Skip to main content Accessibility help

‘Hollering from across the yard’: fictive path in manner of speaking events*



The aim of this study is to see how and to what extent the Talmyan notion of fictive motion is realized in the conceptual frame of speaking. Drawing from a previous in-depth analysis of the speaking event Manner component in English (cf. Vergaro, Sandford, Mastrofini, and Formisano, unpublished observations),1 we investigate the realization of fictive path in 186 English manner of speaking (henceforth MoS) verb entries accessed through the Corpus of Contemporary American English (henceforth COCA). Fictive path is always involved in the conceptualization of the speaking event. Communication is elaborated through the conduit metaphor, which is, in turn, motivated by the embodied act of speaking. Fictive path is further considered in relation to image schemas and windowing. Different degrees of path windowing emerge from this study, illustrating how the speaker focuses attention on a specific portion of the speaking event. Image schema distribution and an implicational hierarchy of the various types of path elaboration also become evident in this study.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Jodi L. Sandford, Dipartimento di Lettere - Lingue, letterature e civiltà antiche e moderne, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Palazzo San Bernardo, Via degli Offici 14, 06123, Perugia, Italia. tel: (+39) 075.585.4823; e-mail:


Hide All

We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, and careful suggestions.



Hide All
Cifuentes-Férez, P. (2006). La expresión de los dominios de movimiento y visión en inglés y en español desde la perspectiva de la Lingüìstica Cognitiva. (Unpublished MA thesis) University of Murcia, Spain.
Croft, W., & Cruse, D. A. (2004). Cognitive linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Feldman, J. A. (2008 [2006]). From molecule to metaphor: a neural theory of language. Cambridge, MA / London: MIT Press.
Johnson, M. (1990 [1987]). The body in the mind: the bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2010 [2002]). Metaphor: a practical introduction. Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press.
Lakoff, G. (1990 [1987]). Women, fire and dangerous things: what categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G., Espenson, J., Goldberg, A., & Schwartz, A. (1991 [1989]). The Master Metaphor List: University of California Berkeley, online: <∼alansz/metaphor/METAPHORLIST.pdf>.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Books.
Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (2003 [1980]). Afterword. In Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G., & Turner, M. (1989). More than cool reason: a field guide to poetic metaphor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Langacker, R. W. (1986). Abstract motion. In Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (pp. 445471). Berkeley, CA: University of Berkeley.
Langacker, R. W. (2008). Cognitive grammar. Oxford / New York: Oxford University Press.
Levin, B. (1993). English verb classes and alternations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Matsumoto, Y. (1996a). How abstract is subjective motion? A comparison of access path expressions and coverage path expressions. In Goldberg, A. (Ed.), Conceptual structure, discourse and language (pp. 359373). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Matsumoto, Y. (1996b). Subjective motion and English and Japanese verbs. Cognitive Linguistics, 7(2), 183226.
Mufwene, S. S. (1978). English manner-of-speaking verbs revisited. In Farkas, D., Jacobsen, W. M., & Todrys, K. W. (Eds.), Parasession on the lexicon (pp. 278288). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Reddy, M. J. (1979 [l993]). The conduit metaphor − a case of frame conflict in our language about language. In Ortony, A. (Ed.), Metaphor and thought, 2nd ed. (pp. 164201). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rojo, A., & Valenzuela, J. (2001). How to say things with words: ways of saying in English and Spanish. META, 46(3), 467477.
Slobin, D. (1996). From ‘thought and language’ to ‘thinking for speaking’. In Gumperz, J. J. & Levinson, S. C. (Eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity (pp. 7096). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Slobin, D. (1997). Mind, code, and text. In Bybee, J., Haiman, J., & Thompson, S. A. (Eds.), Essays on language function and language type: dedicated to T. Givón (pp. 437467). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Slobin, D. (2008). Relations between paths of motion and paths of vision: a crosslinguistic and developmental exploration”. In Gathercole, V. M. (Ed.), Routes to language: studies in honor of Melissa Bowerman (pp. 197221). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1983). Verb-descriptivity in German and English: a contrastive study in semantic fields. Heidelberg: C. Winter Universitatsverlag.
Talmy, L. (1996). Fictive motion in language and ‘ception’. In Bloom, P., Peterson, M. A., Nadel, L., & Garrett, M. F. (Eds.), Language and space (pp. 211276). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. Vol. I: concept structuring systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Urban, M., & Ruppenhofer, J. (2001). Shouting and screaming: manner and noise verbs in communication. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 16(1), 7394.
Zwicky, A. M. (1971). In a manner of speaking. Linguistic Inquiry, 2, 223233.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1866-9808
  • EISSN: 1866-9859
  • URL: /core/journals/language-and-cognition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed