LINGUIST List 13.2156

Fri Aug 23 2002

Diss: Typology: Maisak "Grammaticalization..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. tm, Typology: Maisak "Grammaticalization paths of motion..."

Message 1: Typology: Maisak "Grammaticalization paths of motion..."

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 11:32:38 +0000
From: tm <>
Subject: Typology: Maisak "Grammaticalization paths of motion..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Moscow State University
Program: Philological Faculty
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Timur A. Maisak 

Dissertation Title: 
Grammaticalization paths of motion and posture verbs (Tipologija
grammatikalizacii konstrukcij s glagolami dvizhenija i glagolami

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: 
Typology, Semantics, Historical Linguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Aleksandr E. Kibrik
Dissertation Director 2: Vladimir A. Plungian

Dissertation Abstract: 

The dissertation investigates possible grammaticalization paths of a
particular set of source items -- viz. several verbs of motion and
posture -- in a wide range of languages of different genetic and areal

The Introduction contains a brief overview of main ideas in
grammaticalization research over the last twenty years.

Chapter 1 provides the discussion of methodology and previous attempts
in investigating specific lexical sources, especially treatments of
motion and/or posture verbs. Here the language sample is also
described. The total number of languages in which cases of
grammaticalization of motion and posture verbs where looked for
approximates 400, with representatives from all the world's major
families. For about 200 languages book-length descriptions were used
to find relevant cases of development, and the information on the
other half of languages was obtained from special studies of
grammaticalization phenomena in these languages or from general
typological works. Some data was also discovered in the course of the

Chapters 2 and 3 describe grammaticalization paths of individual
motion and posture verbs, respectively. The following motion verbs -
or, strictly speaking, verbal senses - were taken into account: GO
GO IN (ENTER), GO OUT, PASS (and GO THROUGH). As for posture verbs,
three most basic ones (SIT, STAND, LIE) were investigated. For each of
the selected source items all discovered paths are listed with
detailed discussion of conditions favouring particular lines of
development (for example, the structure of source construction as a
whole) and examples from different languages. All the languages of the
sample where a given development was encountered are mentioned with
relevant references.

The first part of Chapter 4 is organized alternatively from target
categories (like tense, aspect, modality, valence, etc.) to possible
sources (among motion and posture verbs) and gives an idea for
creating of grams of which functional domains these sources are most
extensively used. Here also possible motivations of changes are
suggested. In the second part some general frequency counts are
presented and problems like multiple interrelations between sources
and targets (one source giving rise to several target grams or one
target coming into being from various sources) are discussed.

The Conclusion summarizes main results of the dissertation.

There is also a list of References and three appendixes: Language
Index with genetic affiliation, Language Index with reference to
sections, and Source-Target List (in A-Z format).
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