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Academic Paper


Title: Subcategorization pattern and lexical meaning of motion verbs: A study of the Source/Goal ambiguity
Paper URL: http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/LING.2009.039
Author: Tatiana Nikitina
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.projectwan.org/nikitina
Institution: Freie Universität Berlin
Linguistic Field: Typology
Abstract: The article addresses the problem of the linguistic encoding of the locative roles of Goal and Source of motion. After discussing the typological patterns of marking static locations, goals, and sources of motion, I analyze data from Wan, a Southeastern Mande language that often does not encode the distinction between sources and goals either outside of the verb (by adpositions or case) or in the verb's argument structure. In addition to a class of specialized verbs that subcategorize for a particular type of locative argument (“source verbs” and “goal verbs”), Wan has a number of verbs that do not restrict their argument to either sources or goals. I show that the two verb classes contrast with respect to the amount of information about the direction of motion that is entailed by the verb's lexical meaning. In encoding the role of the locative argument, the two verb classes rely on different strategies: the semantic role is either encoded in the verb's argument structure, or inferred from the interaction of contextual information and the verb's lexical entailments. I demonstrate how the lexical entailments of motion verbs influence their subcategorization pattern and discuss crosslinguistic evidence that supports this analysis.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: Linguistics 47-5(2009): 1113-41
URL: http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/LING.2009.039


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