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Reading: Analyse Componentielle du Champ Sémantique des Verbes de Déplacement


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Analyse Componentielle du Champ Sémantique des Verbes de Déplacement


Pierre Coirier

Université de Poitiers Laboratoire de Psychologie BE; E.R.A. C.N.R.S. n° 797 95, Avenue du Rccteur Pineau 86022 Poitiers Cedex, FR
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[Componential Analysis of the Semantic Field of Motion Verbs]


The semantic field of motion verbs is studied from a componential point of view: From individual descriptions of elements different from or common to the meanings of the verbs compared by pairs, a value x verb matrix is elaborated in which each cell represents the psychological relevance of a given componential value (i.e.: elementary definition) to a given verb The values needed to characterize differentially the 60 items studied combine into semantic traits. Intervalues dependencies can be computed from the relations between the sets of verbs each value characterizes: Equivalence, inclusion, mutual exclusion, ..., so it is possible to set up operatively the clustering of values into traits, the clustering of these traits into super-traits, ... The general structure of the field is not homogeneous but seems rather to represent an interlacing of substructures of variable level and nature: partial hierarchies, orthogonal dimensions, ... The psychological validity of componential values obtained is then tested experimentally; subjects are able to discover recover a given verb from its componential description (i.e.: from the list of its values) in a rather satisfactory number of cases. Analysis of errors shows that the probability of confusing two global meanings is in direct relation with the number (and relevance) of values different from and or common to these global meanings.

How to Cite: Coirier, P., 1980. Analyse Componentielle du Champ Sémantique des Verbes de Déplacement. Psychologica Belgica, 20(2), pp.141–165. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 1980.
Peer Reviewed


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