Centrum för kognitiv semiotik (CCS)

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet


Non-actual Motion in Experience and Language

Jordan Zlatev (Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, Lund)


On the basis of Blomberg (2014) and joint research, I argue for a phenomenological re-analysis of so-called “fictive” och “subjective” motion in language, expressed in sentences such as “The road goes through the forest”. We motivate the concept of non-actual motion (NAM) – and distinguish between various kinds of experiences of such dynamism and corresponding types of NAM-sentences. On the basis of theoretical analysis and empirical studies of NAM-sentences use (including a pilot study of co-speech gesture) in Swedish, French and Thai, we claim that NAM-sentences are multi-motivated, and that a single explanation, such as “mental simulation” is inadequate.