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I think the preposition "among" is misused in the following sentence, but I'm not totally certain:

"Constant border crossing in both directions has been studied among recent migrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to the United States."

Does the prepositional phrase "among migrants...United States" modify the subject "crossing" or the verb "has been studied". If it's the former, it seems misplaced, and if it's the latter, it doesn't make sense.

What say you?

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  • Body language has been studied among the Arabs for many years. Looks like normal use of English to me, and I can'y see any syntactic difference between that and your example. Whether among modifies body language (crossing in your case) or studied seems rather academic, since it's not obvious how the intended sense would be significantly changed either way. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:43
  • Would amongst mollify you here? "In" doesn't seem to cut it, because it makes it sound internal to the people being studied.
    – stevesliva
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:15
  • I think the writer means to say "Constant border crossing of recent migrants from Mexico...to the United States in both directions has been studied".
    – William
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:34
  • "Body language has been studied among the Arabs for many years." also seems like a misuse of the preposition, unless the arabs are the ones doing the studying. I think that sentence also would be better written as "Body language among Arabs has been studied for many years."
    – William
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:49
  • William, above, shows a better rewording. But if for some reason the writer wanted to preserve the word among, he could use the phrase "crossings ... have been observed frequently among" rather than "studied among."
    – oakfish56
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 18:09

1 Answer 1

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The "among" prepositional phrase is letting the reader know where there studying is taking place:

Where are you studying constant border crossing?

Among recent migrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to the United States.

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  • I don't think so. "Mexico Central America and the caribbean to the United States" is where the crossing is taking place.
    – William
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 17:39
  • The answer to "Where are you studying?" can only be a place/location.
    – William
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:02

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