Edited by Herbert L. Colston, Teenie Matlock and Gerard J. Steen
[Metaphor in Language, Cognition, and Communication 9] 2022
► pp. 109–128
Fictive motion in the wild
Fictive motion is a form of figurative language that describes the shape and arrangement of objects in physical space. Examples are The highway goes along the coast, A trail follows the creek for two miles, and Boulders run along the edge of the property. Such statements typically feature a motion verb, such as go, run, or follow, and a subject noun phrase that refers to a linear object or a set of objects in a linear sequence. Despite the objectively stationary disposition of the scene being described, a fleeting sense of motion is implied. To date, much research on fictive motion has focused on its semantic profile or how it is comprehended, but little attention has been given to how fictive motion is used in natural discourse. This chapter provides some background on fictive motion and offers some new insights on its use in real world spatial descriptions, in particular, in the descriptions of paths in hiking guides. This work expands existing research on figurative language use, especially how fictive motion is motivated by and grounded in embodied cognition, why it is used in travel guides, and its potential utility to navigation.
- 2.What is fictive motion?
- 3.How is fictive motion understood?
- 4.Fictive motion in travel language
- 5.Fictive motion in hiking guidebooks
- 6.Closing remarks