Preposition typology with manner of motion verbs in Spanish




Bassa Vanrell, Maria del Mar

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Spanish, as a V(erb)-framed language (Talmy 1985), is expected to lexicalize the path of motion in the verb and manner in some satellite when it comes to the description of motion events. Nonetheless, it shows mixed properties (e.g. Aske 1989, Berman & Slobin 1994). All manner of motion verbs can take a path satellite introduced by the prepositions "hacia" and "hasta", and yet only some can take a path satellite introduced by the preposition "a." I claim that goal XPs introduced by "hasta" and "hacia" are adjuncts, whereas "a" is an argument marker. In order to capture the intermediacy of a verb’s ability to take a goal XP, I classify manner of motion verbs according to a three-way distinction that takes into account whether they encode path categorically, overwhelmingly, or only sometimes, and whether they lexically reject the notion of a goal. Finally, I posit verb coercion—under certain semantic and pragmatic conditions—of manner of motion verbs that strongly or categorically favor displacement in order to express a goal. These semantic/pragmatic influential factors are reduced to (i) degree of manner and (ii) degree of goal-orientedness.




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