[Corpora-List] adverbial 'behind'

Leo Schmitt schmitt at psu.edu
Sat May 29 20:16:44 CEST 2010


My instinct would be to agree with Martin and E. Bashir that this is a non-standard use of behind. However, I am not familiar with any English variant that uses 'behind' in this manner. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who is.

peace,

Leo

On Sat, May 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM, Martin Mueller <martin.mueller at mac.com>wrote:


> It seems more likely to me that 'behind' is an awkward or regional variant
> of 'after'. Temporal and spatial posteriority are not easily kept apart.
> "I'm sorry they lost their daddy after what happened" would be a much more
> standard version of that sentence.
>
>
> On May 29, 2010, at 12:52 PM, E. Bashir wrote:
>
> But this prepositional usage could also be a dialectal usage of some
> group/region, in which the preposition 'behind' has the suggested meaning
> "controlling or responsible for (an event or plan)". In this case, it
> would mean 'I am sorry they lost their daddy because of what happened.'
>
> E. Bashir
>
> --- On *Sat, 5/29/10, Ken Litkowski <ken at clres.com>* wrote:
>
>
> From: Ken Litkowski <ken at clres.com>
> Subject: Re: [Corpora-List] adverbial 'behind'
> To: "Jim Fidelholtz" <fidelholtz at gmail.com>
> Cc: Corpora at uib.no
> Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 12:38 PM
>
> I'd agree with Jim. At the preposition project web page<http://www.clres.com/cgi-bin/onlineTPP/find_prep.cgi>,
> the applicable definition would, IMHO, be "controlling or responsible for
> (an event or plan)". Since it is common to have a phrase like "I left my
> daughter behind", the quote is somewhat poor English and tends to evoke this
> adverbial sense. It's something of a garden path sentence. Since "behind"
> doesn't go well with "lost", you have to do a double take and then choose
> the preposition interpretation.
>
> Ken
>
> Jim Fidelholtz wrote:
>
> Hi, Marc,
>
> My initial reaction to your question was 'what adverb?', ie, that it is a
> preposition. With a bit more reflection, I'm a bit more convinced that it's
> more of a preposition than an adverb. Cf.
> They lost their daddy behind the barn. (or even: after the event,
> where I would interpret 'after' here as a preposition). Actually, such
> examples seem to me to point out the fuzziness of grammatical categories
> (*especially* where adverbs are concerned, and cf. also 'discourse markers',
> which in their historical development seem to progress syntactically in many
> cases towards adverb-like behavior).
>
> Jim
>
> On Sat, May 29, 2010 at 8:48 AM, Marc FRYD <marc.fryd at univ-poitiers.fr>wrote:
>
>> Hi everyone,
>>
>> In the second episode of "The Wire," one of the characters says the
>> following:
>> "[I am] sorry they lost their daddy behind what happened". This is in
>> reference to some kids losing their father after he was shot.
>> Is anyone familiar with this particular usage of 'behind'?
>>
>> Best,
>> Marc
>>
>>
>> --
>> *Dr. Marc FRYD*
>> Faculté des Lettres et des Langues
>> Université de Poitiers
>> 95 avenue du Recteur Pineau
>> 86022, Poitiers, France
>>
>> Tel. [33](0)5 49 45 48 11
>> Mob. [33](0)6 76 28 18 50
>>
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>>
>
>
> --
> James L. Fidelholtz
> Posgrado en Ciencias del Lenguaje
> Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades
> Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, MÉXICO
>
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> --
> Ken Litkowski TEL.: 301-482-0237
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-- T. Leo Schmitt Assistant Director Intensive English Communication Program The Pennsylvania State University 301 Boucke Building University Park PA 16802 USA Phone: 814-865-6467 Fax 814-863-5889

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