Macrolabel for labels pertaining to space and time, and other relations that are usually semantically non-core properties of events.

Circumstance is used directly for:

1. Contextualization#

  • In arguing for tax reform, the president claimed that loopholes allow big corporations to profit from moving their headquarters overseas. 001

  • You crossed the line in sharing confidential information. [but see Topic#026 under Topic, which is syntactically parallel] 002

  • I found out in our conversation that she speaks 5 languages. 003

  • CircumstanceLocus:

    • I haven’t seen them in that setting. 004

    • In that case, I wouldn’t worry about it. 005

  • We have to keep going through all these challenges. [metaphoric motion] (CircumstancePath) 006

  • Bipartisan compromise is unlikely with the election just around the corner. 007

  • As we watched, she transformed into a cat. [‘while’, ‘unfolding at the same time as’; not simply providing a ‘when’—contrast Time#005 under Time] 008

For these cases, the preposition helps situate the background context in which the main event takes place. The background context is often realized as a subordinate clause preceding the main clause. It may also be realized as an adjective complement:

  • My tutor was helpful in giving concrete examples and exercises. 009

  • You were correct in answering the question/your answer. 010

Relatedly, we use Circumstance to analyze involved in:

2. Setting events#

The object of the preposition is a noun denoting a containing event; it thus may help establish the place, time, and/or reason for the governing scene, but is not specifically providing any one of these, despite the locative preposition. These can be questioned (at least in some contexts) with Where? or When?. #013 entails #014:

which may be responsive to the questions Where are you? and What are you doing?.1 Journey-type objects are treated similarly:

3. Occasions#

  • I bought her a bike for Christmas. 015

  • I had peanut butter for lunch. 016

These simultaneously express a Time and some element of causality similar to Purpose. But the PP is not exactly answering a Why? or When? question. Instead, the sentence most naturally answers a question like On what occasion was X done? or Under what circumstances did X happen?.

4. Any other descriptions of event/state properties that are insufficiently specified to fall under spatial, temporal, causal, or other subtypes like Manner. E.g.:#

5. Conditions#

  • You can leave as_long_as/provided your work is done. 018

  • Whether you can leave depends on/is subject to whether your work is done. 019

  1. When the object of the preposition is not a (dynamic) event, as with We are at odds/on medication, CharacteristicLocus usually applies: see discussion of state PPs at Characteristic

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