Edited by Wei-lun Lu, Naděžda Kudrnáčová and Laura A. Janda
[Benjamins Current Topics 119] 2021
► pp. 53–77
This paper is a contribution to a hitherto unexplored area in English-Czech contrastive semantics. It examines differences in the construal of walking, the most prototypical type of human locomotion. Based on the data from InterCorp, a synchronic parallel translation corpus, it presents a cognitive oriented analysis of the semantics of English walk and its nearest Czech counterparts, i.e. jít and kráčet. Despite their apparent commonalities, the verbs in question do not construe walking in the same way. In contrast to jít, the construal of a motion situation in walk and kráčet involves focus on leg movements and bodily position, amounting to a marked segmentation of the motion into individual quanta. Focus on leg movements and verticality of the body is even more pronounced in kráčet, which can then serve an evaluative function; such a possibility is not open for walk. Walk thus occupies an intermediate position between the two verbs.