Motion verbs in predications without change of location


  • Elena de Miguel



motion verbs, literal and figurative meaning, metaphorical extension, processes of agreement of sublexical features, Generative Lexicon Theory


Verbs describing motion events are known to modify their lexical-semantic and syntactic properties depending on the surrounding context, which makes them a relatively complex topic for lexicographers as well as for second language learners and teachers. The present work pretends to account for the multiple senses of these verbs by looking at the minimal information included in their mental lexicon entries and how it combines with the information included in the meta-entries of the predicate arguments (the subject and the complements) and sometimes of the adjuncts. Specifically, the behaviour of the verbs salir (‘leave, go out’), volver (‘come back, get back’), ir (‘go’), and andar (‘walk’) is examined in contexts not implying motion. The proposed analysis is couched in terms of the Generative Lexicon Theory (Pustejovsky 1995), which assumes that the process responsible for the interaction of different kinds of information and for the resulting meaning construction is an
instance of a more regular and general mechanism of agreement of sublexical features. This mechanism is ultimately responsible for the generation and interpretation of both the literal meaning and the so-called figurative or metaphorical meaning.


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Author Biography

Elena de Miguel

Elena de Miguel es doctora con Premio Extraordinario por la UAM y catedrática de Lengua Española en esta universidad. Su investigación se ocupa de las
relaciones léxico-sintácticas (en especial, del aspecto léxico, información subléxica y extensiones del signifi cado literal). Investigadora Principal de diversos proyectos de investigación, en este momento dirige el proyecto FFI2009-12191 (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) Diccionario electrónico multilingüe de verbos amplios de movimiento. Es autora de El aspecto en la sintaxis del español (Madrid, UAM, 1992) y «El aspecto léxico», capítulo 46 de la Gramática Descriptiva de la Lengua Española (Madrid, Espasa-Calpe, 1999) y directora del
volumen Panorama de la lexicología (Barcelona, Ariel, 2009), cuyo capítulo sobre la Teoría del Lexicón Generativo ha sido redactado por ella. 



How to Cite

de Miguel, E. (2012). Motion verbs in predications without change of location. Verba Hispanica, 20(1), 185–209.