16. Free and bound prepositions in a contrastive perspective. The case of with and avec
The starting point of this chapter is the observation that the French preposition avec, which is generally considered as the translational equivalent of with, is rarely used as a translation of with in parallel corpus data. A more detailed analysis of the corpus data reveals that polysemy partly explains this situation (with is more polysemous than avec, having developed more metaphorical senses than its French equivalent), but that another important factor is phraseology. Contrary to expectations, free uses of the preposition with are less often translated by means of avec than bound uses. This, however, takes no account of the fact that some bound uses with a word-for-word translation in French occur repeatedly in the data. It also conceals the fact that it is mainly nominal bound uses which often correspond to avec.