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Japanese Enter/Exit Verbs Without Motion Semantics

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The semantics of English and Japanese Enter/Exit verbs is compared. It is argued that the temporal schema encoded in the Japanese verbs hairu 'enter' and deru 'exit' is discrete change of state. For example, hairu encodes at one point in time, something is not inside, and at a later point in time the thing is inside. Unlike the English equivalents {enter, exit, go into, and go out of), there is no semantic commitment as to what happens in transition between the two states. The implications of this cross-linguistic difference on previous theories of semantics of spatial expressions are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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