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Holistic spatial semantics and post-Talmian motion event typology : A case study of Thai and Telugu

Naidu, Viswanatha LU ; Zlatev, Jordan LU ; van de Weijer, Joost LU ; Devylder, Simon LU ; Duggirala, Vasanta and Blomberg, Johan LU (2018) In Cognitive Semiotics 11(2). p.1-27
Abstract
Leonard Talmy’s influential binary motion event typology has encountered four main challenges: (a) additional language types; (b) extensive “type-internal” variation; (c) the role of other relevant form classes than verbs and “satellites;” and (d) alternative definitions of key semantic concepts like Motion, Path and Manner. After reviewing these issues, we show that the theory of Holistic Spatial Semantics provides analytical tools for their resolution. In support, we present an analysis of motion event descriptions by speakers of two languages that are troublesome for the original typology: Thai (Tai-Kadai) and Telugu (Dravidian), based on the Frog-story elicitation procedure. Despite some apparently similar typological features, the... (More)
Leonard Talmy’s influential binary motion event typology has encountered four main challenges: (a) additional language types; (b) extensive “type-internal” variation; (c) the role of other relevant form classes than verbs and “satellites;” and (d) alternative definitions of key semantic concepts like Motion, Path and Manner. After reviewing these issues, we show that the theory of Holistic Spatial Semantics provides analytical tools for their resolution. In support, we present an analysis of motion event descriptions by speakers of two languages that are troublesome for the original typology: Thai (Tai-Kadai) and Telugu (Dravidian), based on the Frog-story elicitation procedure. Despite some apparently similar typological features, the motion event descriptions in the two languages were found to be significantly different. The Telugu participants used very few verbs in contrast to extensive case marking to express Path and nominals to express Region and Landmark, while the Thai speakers relied largely on serial verbs for expressing Path and on prepositions for expressing Region. Combined with previous research in the field, our findings imply (at least) four different clusters of languages in motion event typology with Telugu and Thai as representative of two such clusters, languages like French and Spanish representing a third cluster, and Swedish and English a fourth. This also implies that many other languages like Italian, Bulgarian, and Basque will appear as “mixed languages,” positioned between two or three of these clusters. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
semantic typology, path, composition, distribution;, conflation, case marking, verbs, covert expression
in
Cognitive Semiotics
volume
11
issue
2
pages
1 - 27
publisher
Peter Lang Publishing Group
ISSN
2235-2066
DOI
10.1515/cogsem-2018-2002
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
38d06289-81e0-4b99-b00f-19977a65800c
date added to LUP
2018-11-19 21:02:16
date last changed
2018-11-23 18:55:00
@article{38d06289-81e0-4b99-b00f-19977a65800c,
  abstract     = {Leonard Talmy’s influential binary motion event typology has encountered four main challenges: (a) additional language types; (b) extensive “type-internal” variation; (c) the role of other relevant form classes than verbs and “satellites;” and (d) alternative definitions of key semantic concepts like Motion, Path and Manner. After reviewing these issues, we show that the theory of Holistic Spatial Semantics provides analytical tools for their resolution. In support, we present an analysis of motion event descriptions by speakers of two languages that are troublesome for the original typology: Thai (Tai-Kadai) and Telugu (Dravidian), based on the Frog-story elicitation procedure. Despite some apparently similar typological features, the motion event descriptions in the two languages were found to be significantly different. The Telugu participants used very few verbs in contrast to extensive case marking to express Path and nominals to express Region and Landmark, while the Thai speakers relied largely on serial verbs for expressing Path and on prepositions for expressing Region. Combined with previous research in the field, our findings imply (at least) four different clusters of languages in motion event typology with Telugu and Thai as representative of two such clusters, languages like French and Spanish representing a third cluster, and Swedish and English a fourth. This also implies that many other languages like Italian, Bulgarian, and Basque will appear as “mixed languages,” positioned between two or three of these clusters.},
  author       = {Naidu, Viswanatha and Zlatev, Jordan and van de Weijer, Joost and Devylder, Simon and Duggirala, Vasanta  and Blomberg, Johan},
  issn         = {2235-2066},
  keyword      = {semantic typology,path,composition,distribution;,conflation,case marking,verbs,covert expression},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {1--27},
  publisher    = {Peter Lang Publishing Group},
  series       = {Cognitive Semiotics},
  title        = {Holistic spatial semantics and post-Talmian motion event typology : A case study of Thai and Telugu},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cogsem-2018-2002},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2018},
}