Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 13:03:40 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: Perspective on/of

I don't think so Steve. The crucial 'of' is not the one you provide but the

one which could follow 'scientists' in your example.

They adopt the perspective of Martian scientists of issues of linguistic


Your first 'of' should be admissible for any post-modifier and has no

influence on the subsequent use of the 'required' preposition.

You would agree, I suspect, that 'interest in' is a usual collocation. The

use of 'of' in such a string as

The interest of Martian linguists in Earth languages is not surprising

has nothing to do with subsequent occurrence of 'in,' in the same way, I

think, the 'of' you cite is not crucial to the 'of/'on' discussion going on

here. (That is, I think the British usage question is still open.)



Okay, I'll chime in. The following sentence reveals to me that on and of

are not simply US vs UK allomorphs of a single morpheme.

They adopt the perspective of Martian scientists on issues of linguistic


It appears that for me "perspective of X" means "perspective taken by X"

while "perspective on X" means "perspective taken about X". I'd be

interested to know how a Brit would phrase the above.

H Stephen STRAIGHT Binghamton University (SUNY)

Anthropology & Linguistics LxC Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13902-6000

Dir, Langs Across the Curric VOX: 607-777-2824; FAX: 607-777-2889

sstraigh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ["sstraigh", not "sstraight"!]