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Oblique predicative constructions in English with for and as: qua vs qualitate qua

Aarts, Bas; (2023) Oblique predicative constructions in English with for and as: qua vs qualitate qua. English Language & Linguistics pp. 1-16. 10.1017/s1360674323000199. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

English has an OBLIQUE PREDICATIVE CONSTRUCTION in which the prepositions for and as license an OBLIQUE PREDICATIVE COMPLEMENT that is predicated of a noun phrase, as in We took her for a friend and I regarded her as a genius. The construction with for is the oldest, and is found in many other languages. This article traces the history of oblique predicative constructions involving for and as, and a number of other prepositions, from Old English to Present-Day English (PDE). Visser (1963–73) has suggested that predicative for and as were rivals, and that in PDE as is now dominant at the expense of for. I will argue instead that since around 1900 predicative for and as can clearly be distinguished semantically as expressing the meanings qua (‘as being’) and qualitate qua (‘in the capacity of’), respectively, and that the existence of these distinct meanings explains why constructions with both prepositions still survive in PDE.

Type: Article
Title: Oblique predicative constructions in English with for and as: qua vs qualitate qua
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/s1360674323000199
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674323000199
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Keywords: For; as; predicative construction; predicative complement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10176756
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