'Open keys!' 'Open it with keys!'). Errors like this are due to a lack between the ability to conceive of a certain relation (location, instrument, or direction), and the ability to express it."
People learning English as a foreign language often have big problems finding the right English prepositions. These problems can be attributed to the fact that "there are different uses of prepositions in various languages around the world. For example: 'I talked to him.' vs 'Ich redete mit ihm.'// 'He believes in love.' vs 'Er glaubt an die Liebe." (Brala, M.)
Most times, lexical items, which fall within prepositional categories are referred to as 'locatives'. This comes from a reflecting on the study of prepositions from two different perspectives: a) the grammatical, and b) the 'local' (semantically driven). "From the grammatical perspective, prepositions have, for a long time, been treated as merely 'an annoying little surface peculiarity' (Jackendoff, 1973 p. 345). ...
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