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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   Event Structure
Author:   Andrea Schalley
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   Dear linguists,

I am interested in a comparison of event structures. As an
example, I would like to consider English "to fetch" or
German "holen". I am especially wondering how
different languages express this concept - please let me

And I'd like to know whether native speakers would say tha
the event structure of "to fetch" / "holen" etc. -
if the language uses only one word to express the
concept - consists of three subevents: 1) going to some
place, 2) taking something, and 3) coming (to the deictic
center). Would you say that these three subevents are on an
equal level or is one or are two of them prominent? Could
you even say that two of them form a subevent themselves (so
that "to fetch" consists of two subevents with one subeven
being composed of two subevents itself)?

I would appreciate it very much to also get information on:

(i) Verb serialising languages - do they depict the even
structure overtly as respective occurrences of verbs
describe the subevents?

(ii) Are there languages that split one from the other two
subevents, e.g. via literally saying "go take-come" or
"go-take come"?

Thanks very much! I will be happy to post a sum if you are
intersted in one.

Andrea Schalley

LL Issue: 11.2243
Date posted: 17-Oct-2000


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