[printable]

motion and trajectory


terminology [+/-]

  • ablative – motion from an object
  • adessive – location at an object
  • allative – motion to an object
  • deictic centre – the ‘here and now’ of the narrative or conversation (e.g. the location of the speaker or narrative focaliser)
  • deictically neutral – (n)either distal (n)or proximal
  • delative – motion from the surface of an object
  • distal – motion away from the speaker (or other deictic centre)
  • elative – motion from the interior of an object
  • illative – motion to the interior of an object
  • inessive – location at the interior of an object
  • perlative – motion via the interior of an object
  • proximal – motion towards the speaker (or other deictic centre)
  • sublative – motion to the surface of an object
  • superessive – location at the surface of an object


vocabulary [+/-]


verbs [+/-]

Motion verbs –

  • rach ‘go’ (distal)
  • thig ‘come’ (proximal)

Manner of motion verbs (deictically neutral) –

  • coisich ‘walk’, leum ‘jump’, ruith ‘run’, seòl ‘sail’, snàmh ‘swim’, ...


prepositions [+/-]

Trajectory prepositions –

  • bho ‘from’ (ablative)
  • gu ‘to’ (allative)
  • à ‘out of, from in(side)’ (elative)
  • do [a] ‘into, to within’ (illative)
  • tro ‘through’ (perlative)
  • air ‘onto’ (sublative)

Trajectory pseudo-prepositions –

  • far ‘off (of), from on’ (delative)

Locative prepositions –

  • aig ‘at’ (adessive)
  • an ‘in(side), within’ (inessive)
  • air ‘on’ (superessive)


adverbs [+/-]

Trajectory adverbs –

  • (rach) a-null ‘over’ (distal)
  • (thig) a-nall ‘over’ (proximal)
  • a-steach ‘(to) inside’ (illative)
  • a-mach ‘(to) outside’ (elative)
  • (rach) suas ‘up(wards)’ (distal)
  • (rach) sìos ‘down(wards)’ (distal)
  • (thig) a-nìos ‘up(wards)’ (proximal)
  • (thig) a-nuas ‘down(wards)’ (proximal)

Note that the adverb a-staigh is used in certain dialects instead of a-steach and that both a-nuas and a-nìos can mean either ‘up(wards)’ or ‘down(wards)’ (proximal) in many dialects.


semantics


social events [+/-]

When the goal/purpose of the motion is a social event, the allative preposition gu should be used (chun with article), rather than the illative preposition do [a] –

  • Chaidh iad ...
    • gu banais ‘to a wedding’
    • chun na bainnse ‘to the wedding’
    • gu banais mo pheathar ‘to my sister’s wedding’
    • *do bhanais / *dhan (a’) bhanais / *do bhanais mo pheathar
  • Thig i ...
    • gu adhlachadh ‘to a funeral’
    • chun an adhlacaidh ‘to the funeral’
    • gu adhlacadh mo bhràthar ‘to my brother’s funeral’
    • *do dh’adhlacadh / *dhan (an) adhlacadh / *do dh’adhlacadh mo bhràthar

Also – cèilidh ‘party’, cuirm-chiùil ‘concert’, ...


boxes and containers – illative and elative [+/-]

When the end point of the motion is the interior of a box or other container-like object, the illative preposition do [dha/a] is used (rather than allative gu or inessive an). The preposition can be reinforced using the illative adverb a-steach

  • Chaidh/thàinig e ...
    • (a-steach) do bhogsa ‘in(to) a box’
    • (a-steach) dhan a’ bhogsa ‘in(to) the box’
    • *(a-steach) gu bogsa / *(a-steach) chun a’ bhogsa / *(a-steach) gus a’ bhogsa / *(a-steach) ann am bogsa / *(a-steach) anns a’ bhogsa
  • Chuir mi iad ...
    • (a-steach) do phreas ‘in(to) a cupboard’
    • (a-steach) dhan a’ phreas ‘in(to) the cupboard’
    • *(a-steach) gu preas / *(a-steach) chun a’ phris / *(a-steach) gus a’ phreas / *(a-steach) ann am preas / *(a-steach) anns a’ phreas

When the starting point of the motion is the interior of a box or other container, the elative preposition à is used (rather than ablative bho). The preposition can be reinforced using the elative adverb a-mach

  • Chaidh/thàinig i ...
    • (a-mach) à bogsa ‘out (of) a box’
    • (a-mach) às a’ bhogsa ‘out (of) the box’
    • *(a-mach) bho bhogsa / *(a-mach) bhon a’ bhogsa
  • Thug mi iad ...
    • (a-mach) à preas ‘out (of) a cupboard’
    • (a-mach) às a’ phreas ‘out (of) the cupboard’
    • *(a-mach) bho phreas / *(a-mach) bhon a’ phreas.


buildings [+/-]

Buildings are usually conceptualised as containers, with the default assumption that motion towards a building will end within its interior, meaning that the illative preposition do [dha/a] is the unmarked option for translating English ‘to’

  • Chaidh e dhan an leabharlann. ‘He went to the library.’
  • Thàinig i do na bùithean. ‘She came to the shops.’
  • Thug mi iad dhan an ospadal. ‘I took/brought them to the hospital.’

