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@[youtube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYH0CqnWbiI) In Swedish, the standard locative preposition to use with independent nations is *i* (‘in’; (e.g. *Jag är i Sverige* ‘I am in Sweden’). However, the preposition *på* (‘on’) is used with areas (partially) surrounded by water – i.e. islands/peninsulas (e.g. *Jag är på ön* ‘I am on the island’) – cf. Teleman et al. (2010), Salö (2010). Thus, when referring to locations that are simultaneously islands and (semi-)independent nations, does one choose to focus on the island-ness (*på*) or the nation-ness (*i*)? In this study, we discuss the semantics of *på* vs. *i* in Swedish from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and Natural Semantic Metalanguage (Goddard 2002) to show how på is associated with laterality, delineation, visibility, island-ness, and the prototypical on-relationship. Using a large corpus dataset of Swedish texts (Borin et al. 2012), we see the distribution of the two locative prepositions *på* and *i* with independent island and non-island nations as well as additional islands near or far from Sweden. We categorize the islands on the basis of frequency in the corpus, population, geographical area and configuration (part of island, one or two main island(s), archipelago). From the over 7 million hits in the corpus, we find that whereas the majority of island nations show a preference for *på* over *i*, there are some exceptions, such as long-established nations, particularly large archipelagos, or parts of islands show a strong preference for i (e.g. Japan, Indonesia, UK, and Brunei). This topic involves not only spatial semantics, but also construals of nations and independence, hence *på* may be used with independent island nations if they historically have not been thought of as independent (cf. Levisen 2020). * Borin, Lars, Markus Forsberg & Johan Roxendal. 2012. Korp ― the corpus infrastructure of Språkbanken. In Calzolari Nicoletta, Khalid Choukri, Thierry Declerck, Mehmet Uğur Doğan, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk & Stelios Piperidis (eds.), Proceedings of the Eight International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC’12), 474–478. Istanbul: European Language Resources Association (ELRA). * Goddard, Cliff. 2002. On and on: Verbal explications for a polysemic network. Cognitive Linguistics 13(3). 277–294. https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2002.019. * Levisen, Carsten. 2020. Postcolonial Prepositions: Semantics and Popular Geopolitics in the Danosphere. In Bert Peeters, Kerry Mullan & Lauren Sadow (eds.), Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication, 169–186. Singapore: Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-32-9975-7_9. * Salö, Linus. 2010. I eller på? Klarspråk 2(2010): 3. * Teleman, Ulf, Staffan Hellberg, Erik Andersson, Lisa Christensen & Svenska akademien. 2010. Svenska akademiens grammatik. Stockholm: Svenska akademien: Norstedt i distribution.