[Corpora-List] adverbial 'behind'

E. Bashir ebashir at yahoo.com
Sat May 29 20:47:32 CEST 2010

Given all this, it looks like we have a semantic development in this dialect such that behind (spatial) > behind (temporal) > causal connection.

--- On Sat, 5/29/10, Angus Grieve-Smith <grvsmth at panix.com> wrote:

> From: Angus Grieve-Smith <grvsmth at panix.com>
> Subject: Re: [Corpora-List] adverbial 'behind'
> To: corpora at uib.no
> Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 12:57 PM
> On 5/29/2010 12:57 PM, 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).
>     Clearly, the prepositional phrase with
> "behind" is functioning as an adverb in the sentence, much
> like "behind the barn."  But I don't think that's what
> Marc's really interested in.
>     Most of the times I've heard it, "behind" has
> its original sense denoting a place relationship, or
> extended to Ken's sense of responsibility ("so that's who's
> behind all those robberies").  In this case, however,
> it seems to have a general sense of "related to," similar to
> the way I would use "over."
>     I'm guessing it's an innovation in the
> Baltimore dialect of Black English.  From a corpus
> perspective, it turns out that the script to this episode of
> "The Wire" and many others are available online and
> searchable.  You can find a bunch of other
> examples.  It's hard to find with a keyword search
> unless you're looking at something that's specific to that
> dialect, because there are so many other uses of "behind."
> From the same episode:
> "I'm gonna need a tetanus to get behind this bullshit."
> "Everything else in this country gets sold... without
> people shooting each other behind it."
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/268875
> From other episodes,
> "You just took a real detective off a real case behind your
> bullshit."
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/138236#line531
> "You're going to jail behind this shit. - Yes, you are."
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/237503#line31
> "It's my recollection that a city police got shot behind
> Mr. Barksdale's business."
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/205769#line431
> "You still fucked up behind that stickup, man?"
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/172760#line51
> "I nearly got killed behind this caper, you know?"
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/172760#line251
> "And I will put a bullet in all you all behind, what happen
> right now, you heard?"
> http://movie.subtitlr.com/subtitle/show/172760#line351
>     Outside of scripts for "The Wire," I was able
> to find one instance on an Oprah message board:
> "was I better of useing herion than drinking at that time
> behind what happen with the other family"
> http://www.oprah.com/community/message/976102
> --            
>     -Angus B. Grieve-Smith
>     grvsmth at panix.com
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