Similarly, it is assumed that motion away from a building began within its interior, meaning that the elative preposition à is the unmarked option for translating English ‘from’

  • Chaidh e dhachaigh às an leabharlann. ‘He went home from the library.’
  • Thàinig i dhachaigh às na bùithean. ‘She came home from the shops.’
  • Thug mi iad dhachaigh às an ospadal. ‘I took/brought them home from the hospital.’

However, in exceptional cases where it needs to be emphasised that the interior of the building was not accessed or not accessible, the allative and ablative prepositions gu [chun] and bho may be used as marked alternatives –

  • Chaidh e chun an leabharlainn. ‘He went to the library.’
  • Thug mi iad dhachaigh bhon an ospadal. ‘I took/brought them home from the hospital.’


municipalities [+/-]

Municipalities are usually also conceptualised as containers, with the default assumption that motion towards a village, town or city will end within its interior, meaning that the illative preposition do [a] is the unmarked option for translating English ‘to’ here. Note that the variant a is normally used in this context when the definite article is absent –

  • Chaidh e a Ghlaschu. ‘He went to Glasgow.’
  • Thàinig i dhan a’ Ghearasdan. ‘She came to Fort William.’
  • Thug mi iad a Dhùn Èideann. ‘I took/brought them to Edinburgh.’

Similarly, it is assumed that motion away from a municipality began within its interior, meaning that the elative preposition à is the unmarked option for translating English ‘from’

  • Chaidh e dhachaigh à Glaschu. ‘He went home from Glasgow.’
  • Thàinig i dhachaigh às a’ Ghearasdan. ‘She came home from Fort William.’
  • Thug mi iad dhachaigh à Dùn Èideann. ‘I took/brought them home from Edinburgh.’

However, in exceptional cases where it needs to be emphasised that the interior of the town or city was not breached, the allative and ablative prepositions gu [chun] and bho maybe be used as marked alternatives –

  • Chaidh e gu Glaschu. ‘He went to (the outskirts of) Glasgow.’
  • Thug mi iad dhachaigh bhon a’ Ghearasdan. ‘I took/brought them home from (the edge of) Fort William.’


surfaces – sublative and delative [+/-]

When the end point of the motion is the (visible) surface of an object, the superessive/sublative preposition air is used (rather than allative gu [chun] or illative do [dha/a]). The preposition can be reinforced (and the direction clarified) using either the distal adverbs suas/ sìos or the proximal adverbs a-nìos/ a-nuas

  • Chaidh e –
    • (suas/sìos) air bòrd ‘(up/down) on(to) a table’
    • (suas/sìos) air a’ bhòrd ‘(up/down) on(to) the table’
    • *(suas/sìos) gu bòrd / *gus a’ bhòrd / *chun a’ bhùird / *do bhòrd / *dhan a’ bhòrd.
  • Thàinig i –
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) air balla ‘(up/down) on(to) a wall’
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) air a’ bhalla ‘(up/down) on(to) the wall’
    • *(a-nìos/a-nuas) gu balla / *gus a’ bhalla / *chun a’ bhalla / *do bhalla / *dhan a’ bhalla.
  • Chuir mi iad –
    • (suas/sìos // a-nìos/a-nuas) air sgeilp ‘(up/down) on(to) a shelf’
    • (suas/sìos // a-nìos/a-nuas) air an sgeilp ‘(up/down) on(to) the shelf’
    • *(suas/sìos // a-nìos/a-nuas) gu sgeilp / *chun na sgeilpe / *gus an sgeilp / *do sgeilp / *dhan an sgeilp.

When the starting point of the motion is the (visible) surface of a object, the delative pseudo-preposition far is used (rather than ablative bho or elative à). Again, the preposition can be reinforced (and the direction clarified) using the proximal adverbs a-nìos/a-nuas

  • Chaidh e –
    • far bòrd ‘ off (of) a table, from on a table’
    • far a’ bhùird ‘ off (of) the table, from on the table’
    • * bho bhòrd / *bhon a’ bhòrd / *à bòrd / *às a’ bhòrd
  • Thàinig i –
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) far balla ‘(up/down) off (of) a wall, from on a wall’
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) far a’ bhalla ‘(up/down) off (of) the wall, from on the wall’
    • *(a-nìos/a-nuas) bho bhalla / *bhon a’ bhalla / *à balla / *às a’ bhalla
  • Thug mi iad –
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) far sgeilp ‘(up/down) off (of) a shelf, from on a shelf’
    • (a-nìos/a-nuas) far na sgeilpe ‘(up/down) off (of) the shelf, from on the shelf’
    • *(suas/sìos // a-nìos/a-nuas) bho sgeilp / *bhon a’ sgeilp / *à sgeilp / *às an sgeilp.