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Basic verbs in typological perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Lingvistik)
2012 (English)In: Le verbe an verve: Réflexions sur la syntaxe et la sémantique verbales / [ed] Marleen Van Peteghem, Peter Lauwers, Els Tobback, Annemie Demol & Laurence De Wilde, Gent: Academia Press, 2012, 255-273 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article presents an approach towards verb typologies based on verbal semantic fields. The comparison of the 20 most frequent verbs in a sample of European languages shows that the lexical verbs tend to have basic meanings which are distributed between the most basic verbal semantic fields (indicated within parentheses): ‘go’, ‘come’ (Motion); ‘give’, ‘take’ (Possession), ‘make’ (Production), ‘say’ (Verbal communication), ‘see’ (Perception), ‘know’ (Cognition), ‘want’ (Desire). In addition, there are a number of grammatical verbs such as ‘be’, ‘have’ and modals. The result is compared to similar frequency counts from non-European languages and to data concerning the meaning of simple verbs in languages with closed verb classes. It appears that there are clear similarities that hold across languages but few absolute universals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gent: Academia Press, 2012. 255-273 p.
Keyword [en]
lexical typology, lexical semantics, semantic fields, nuclear verbs
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210137ISBN: 978 90 382 2032 1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-210137DiVA: diva2:661289
Available from: 2013-11-01 Created: 2013-11-01 Last updated: 2013-11-01

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Viberg, Åke
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Department of Linguistics and Philology
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