On the Syntactic Composition of Manner and Motion

From Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

On the Syntactic Composition of Manner and Motion

By Maria Luisa Zubizarreta and Eunjeong Oh





This crosslinguistic study of the structure of motion predicates argues for the universal syntactic nature of the composition of manner and motion within the verbal constituent. In serial verb languages, manner and motion are overtly represented as two distinct morphosyntactic units, sequentially ordered. Zubizarreta and Oh argue that the same analysis into two units holds for nonserial verb languages, albeit at a more abstract level. They argue further that this abstract level is part of the syntactic component of the grammar.The authors support their argument with a wealth of empirical data and a discussion of significant theoretical issues. Unlike many books and articles that discuss the relation between constructional meaning and the lexicon, On the Syntactic Composition of Manner and Motion examines one phenomenon in detail: the articulation of manner and motion, in three distinct language families—Germanic, Korean, and Romance. The authors' defense of the syntactic approach to constructional meaning will be of interest to linguists and psycholinguists both inside and outside the generative tradition, and to scholars of Romance, Germanic, and Korean languages.


$80.00 X ISBN: 9780262240529 248 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$36.00 X ISBN: 9780262740296 248 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • Zubizarreta and Oh give us an exemplary study of how to approach crosslinguistic phenomena with explanatory tools. Their work establishes compelling connections between a construction of theoretical significance on the one hand, and the independent properties of syntactic computation and grammatical variations on the other. It is a remarkable contribution to theories of syntax and semantics, with important implications for the study of morphology and language acquisition as well.

    Charles Yang

    University of Pennsylvania, author of Knowledge and Learning in Natural Language and The Infinite Gift