Ansatte – Københavns Universitet

Videresend til en ven Resize Print Bookmark and Share

Engerom > Ansatte

Wojciech Lewandowski

Wojciech Lewandowski


The title of my postdoc project is:

Inter- and intra-typological variation of macro-events: the case of motion

The aim of my project is to investigate the inter- and intra-typological variation in the expression of motion, as defined by Talmy (1991, 2000), from a construction grammar perspective (e.g., Goldberg 1995, 2006). As is well known, the human mind has the ability to ascribe the property of being a single gestalt to a continuum of space and time. One type of such an entity is a macro-event, that is, a complex semantic structure comprising a main event and a co-event. For example, caused motion (I kicked the ball into the box) and intransitive motion (John ran into the room) can be perceived as macro-events, in which the path (into)is the main event, and the manner (kicked and ran, respectively) is the co-event. According to Talmy (2000), the so-called satellite-framed languages, such as Germanic and Slavic, map the main event onto an element around the verb, called satellite (e.g., into),and the co-event onto the main verb (e.g., kick). By contrast, verb-framed languages, such as Romance, express the main event in the verb stem and the co-event in an adjunct constituent (Metí la pelota en la caja de una patada; lit. ‘I put the ball into the box with a kick’). However, most languages despite their affiliation to one typological group show lexicalization patterns from the opposite group; on the other hand, languages from the same group vary in the ways they make use of their predominant pattern. Despite the fact that Talmy’s framework has been applied to a wide range of languages, this kind of linguistic variation is an issue hardly touched in the literature in a systematic way. In order to fill this gap, I aim to provide a holistic data-oriented analysis of both the well-studied inter-typological as well as the underresearched intra-typological variation of the different motion constructions. The focus is placed on two satellite-framed languages, German and Polish, and two verb-framed languages, namely Spanish and Portuguese, which represent three genetic families (Germanic, Slavic and Romance) thus providing an excellent source of new insights into the linguistic motivations of typological variation.

Se further information on

ID: 143261928