Article published in:Romance Linguistics 2010: Selected papers from the 40th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Seattle, Washington, March 2010
Edited by Julia Herschensohn
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 318] 2011
► pp. 117–136
Directed motion in Medieval French
This paper introduces new data showing that Medieval French patterns like a satellite-framed language in that directed motion events can be expressed via a manner verb and a PP complement denoting a telic goal. This contrasts sharply with contemporary French, a typical verb-framed language, in which directed motion is encoded via path verbs with manner as a separate adjunct phrase. Typologically, the data is consistent with a number of other argument structure properties that characterise Medieval French as satellite-framed much like English and Dutch. I argue that the source of variation between Medieval and present-day French resides in a difference in the extended functional projection of prepositional elements. While Medieval French has an active functional projection that permits simple prepositions to encode path, present-day French does not. The analysis diverges from recent accounts of the directed motion construction in which the locus of variation is situated in a macro-parameter.
Published online: 30 November 2011