When "go" means "come": Questioning the basicness of basic motion verbs
Wilkins, D. P., & Hill, D.
When "go" means "come": Questioning the basicness of basic motion verbs. Cognitive Linguistics, 6
, 209-260. doi:10.1515/cogl.1995.6.2-3.209.
The purpose of this paper is to question some of the basic assumpiions
concerning motion verbs. In particular, it examines the assumption that
"come" and "go" are lexical universals which manifest a universal deictic
Opposition. Against the background offive working hypotheses about the
nature of'come" and ''go", this study presents a comparative investigation
of t wo unrelated languages—Mparntwe Arrernte (Pama-Nyungan,
Australian) and Longgu (Oceanic, Austronesian). Although the pragmatic
and deictic "suppositional" complexity of"come" and "go" expressions has
long been recognized, we argue that in any given language the analysis of
these expressions is much more semantically and systemically complex than
has been assumed in the literature. Languages vary at the lexical semantic
level äs t o what is entailed by these expressions, äs well äs differing äs t o
what constitutes the prototype and categorial structure for such expressions.
The data also strongly suggest that, ifthere is a lexical universal "go", then
this cannof be an inherently deictic expression. However, due to systemic
Opposition with "come", non-deictic "go" expressions often take on a deictic
Interpretation through pragmatic attribution. Thus, this crosslinguistic
investigation of "come" and "go" highlights the need to consider semantics
and pragmatics äs modularly separate.
Share this page