Swedish verbs of perception from a typological and contrastive perspective

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Verbs of perception hold a central position among mental verbs. What makes such verbs particularly interesting is their complex patterns of polysemy that both show crosslinguistic regularities and language-specific (or area-specific) characteristics. This paper accounts for the major semantic extensions of the basic verbs of perception in Swedish from a crosslinguistic perspective based primarily on data from two translation corpora. Varying patterns of semantic extensions are found in Swedish and the other languages within the field of perception. There is also a rich variety of extensions into cognition, verbal communication and more distant fields such as possession, social contact and causation. Verbs of perception appear in a wide range of constructions. Brief indications are also given of the interactions between various meanings of the perception verbs and morpho-syntactic devices such as complementation, impersonal constructions, the passive, spatial markers and prefixed forms of verbs.


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