Variation in the categorization of motion events by Danish, German, Turkish, and L2 Danish speakers

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This study examines the semantic categories in the motion domain by adult learners of Danish with typologically different L1s – Turkish and German, and compares their categorization patterns to that of Danish NSs. The participants described 39 video clips depicting a large variety of motion events. The results of the study showed that the meanings assigned by the two learner groups to the Danish motion verbs gå ‘walk’, løbe ‘run’ and kravle ‘crawl’ are influenced by the semantic categorization of their respective L1s. In addition, typological membership is found to play a role with respect to the processes involved in the restructuring of meaning/conceptual categories. These processes involve both conceptual transfer from the learners’ L1 to the L2 and conceptual convergence.


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