Spanish constructions of directed motion – a quantitative study

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In typological studies of expressions of motion events, there is a need for aquantitative methodology that assesses and qualifies inter- and intra-linguisticvariation. The article reports on a large corpus study of the use of Spanishmotion verbs in constructions of telic motion. Verb associations with theconstructional V-slot were measured by using collostructional methodology(Stefanowitsch and Gries, 2003). Six categories of construction-specific variationwere identified. The corpus data and broad evidence from other semanticdomains suggest that the encoding of Spanish argument structure is verb-drivenand that verb constraints versus schematicity is a typological parameter. Thestudy concludes that Spanish is a verb-framing language rather than a verbframedlanguage (cf. Talmy, 2000), which explains the substantial variationobserved.


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