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Empirical Methods in Language Studies

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Edited By Krzysztof Kosecki and Janusz Badio

«Empirical Methods in Language Studies» presents 22 papers employing a broad range of empirical methods in the analysis of various aspects of language and communication. The individual texts offer contributions to the description of conceptual strategies, syntax, semantics, non-verbal communication, language learning, discourse, and literature.
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Time in structuring fictive motion: an empirical corpus-based study

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Abstract: This study demonstrates a role of time in structuring fictive motion expressions on the basis of empirical language data found in the National Corpus of Polish (NKJP). It focuses on a specific category of fictive motion used to depict forms, orientations, or locations of spatially extended objects in terms of a path over the object’s extent. Although fictive motion employs event structuring, frequencies of language patterns found in the corpus demonstrate that language users tend to avoid articulating such expressions in temporal terms. The avoidance of temporality in fictive motion can be attributed to a basic conceptual difference between objects and force-dynamic events, as distinguished in Langacker’s canonical event model. According to that model, while time is the primary domain of conceptualization for events, for objects the primary domain of conceptualization is space.

Keywords: fictive motion, coextension paths, events, time, space

1. Fictive motion

Fictive motion (Talmy, 1996, 2000; Langacker, 2005, 2008a) refers to figurative representations of motion attributed to immobile material objects, states, or abstract concepts, in which the meaning of motion verbs is semantically extended to express relations that do not involve motion per se, nor change of state. The following sentences (1) and (2) illustrate a specific category of fictive motion used for representation of static objects in space, which was labeled by Talmy (2000) as coextension paths. A coextension path refers to “a depiction of the form, orientation, or location of a spatially extended object in terms...

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