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Show all as an argument

Adpositional phrases that are used as an argument are typically selected by a verb, an adjective or a noun; only in a few cases can an adpositional phrase be the complement of an adposition. As an illustration we take the verb wachten'to wait' in (15a), which may take a theme realized as a PP headed by the preposition op. The preposition does not seem to have a well-defined meaning, the choice being fully determined by accidental selection restrictions of the verb wachten; the lexical entry of this verb in (15b) explicitly requires the preposition op to be present. That the choice of the preposition is a lexical, and not a semantic, matter is clear from the fact that its English counterpart, to wait in (15c), selects in this case the preposition for, which is normally translated in Dutch by voor.

a. Jan wacht op zijn vader.
  Jan waits  on his father
  'Jan is waiting for his father.'
b. wachten: NPAgent, [PPop NPTheme]
c. to wait: NPAgent, [PPfor NPTheme]

Because of their lack of semantic content, we will refer to prepositions in argument PPs as functional prepositions. A small sample of verbs, nouns and adjectives selecting a functional preposition can be found in Table 29 in Section 1.3.3, sub IIB.

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