Source: pp 360-361, The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited by Eugene H. Casad.
Some examples of clearly meaningful uses of de are given in (5):
(5) a. venir de [Paris] 'come from (Paris)'
b. partir de [cinq heures] 'from (5:00) on'
c. mourir de [faim] 'die of hunger'
d. citer de [mémoire] 'quote from [memory]'
It is clear from the examples in (5a-d) that de has a dynamic sense in which a figure originates (spatially or more abstractly) from a ground (of unspecified configurational properties). This sense, which we might call the "source" use, has a spatial subcase represented by (5a). The temporal and causal uses of de such as found in (5b) and (5c), and the abstract, but spatial-like case in (5d), are clearly extensions of the
source usein non-spatial domains.
Would you please help me to understand what is spatial-like about (5d) ?
source userefers to 'mémoire' as the source (from which a quoter quotes)?