Edited by Hubert Cuyckens, Walter De Mulder and Tanja Mortelmans
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 18] 2004
► pp. 197–223
Catalan Adpositions of ‘Movement’ as Aspectual Particles
Cap (a) and Fins (a)
This paper describes the aspectual uses of two Catalan prepositions: cap (a) ‘toward, by’ and fins (a) ‘up to, as far as’. Against some accounts of these prepositions in the literature, I claim that their basic meaning is not associated with motion, but with non-dynamic notions such as ‘orientation’ and ‘bounding’. Particularly, I argue that the preposition cap (a) expresses ‘orientation toward a reference point’, whereas fins (a) expresses ‘final boundary’. These senses license the aspectual uses of these prepositions, which, with some restrictions, contribute to express situation types in sentences. In their aspectual uses, cap (a) and fins (a) convey that the speaker has conceptualized a particular situation either as a discrete or as a non-discrete entity. In the first case, he/she has applied summary scanning; in the second, he/she has used dimensional scanning. Fins (a) imposes a final boundary on a situation and, thus, it favors a discrete interpretation of the situation that is being described. In contrast, cap (a) does not conceptualize final bounding, thus favoring a non-discrete interpretation.