A Crosslinguistic Study on the Semantics of Motion Verbs in English and Spanish
Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia
Motion is central to human experience; it is pervasive in our daily lives and also in our communicative needs. However, it is a well established fact that languages differ in their linguistic expression of motion (Talmy, 1985, 1991, 2000a, 2000b). Despite the vast amount of research on the linguistic expression of motion events, the fact that motion verb roots might encode information apart from path and manner is often overlooked, as are other minor lexicalisation patterns that might occur. Furthermore, scholars, more often than not, have neglected the study of path verbs in favour of the study of manner verbs, as the differing expression of manner has so far been the most interesting diverging point between satellite- and verb-framed languages. Finally, hardly any work has been devoted to an in-depth analysis of the semantics of motion verb lexicons in both verb- and satelliteframed languages beyond the comparison of the motion verbs found in novels or elicited orally in the two types of language.
The present book tries to meet such needs by addressing the semantics of English and Spanish motion verbs. Thus, in this work, a systematic and detailed account of the semantics of English and Spanish motion verb lexicons from a contrastive point of view is provided. The patterns of general conflations are explored, as well as more subtle path notions and fine-grained manner information which can be conveyed by motion verbs in these two languages. Comparison between English and Spanish leads to the identification of some similarities and some differences. These findings suggest that, despite notable crosslinguistic divergences mainly with regard to manner of motion, there are important tendencies in how English and Spanish, and possibly other verb- and satellite-framed languages, lexicalise the domain of motion in their verb roots.
ISBN 978392905076. LINCOM Studies in Semantics 01. 305pp. 2009.