semantic domain of prepositions

From: Lynn A Kauppi (
Date: Sun May 04 1997 - 12:45:33 EDT

I wonder if the "redundant" use of prepositions following a verb with a
prefixed preposition not only reflects a development in Hellensitic Greek
but also a general trend in languages. A parallel construction occurs in
classical Hebrew where a pronominal suffix is attached to a verb
indicating the direct object referring to a noun in the sentence which is
syntactically the direct object. Dative second person pronominal suffixes
attached to the preposition l(e) follow the imperative. Again seemingly
"redundant" constructions.
Speakers and writers of modern English seem to instinctively repeat
themselves. The worst examples are bureaucratic and legal writing. We are
consistently taught to avoid redundancy and to be concise, yet almost
instictively we pile up redundancies in our speaking and writing.
Is it that concision and elegance are the exception rather than the rule?
Somewhere I was taught that redundancy insures the success of
communication. If part of a message is lost, redundancy insures that
information is still communicated.
My argument is probably full of flaws and I can't point to any scholarly
literature at the moment. Just a passing thought.

Lynn Allan Kauppi
PhD cand
New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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