Expressing prospective location in French: rethinking Vandeloise's 'principle of anticipation'

Publication Type:
Journal Article
JOURNAL OF FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDIES, 2022, 32, (1), pp. 48-75
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
AbstractVandeloise’s (1987, 2017) principle of anticipation proposes that French verbs of motion can enable prospective readings of static locative prepositions. However, it has little to say about verbs of motion that do not have a prospective verbal reference place (VRP): that is, to what extent are verbs of initial polarity like partir and s’enfuir able to trigger prospective readings of prepositions? This article argues that each verb must be analysed individually and that prospective readings of prepositions depend on the interaction of verbal and prepositional semantics: for example, the movement away from a viewer expressed by partir favours a prospective reading of derrière but not of devant: this is due to differences regarding access to perception. The animacy of the Ground and its status as a material or spatial entity (Vandeloise, 2017) is also a key factor (e.g. partir près de + spatial entity). This suggests that verbs of initial polarity participate in synergistic verb/preposition/Ground interpretations that help to overcome their lack of a VRP. The prospective reading of the preposition depends on the choice of verb and Ground, thus supporting a distributed view of spatial semantics (Sinha and Kuteva, 1995; Zlatev, 1997, 2003, 2007; Evans and Tyler, 2004).
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: