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Variation and change in English path verbs and constructions: Usage patterns and conceptual structure

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Abstract

English is classified as a satellite-framed language with manner-conflating verbs, but it also has a substantial number of (usually Romance) pathconflating verbs that are used transitively with a locative direct object. In this chapter, I address two aspects of these verbs. Using the case of enter, I show how they are initially used in the satellite-framed English motion construction, leading to a double encoding of the path, and are then integrated into the transitive pattern in order to avoid semantic conflicts within the motion construction. I also show how the use of enter in the motion construction and the transitive construction may lead to a semantic specialization in varieties where both variants exist, such that the double encoding of the path stresses the aspect of boundary crossing.

References

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