Reclassification of Non-alternating Locative Verbs in English

Wookyung Park 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1Kyungpook National University
Corresponding Author :

ⓒ Copyright 2018 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Oct 31, 2017 ; Revised: Apr 05, 2018 ; Accepted: Apr 06, 2018

Published Online: Apr 30, 2018


This study investigates non-alternating locative verbs in English, and reclassifies them on the basis of two English corpora—COCA and GloWbE—which were chosen because of their interface design, database design, and architecture. Considering that Pinker’s classification was presented in 1989 but was based on the English used before 1989, the data from COCA (1990-2012) suits this research purpose better as it is being used to contrast. GloWbE was released in 2013 and contains data for 2012-2013. The corpus is a good platform to access authentic language sources currently in global use. The following questions are explored in this research: (1) Have the non-alternating locative verbs been used in previous classifications (Pinker, 1989; Levin, 1993)? (2) What type of verbs and how many verbs change their classes? (3) Is it possible to present a revised classification of locative verbs in English? This study showed that 10 verbs changed their classes, from the ground-only to the alternating verb class. Based on these results, a revised classification of non-alternating locative verbs was created.

Keywords: non-alternating locative verbs; reclassification; corpus; COCA; GloWbE