On the semantics of locatives

Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (2):157-232 (2002)
The present paper deals with the semantics of locative expressions. Our approach is essentially model-theoretic, using basic geometrical properties of the space-time continuum. We shall demonstrate that locatives consist of two layers: the first layer defines a location and the second a type of movement with respect to that location. The elements defining these layers, called localisersand modalisers, tend to form a unit, which is typically either an adposition or a case marker. It will be seen that this layering is not only semantically but in many languages also morphologically manifest. There are numerous languages in which the morphology is sufficiently transparent with respect to the layering. The consequences of this theory are manifold. For example, we shall show that it explains the contrast between English and Finnish concerning directionals, which is discussed in Fong (1997). In addition, we shall be concerned with the question of orientation of locatives, as discussed in Nam (1995). We propose that nondirectional locatives are oriented to the event, while directional locatives are oriented to certain arguments, called movers.
Keywords Linguistics   Philosophy of Language   Artificial Intelligence   Computational Linguistics   Semantics   Syntax
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1014646826099
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Joost Zwarts (2005). Prepositional Aspect and the Algebra of Paths. Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):739 - 779.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #154,929 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #136,555 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.