A Surprisingly Confusing Conundrum

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Malkuthe Highwind, Jan 4, 2016.

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  1. Okay, so, as a bit of background on why this is being posed to the community, I have been hard at work creating my own constructed language and working on translating bits of dialogue from some of my stories into this language. I have recently hit a snag, and as @Lstorm can attest, this one is a bit of a puzzling one.

    Basically, the question boils down to:

    What does the word "to" mean in the statement "I welcome you to this tournament." ? Another way of putting it might be "what grammatical purpose does the word 'to' have in the statement." Furthermore, is there any other English word that you can think of that can take the place of "to" in that statement that would not change its meaning?

    Rearranging parts of the statement to give "I welcome, to this tournament, you," does not change its meaning. We thought that the verb in the original statement might be "to welcome to" instead of just "to welcome," but does the rearranged statement have any bearing on that? Could "to" really be a part of the phrasal verb "to welcome to" if it is part of the nonrestrictive clause "to this tournament?"

    This is the question that Stormy and I have been puzzling over for 2 hours, now, and it would be wonderful to get other perspectives. So, what do you think?
  2. Hm...if it's an alien or just a different language, maybe you can say it translates as "I welcome you in this tournament" or "this tournament welcomes you/its contestants."

    "To" in that context sounds like it's granting you entry. Any use or variation of the word "in" could serve the same purpose, at least in meaning.
  3. See, that's what Stormy said, too, but I feel like "I welcome you in this tournament" indicates that the person who is doing the welcoming is presently in the tournament and is welcoming the person/persons being addressed. If it's granting entry, wouldn't "into" be somewhat more fitting?
  4. I have to kinda sorta agree that the word 'to' is going alongside the word 'welcome' to grant entry. Not physical entry into the tournament, but to view the tournament. It's like saying "Welcome to CVS!". You're not working for CVS, or a part of CVS, but you're in a CVS store. I feel like the word can work both ways but is dependent on context.
  5. I guess, but I get the feeling even "into" you want to avoid. Anything with "to," right? You could make it "I welcome your entry in our tournament?" That might only work if they've volunteered to take part.
  6. Well, first, let's define what the purpose of "to" is, at least in English.


    In this case, I'd say it's a preposition. So it probably implies a purpose, aim, or direction: Towards an object, entity, concept, area, et cetera. It could also mean expressing a destination or appointed end. "I walked to the store." "Welcome to the war, kid." "You've been judged unworthy and shall be sent to hell."

    Take those sentences and remove the word "to", they make a little less sense. "Welcome the war, kid." It suddenly sounds like someone giving you an ideological way of life, rather than introducing you to the concept or location in which conflict is going on. "I walked the store" could mean a variety of things: You walked around the store, you walked the length of the store, you walked an object which is named "the store", et cetera. "You've been judged unworthy and shall be sent hell" is the only sentence that still remains semi-coherent, but it doesn't flow off the tongue quite as well as it should. Even then, it could also mean that hell (proverbial or literal) is being sent to you, instead of you being sent to hell.

    So, let's look at this sentence.

    "I welcome you to this tournament." The word "to" in this case is being used to introduce a purpose or aim.

    "I welcome you this tournament." It makes no coherent sense anymore in English. I've been welcomed a tournament, but where, when? Is it in the future? Is it in the past? Is it right now? Is it here, is it there? "I would welcome you for a tournament in [location] by [time]" could make coherent sense without "to." Even then, it's just so omnipresent in English, I don't envy trying to find ways of replacing it or ignoring it.

    Hope this was a bit of a helpful ramble. :ferret:
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