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Contrasts in construction and semantic composition: The verbs of putting in English and Swedish in an intra-typological perspective
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Lingvistik)
2015 (English)In: Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Verb Constructions / [ed] Signe Oksefjell Ebeling and Hilde Hasselgård and, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015, 222-253 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Verbs of putting such as English put, lay, set and place and Swedish sätta (put-attach), ställa (put-stand) and lägga “lay” contrast along two dimensions: the semantic composition of the verb (e.g. the encoding of Posture) and the  constructions that encode path.  This variation is studied with data from two parallel corpora containing texts in Swedish, English, German, French and Finnish. The intra-typological variation is great between these genetically and/or areally closely related languages. In Swedish and English, particles with meanings such as IN/OUT and UP/DOWN play a prominent role to signal change-of-place and the reaching of the endpoint of motion, but verbs of putting are special since particles are optional and change-of-place is encoded in a non-canonical way and may be signaled only in the verb (as in French). In French, change-of-place tends to be encoded in the verb, whereas German and Finnish exploit case in two different ways to signal change-of-place.

As for the semantic composition of the verbs, all the languages studied can distinguish placement inside or on the surface of another object (the Ground).  Swedish, German and to a certain extent also English contrast the resulting orientation of the moved object (the Figure) based on postural distinctions (related to the contrasts between SIT-STAND-LIE).  In Europe, such distinctions are characteristic of Germanic and Slavic languages. Using information from other studies, it is possible to show that the intra-typological variation is extensive with respect to postural distinctions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 222-253 p.
Keyword [en]
lexical typology, motion, verbs, corpus linguistics
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-266209ISBN: ISBN-13:978-1-4438-7808-1ISBN: ISBN-10:1-4438-7808-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-266209DiVA: diva2:867596
Available from: 2015-11-05 Created: 2015-11-05 Last updated: 2015-11-05

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