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Chapter 8. Semantic composition of motion verbs in Russian and English

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Abstract

The study examines and provides evidence for intra-typological variability in the semantic domain of motion in Russian and another satellite-framed language, English. By drawing on parallel corpora comprised of oral narratives in Russian and English, the study contrasts the semantic composition of motion verbs in these two languages. The results reveal that although English has traditionally been viewed as the prototypical satellite-framed language due to its rich Manner-of-motion lexicon, the verb-of-motion repertoire in Russian is superior in its semantic and structural capabilities for encoding motion-related nuances. The verbs attested in the English corpus were monomorphemic, whereas the verbs retrieved from the Russian data consistently and variedly co-encoded such categories as Manner, Path, unidirectionality/non-unidirectionality of motion in space, and aspect through diverse semantic-to-surface associations.

References

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