Talking about Motion

A crosslinguistic investigation of lexicalization patterns

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This is a corpus-based study of lexicalization of motion events in Serbo-Croatian and English, with contrasting examples from Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Albanian. Talmy’s typology (1985) provides the backdrop for the analysis and the focus is on intratypological differences that affect habitual presence or absence of information in motion expressions crosslinguistically as well as “pattern clashing” in translation. This fresh look at issues regarding linguistic typology, lexical and construction meaning and spatio-temporal construals in language and experience results in a more finely grained classification of verbalized motion events. The study offers an eclectic overview of different theoretical approaches and insists on theoretically unbiased set of tools and principles that can be used in studies of any cognitive domain in any language. It provides an in-depth discussion of current issues in cognitive linguistics in particular and suggests systematic implementation of the research findings in applied and interdisciplinary studies of language.

Subjects: Typology; English linguistics; Semantics; Germanic linguistics; Syntax; Slavic linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University College London

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