17. A temporal approach to motion verbs

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This chapter examines the temporal meaning of motion verbs ‘come’ and ‘go’ in languages that have deictically specified lexical forms. Even though motion events of coming and going usually involve duration in reality, the situations denoted by ‘come’ and ‘go’ are typically conceptualized as a punctual event. Yet, some differences were observed in the temporal meanings of the two verbs within languages and across languages. It is argued that what is entailed by these two verbs is different beyond the spatial deictic constraints, and languages differ in how temporal meaning is encoded in the verb forms. The present chapter explores the relationship between space and time by focusing on the semantics of verbs that involves change of location through time.


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