“No man entreth in or out”

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English motion verbs typically encode the manner of motion (e.g. <i>run, walk</i>, cf. e.g. Talmy 2000: 27, Slobin 2004). This raises the question of how French- and Latin-borrowed motion-verbs such as <i>enter</i>, <i>descend</i>, that express the path of motion and therefore are typologically &#8216;unsuitable&#8217; for English, are integrated into this language. Based on a detailed analysis of the occurrences of <i>enter</i> in PPCME2 and CEECS, and drawing on ideas from studies in second language acquisition and cognitive linguistics, it will be shown that on the one hand, <i>enter</i> has a strong tendency to be used non-literally, i.e. for situations where the figure or goal are not concrete or visually perceivable; in its literal uses, on the other hand, it will be argued to bear additional manner-meaning. Both findings can be explained by the verb being a semantic misfit among English motion verbs. Similar usage patterns will be shown to apply to other borrowed path-verbs.


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