Edited by Michel Aurnague and Dejan Stosic
[Human Cognitive Processing 66] 2019
► pp. 218–246
Fictive motion in French
Where do the data lead?
This chapter reports the results of a corpus study on fictive motion (the use of motion verbs to describe motionless scenes) in French, carried out to investigate some proposals made by Langacker, Matlock, Matsumoto, and Talmy regarding this topic. The 589 attested utterances collected show that fictive motion involves more verbs and entities than is generally assumed. The suggested explanations draw on Aurnague’s semantic analysis of motion verbs and Vandeloise’s account of the meaning of spatial markers in terms of force dynamics and functional properties. The phenomenon is also analyzed in its discursive context, with a presentation of some properties of the “discourse mode” in which fictive motion expressions appear.