초록 close

The Core Meaning and Its Extension of PrepositionsChong, Hi-JaA preposition is one of the most difficult parts for Korean students learning English to absorb its usage with different meanings. The difficulty is due to two facts. One is that Korean has no grammatical category of ‘preposition’. The other is the traditional definition of preposition. The preposition is traditionally defined as a functional word that indicates a grammatical relation between the noun or pronoun it governs and another word, which may be a verb, an adjective, another noun or pronoun. The definition especially causes Korean students to have much difficulty in understanding various meanings that a preposition carries in different contexts.The purpose of this paper is to show the core meaning of a preposition and its extended meanings in different contexts. The discussion is based on five different prepositions: at, on, in, over and under. Each of them has a certain invariant property which can be abstracted from different usages. This common property is the core meaning of the preposition. The core meaning is temporally, abstractly or metaphorically extended in different contexts.This paper concludes that the core meaning of a preposition appears to be systematically extended in various contexts, and that the extended meanings are represented and comprehended based on our spacial or physical experiences, assumption and inference, and background knowledge.