Set-wise relation such as the unit of measure in a rate expression.

This applies to rates using per or by to specify a unit, or atemporal for + each/every indicating a regular correspondence:

  • The cost is $10 per item. 001

  • A fuel efficiency of 40 miles per gallon (of gas) 002

  • Pizza is sold by the slice. 003

  • They charge by the hour. 004

It also applies to expressions that denote a generalization over a set:

Contrast Frequency, which describes how often an event occurs.

NPN Construction#

SetIteration applies to the preposition linking two nominals (often the same noun) when the combination carries a meaning of iteration or regular correspondence. This applies whether the nouns are temporal or atemporal:

  • day to day tasks 007
  • day by day 008
  • day after day 009
  • We interviewed candidate after disappointing candidate. 010
  • We’ll match your contribution dollar for dollar. 011
  • They went house to house in search of the fugitive. 012

These exemplify what is known as the NPN Construction: it is syntactically idiosyncratic, as the preposition and second noun cannot necessarily be omit- ted (*We’ll match your contribution dollar.) (Jackendoff, 2008).1

Not all instances of the construction have an iterative meaning, however:

Note that in (#007#014), the scene role technically represents the semantic output of the whole construction. In #013#014, the function is different from the scene role, focusing on the preposition as a marker of the second nominal.

SetIteration replaces an older and narrower supersense, RateUnit.

  1. Only a few prepositions occur productively in this construction. In the interest of simplicity, we refrain from attempting to assign a separate function (such as Goal for to or Time for after) that may explain why certain prepositions participate in the construction with a certain meaning. 

Construals with role

Construals with function

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Supercategory: Configuration