The expression of ‘putting’ and ‘taking’ events in Japanese

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This study explores the expression of Source and Goal in describing placement and removal events in adult Japanese. Although placement and removal events a <i>priori</i> represent symmetry regarding the orientation of motion, their (c)overt expressions actually exhibit multiple asymmetries at various structural levels. The results show that the expression of the Source is less frequent than the expression of the Goal, but, if expressed, morphosyntactically more complex, suggesting that &#8216;taking&#8217; events are more complex than &#8216;putting&#8217; events in their construal. It is stressed that finer linguistic analysis is necessary before explaining linguistic asymmetries in terms of non-linguistic foundations of spatial language.


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