Edited by Michel Aurnague and Dejan Stosic
[Human Cognitive Processing 66] 2019
► pp. 32–65
About asymmetry of motion in French
Some properties and a principle
This chapter addresses the issue of “goal bias” and asymmetry of motion in French. The semantics of verbs of strict autonomous motion is first captured through their spatio-temporal schemata defined in terms of change of basic locative relation and change of placement. The possibility, for the verbs, of appearing in implicit landmark constructions, their association with a spatial PP having an opposite “polarity” and the prepositions’ contribution to dynamic spatial descriptions are successively reviewed in order to identify the most important properties of asymmetry of motion in French. Several of these properties seem to ensue from the spatio-temporal structure of motion events. A pragmatic principle is also highlighted, which is likely to favor the emergence of goal bias in language.