15 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2011
Date Written: April 23, 2011
Fictive Motion (FM) constructions where static entities are construed as dynamic have been studied from multiple perspectives; most notably on processing times and cognitive simulation (Matlock: 2004). The present study takes a different approach and explores FM as a discourse mechanism that moderates information flow in geography writing.
As a foundation, this study uses Talmy's (2000) palpability parameters to evaluate the nature of the FM construction and then looks at the discourse functions of FM in light of Goldberg's (2006) Cognitive Construction Grammar, and Chafe's (1994) views on flow and displacement to explore how the presence or absence of prepositional phrases in a FM construction moderate topicality and reflect activation cost.
The present study explores popular science works on oceanography and geography to explore the relationship of the map as artifact and questions whether or not particular FM instances reflect an artifactual reading or a geographical reading.
Keywords: spatial language, fictive motion, construction grammar, discourse mechanisms, topicality
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