Chapter published in:Figurative Meaning Construction in Thought and Language
Edited by Annalisa Baicchi
[Figurative Thought and Language 9] 2020
► pp. 108–127
Falling to one’s death in multiple landscapes
From blending to typology
This paper discusses whether He fell to his death is a possible counterexample to Goldberg’s (1995) Unique Path Constraint, which bans simultaneous motion in multiple landscapes in caused motion/resultative constructions. On the face of it, He fell to his death involves the blending of motion in a physical landscape (as hinted at by fell) and motion in a metaphorical landscape (dying is conceptualised as telic motion). A possible solution to this apparent violation is the claim that He fell to his death is not an instance of the resultative construction and/or that to his death is metonymic for the place where one is presumed to have died. This paper argues that neither option is feasible: the example at hand instantiates the resultative construction and metonymy is not relevant. Instead, our ability for blending intimately connected facets of a complex event and the satellite-framed nature of English are held to be decisive factors for the licensing of the example under discussion.
Keywords: resultative, metonymy, Unique Path Constraint, blending, verb-framed language, satellite-framed language
Published online: 12 August 2020
Fauconnier, G., & M. Turner
Oxford English Dictionary
available at www.oed.com).