Why English Motion Verbs are Special\ulcorner

  • Published : 2003.09.01


A cross-linguistic examination of motion constructions reveals that the nature of the special property of English motion verbs that Tenny (1995) discussed-namely, why English can freely append locational delimiters to manner-of-motion verbs, as in Bill swam/rowed/canoed to the end of the lake -resides not in the verbs but in the semantic structure of the prepositions that denote transition from motion to end location. It is further argued that the differentiation of bounded paths from non-bounded Ones provides a clear-cut basis on which to distinguish motion constructions from resultative constructions. This proposal provides an alternative to the analyses of resultative constructions by Wechsler (1997) and Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2001).