Title

Spanish Prepositions 'Por' and 'Para' and Their Frequency of Use: A Comparative Study

Subject Area

Hispanic Linguistics

Abstract

A common issue that English-speaking learners of Spanish face is the distinction between the two Spanish prepositions por and para due to the morphosyntactic and semantic differences when compared to English preposition usage. This problem may be exacerbated through textbook’s presentation of the prepositions because they try to present structures in a manner that is perceived to be easier for speakers of a particular L1; however this approach is not as useful for certain aspects of languages due to a lack of true transferability of the concept from the L2 to the L1. Related to the prepositions por and para, it is important to understand and be able to identify the foundational differences between the two lexical items in order to teach them effectively. Therefore, the current study has two main objectives: the first is to identify adequate semantic foundations so as to present these two prepositions to learners in a cohesive way. A cognitive linguistics theoretical framework is provided to outline and explicate categories of various meanings associated with por and para. The second objective of this paper is to examine and analyze the frequency with which each preposition is used within each category. In order to evaluate and categorize the usage of these prepositions, a corpus-based approach will be employed. Finally, pedagogical suggestions regarding these patterns within a cognitive linguistic framework will be offered.

Brief Bio Note

Laura Rubio, originally from Spain where she gained her M.A in English Philology. After moving to USA, she was awarded her double B.A in French and Spanish at the University of Montevallo (AL). She completed her B.A in Romance Languages with an emphasis in Spanish from The University of Alabama. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Romance Languages with an emphasis in Spanish Applied Linguistics. Her areas of interest are teaching methodology, pragmatics and heritage speaker students.

Keywords

Spanish prepositions, Corpus study, Semantic foundations, Cognitive framework

Location

Room 217

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-27-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

3-27-2015 2:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 27th, 1:30 PM Mar 27th, 2:45 PM

Spanish Prepositions 'Por' and 'Para' and Their Frequency of Use: A Comparative Study

Room 217

A common issue that English-speaking learners of Spanish face is the distinction between the two Spanish prepositions por and para due to the morphosyntactic and semantic differences when compared to English preposition usage. This problem may be exacerbated through textbook’s presentation of the prepositions because they try to present structures in a manner that is perceived to be easier for speakers of a particular L1; however this approach is not as useful for certain aspects of languages due to a lack of true transferability of the concept from the L2 to the L1. Related to the prepositions por and para, it is important to understand and be able to identify the foundational differences between the two lexical items in order to teach them effectively. Therefore, the current study has two main objectives: the first is to identify adequate semantic foundations so as to present these two prepositions to learners in a cohesive way. A cognitive linguistics theoretical framework is provided to outline and explicate categories of various meanings associated with por and para. The second objective of this paper is to examine and analyze the frequency with which each preposition is used within each category. In order to evaluate and categorize the usage of these prepositions, a corpus-based approach will be employed. Finally, pedagogical suggestions regarding these patterns within a cognitive linguistic framework will be offered.