Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000
In this section, the main results of this study will be summarized. Talmys (1985) typology was subjected to close scrutiny. Evidence for it was brought forth from such heterogeneous areas as translation studies, language acquisition, elicitation of narratives, and gestures that accompany speech. A collateral result of this study is the vindication of areas of study that are usually neglected by linguists on the grounds that they are not language proper. One such area is the gestures that are produced in synchrony with speech. It has been seen that these gestures make a contribution to meaning. They complement verbal meaning. Such areas should be incorporated into linguistics.
Evidence against Talmys typology was also sketched. In particular, it was argued that both English and Spanish present hybrid systems, and that if event conflation is viewed from a wider perspective, the two languages do not turn out to be so different. Both make use of two types of mechanisms to convey directionality: the meaning of the verb and the directional phrase. The difference between the two languages lies in the extent to which they use one or the other mechanism, with English using the directional phrases more extensively, whereas Spanish uses more frequently verbs of inherently directed motion. These verbs have become extremely frequent and have acquired a large number of senses in Spanish. They even participate in complex verbal periphrases where they have lost much of their motion sense and have acquired other, more grammatical, meanings.
In the second part of this dissertation, the contribution of the meaning of both the verb and the construction in which it appears has been discussed. Two competing alternatives have been presented, the lexicalist or projectionist and the constructional. Neither of them was found adequate on its own. An integration of the two has been proposed to handle the complexity posed by verbal meaning and its mapping to syntax.
The main areas of application of the results of this study are Second Language teaching, the design of Dictionaries, and Machine Translation (MT). In Second Language Acquisition a more thorough understanding of English and Spanish directed motion sentences will lead to improved quality in the teaching and learning process. Bilingual dictionaries can also benefit, since it will allow lexicographers and scholars to treat verbs of movement in a more consistent way than what is found in current dictionaries. Finally, in the area of MT, Amores and Mora (1998) have applied some of the ideas of this work to an LFG based MT system developed by Amores (1992, 1993). All of these areas open new venues for research.
A further area open for research is the diachronic development of the expression of directed motion in the two languages. As Talmy (1985) pointed out, Latin patterned together with English in expressing directed motion by means of a satellite, usually prefixes attached to the verbs (preverbs). It would be interesting to undertake a historical study of the evolution of the Latin system and of the emergence in Romance languages of high frequency verbs of inherently directed motion. In parallel, it would be worthwhile to study the evolution of Latin preverbs, and the origin and development of prepositions in that language (see Vincent 1998, for a recent account), and to compare them with the evolution and development of verb particles and prepositions in Germanic languages and English.
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Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000