Chapter 10. The importance of being a prefix

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The focus of this paper is the expression of motion events in Serbo-Croatian in the context of Talmy’s (1985) typology. Attested electronic corpus data and extensive dictionary data have been used for the purpose of analysis. Prefixes and two morphosyntactic processes that they are responsible for play the crucial role here. These processes are termed combinatory potential and morphological blocking. They guide verb choice (Path vs. Manner verb), the presence of detail regarding Path of motion (whole vs. partially expressed Path), the presence or absence of Manner elaboration, and the frequency of manner of motion verbs in general. Consequences for cross-linguistic contrasting and the study of acquisition and translation are also discussed.


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