Final location (destination), condition, or value. May be abstract.

Prototypical prepositions include to, into, and onto:

  • I ran to the store. 001

  • The cat jumped onto the ledge. 002

  • I touched my ear to the floor. 003

  • She sank to her knees. 004

  • Add vanilla extract to the mix. 005

  • Everyone contributed to the meeting. 006

  • The temperature is rising to a high of 40 degrees. 007

  • We have access to the library’s extensive collections. 008

  • She slipped into a coma. 009

  • The drugs put her in a coma. (GoalLocus) 010

  • Result (Huddleston and Pullum, 2002, p. 1224):

    • We arrived at the airport only to discover that our flight had been canceled. 011

    • May you live to be 100! 012

For motion events, a Goal must have been reached if the event has progressed to completion (was not interrupted). Direction is used instead for toward/towards and for, which mark an intended destination that is not necessarily reached:

go to#

A conventional way to express one’s status as a student at some school is with the expression go to (name or kind of school). Construal is used when go to indicates student status, rather than (or in addition to) physical attendance:

Going to a business as a customer, going to an attorney as a client, going to a doctor as a patient, etc. can also convey long-term status, but there is considerable gray area between habitual going and being in a professional relationship, so we simply use Goal:

  • I go to Dr. Smith for my allergies. (Goal) 017

Locative as destination#

English regularly allows canonically static locative prepositions to mark goals with motion verbs like put. We use the GoalLocus construal to capture both the static and dynamic aspects of meaning:

Application of a substance#

  • the paint that was applied to the wall (Goal) 024

  • the paint that was sprayed onto the wall (Goal) 025

  • the paint that was sprayed on the wall (GoalLocus) 026

The wall is the endpoint of the paint, hence Goal is the scene role. (Though the wall can be said to be affected by the action, we prioritize the motion aspect of the scene in choosing Goal rather than Theme.)

Goal is prototypically inanimate, though it can be used to construe animate Participants (especially Recipient). Contrasts with Source.

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Supercategory: Locus