Chapter published in:The Semantics of Dynamic Space in French: Descriptive, experimental and formal studies on motion expression
Edited by Michel Aurnague and Dejan Stosic
[Human Cognitive Processing 66] 2019
► pp. 68–107
French motion verbs
Insights into the status of locative PPs
This chapter deals with the syntactic status of locative constituents combining with motion verbs in French. It aims at answering the following questions: are locative PPs arguments or adjuncts? To which extent does the semantic structure of motion verbs determine the obligatory or optional presence of locative constituent?In the first part of the chapter, I discuss the general assumption that Manner and Path cannot be encoded in the same verb. This restriction intersects with the two-way typological division between Verb framed languages and Satellite framed languages. As an alternative view of motion description, I present the classification criteria, proposed by Aurnague (2011), which provides new tools to rethink motion beyond the classical opposition between Manner and Path. Relying on a corpus study, I systematically apply a series of syntactic tests to the main classes of motion verbs. I show that locative PPs are tied to the verb to several degrees and that the semantic structure of verbs strongly impacts their syntactic properties.
Keywords: motion verbs, argument structure, goal bias, syntax-semantic interface
Published online: 29 July 2019
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