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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2015, Vol. 46, No. 1, Pages 43-76
(doi: 10.1162/ling_a_00175)
© 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mistaking For: Testing the Theory of Mediated Predication
Article PDF (1.42 MB)

This article investigates the validity of the theory of mediated predication by examining one of the proposed overt realizations of Pred0. Taking the law of parsimony as our starting position and using evidence from English, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian, we argue that the element that looks like the preposition ‘for’ is, in fact, a preposition (not Pred0), and we show how it explains the syntax and the semantics of the relevant ‘for’ sequences. Cases of apparently predicative interpretation of ‘for’-PP result from the interplay between the meaning of the preposition ‘for’ and the metaphorical reinterpretation of motion and locative verbs that ‘for’-PPs combine with.