Compound verbs in English and Bulgarian and the relativity debate

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In this chapter we argue that the constraints regulating the characteristic products of word-formation processes in different languages showcase the Whorfian principle at work. The structure-centered analysis of the differences in the creation and usage of compound verbs in English and Bulgarian reveals the centrality of the effects of the ergative cryptotype among the major differences between the two languages. Specific features of compound verbs in the two languages seem to drive language users towards registering and encoding marked patterns of salience in conceptualizing events for communicative purposes via the “self-imposing causal loop”. This leads to recognizing a causal role for language in the culture-cognition-language interface.


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