Covert encoding is one of the strategies available to languages for the encoding of motion, in which, in accordance with the laws of Gestalt, the meaning of an expression encoding motion is not coincident with the mere sum of the meanings of each of its constitutive units, relying on the mediation of grammatical and co(n)textestablished knowledge for its interpretability. Moving on from a data set gathered for a previous study and adopting a holistic, constructional approach, several strategies were found in a diachronic corpus of Italian, French and Spanish for the covert encoding of motion in such languages, based on whether the motioninterpretation attributed to the covert construction is mediated by either linguistic or extralinguistic knowledge. The diachronic investigation also showed that the use of such patterns is diachronically consistent in frequency, thus proving that such patterns of interaction between language and cognition may be regarded as functional for speakers of all languages and time stages, also confirming that a holistic, constructional approach to language study can help shed light on linguistic–cognitive phenomena on the basis of language variation and change.
We move words and words move us. To describe and explain how and why this happens, the present article focuses on Prague traditions, both on the philosophical and linguistic elements. The semantic and syntactic approach is summarized, as developed by Anton Marty, belonging to the Brentano school, and by Vilém Mathesius, founder of the Prague Linguistic Circle, as well as by Jan Firbas, who developed the functional sentence perspective (FSP) into the theory of communicative dynamism (CD). The four Principles of FSP and the four factors of CD are highlighted, together with the related criticism that stems from a systematic work of corpus annotation, a true test procedure for any theory concerned with word order, the interplay between lexicon and morphology, rhythm, intonation and their effects on the addressee’s psychic and emotive processes and life.
The paper deals with selected problems of the verbalization of the concepts “place”, “space” and “direction”, with a special consideration of their successive development in language and in language acquisition. The theoretical background are assumptions concerning the genesis of the concept of place and movement. Some of them claim that movement and direction precede the conceptualization of place and space. However, numerous linguistic phenomena seem to prove the opposite hypothesis, namely that the concept of place and, thus, its verbalization by means of stative verbs, local adverbs and prepositional phrases is original, whereas the concepts of movement, especially of controlled, caused movement denoted by transitive, regular verbs is derived from the concept of locum encoded by irregular verbs.