Localism is the hypothesis that the meaning of expressions can be described in terms of (abstract) location and movement. Localism has been applied in the study of verb meanings and thematic relations. According to localism, all sentences that express a state can be analyzed as location in a space and all sentences that express a change of state as movement from or to a space. In Mary is ill, Mary is located in the 'illness-space' and in John gave the book to Mary, there is a movement of a theme (the book) going from a source (John) to a goal (Mary).
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- Jackendoff, R. 1983. Semantics and cognition, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.