Weather verbs sifted through a motion sieve

Abstract : In cognitive frameworks à la Talmy, the weather verb 'to rain' has been analyzed repeatedly as a motion verb incorporating the figure 'rain' in the verb root. In this contribution we claim that weather verbs can indeed be analyzed as motion verbs, albeit with a very heterogeneous behavior with respect to the presence of the conceptual components figure and path. If 'rain' involves one single figure and path, other weather verbs may involve no or several figures and paths. However, they consistently express manner, both in atmospheric and metaphorical contexts. Despite their conceptual structure as motion verbs, cross-linguistic differences in the availability of weather verbs in Russian and several Romance and West-Germanic languages cannot be accounted for through Talmy's classification of verb-framed and satellite-framed languages as French, Spanish, English and Dutch display a rather similar behavior compared to Russian. Nevertheless this classification is partly verified for weather verbs used metaphorically to express directional motion.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 12:36:50 AM
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Machteld Meulleman, Katia Paykin. Weather verbs sifted through a motion sieve. Contrastive Linguistics, Université Pédagogique d'Etat de l'Oural, 2016, 5, pp.58-67. ⟨halshs-01467132⟩

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