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  Motion events and the lexicon: The case of Hindi

Narasimhan, B. (2003). Motion events and the lexicon: The case of Hindi. Lingua, 113(2), 123-160. doi:10.1016/S0024-3841(02)00068-2.

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Narasimhan, Bhuvana1, 2, Author
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1Language Acquisition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_55202              
2Event Representation, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, ou_55223              

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 Abstract: English, and a variety of Germanic languages, allow constructions such as the bottle floated into the cave , whereas languages such as Spanish, French, and Hindi are highly restricted in allowing manner of motion verbs to occur with path phrases. This typological observation has been accounted for in terms of the conflation of complex meaning in basic or derived verbs [Talmy, L., 1985. Lexicalization patterns: semantic structure in lexical forms. In: Shopen, T. (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description 3: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 57–149; Levin, B., Rappaport-Hovav, M., 1995. Unaccusativity: At the Syntax–Lexical Semantics Interface. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA], or the presence of path “satellites” with special grammatical properties in the lexicon of languages such as English, which allow such phrasal combinations [cf. Talmy, L., 1985. Lexicalization patterns: semantic structure in lexical forms. In: Shopen, T. (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description 3: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 57–149; Talmy, L., 1991. Path to realisation: via aspect and result. In: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, pp. 480–520]. I use data from Hindi to show that there is little empirical support for the claim that the constraint on the phrasal combination is correlated with differences in verb meaning or the presence of satellites in the lexicon of a language. However, proposals which eschew lexicalization accounts for more general aspectual constraints on the manner verb + path phrase combination in Spanish-type languages (Aske, J., 1989. Path Predicates in English and Spanish: A Closer look. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, pp. 1–14) cannot account for the full range of data in Hindi either. On the basis of these facts, I argue that an empirically adequate account can be formulated in terms of a general mapping constraint, formulated in terms of whether the lexical requirements of the verb strictly or weakly constrain its syntactic privileges of occurrence. In Hindi, path phrases can combine with manner of motion verbs only to the degree that they are compatible with the semantic profile of the verb. Path phrases in English, on the other hand, can extend the verb's “semantic profile” subject to certain constraints. I suggest that path phrases are licensed in English by the semantic requirements of the “construction” in which they appear rather than by the selectional requirements of the verb (Fillmore, C., Kay, P., O'Connor, M.C., 1988, Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions. Language 64, 501–538; Jackendoff, 1990, Semantic Structures. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Goldberg, 1995, Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London).

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 Dates: 2003
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: eDoc: 127393
DOI: 10.1016/S0024-3841(02)00068-2
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Title: Lingua
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 113 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 123 - 160 Identifier: -