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Journal Article

Where do all the motion verbs come from? The speed of development of manner verbs and path verbs in Indo-European


Verkerk,  Annemarie
Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Reading Evolutionary Biology Group School of Biological Sciences University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AS, United Kingdom;

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Verkerk, A. (2015). Where do all the motion verbs come from? The speed of development of manner verbs and path verbs in Indo-European. Diachronica, 32(1), 69-104. doi:10.1075/dia.32.1.03ver.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-D05D-6
The last four decades have seen huge progress in the description and analysis of cross-linguistic diversity in the encoding of motion (Talmy 1985, 1991, Slobin 1996, 2004). Comparisons between satellite-framed and verb-framed languages suggest that satellite-framed languages typically have a larger manner of motion verb lexicon (swim, dash), while verb-framed languages typically have a larger path of motion verb lexicon (enter, cross) (Slobin 2004, Verkerk 2013, 2014b). This paper investigates how differences between the motion verb lexicons of satellite-framed and verb-framed languages emerge. Phylogenetic comparative methods adopted from biology and an etymological study are used to investigate manner verb lexicons and path verb lexicons in an Indo-European dataset. I show that manner verbs and path verbs typically have different types of etymological origins and that manner verbs emerge faster in satellite-framed subgroups, while path verbs emerge faster in verb-framed subgroups.