Russian Language Journal


Marika Kalyuga


linguistics, prepositions, phrases, Russian


There is an assumption in cognitive linguistics that most non-spatial senses of a preposition and a case are derived from a common (usually spatial) sense through metaphoric extensions. The metaphoric extensions involve the understanding of a concept, the so-called “target,” in terms of a more simple, concrete concept called the “source” (Lakoff 1987; Boers 1996; Boers & Demecheleer 1998). For this reason, prepositions and cases with a similar spatial sense frequently develop similar non-spatial senses. For example, the Ancient Greek prepositions πρό ‘before’ and ἀντί ‘opposite’ are associated with nearly the same proto-scenario or idealized mental representation of events linked to the prepositional phrases. Consider figure 1 that represents a proto-scenario with which these prepositions are associated.