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Source/Goal (a)symmetry

Abstract : This paper compares the expression of Source and Goal in German and Polish, on the basis of descriptions elicited with a series of video clips. As satellite-framed languages (Talmy 1985, 2000), both German and Polish mainly rely on grammatical morphemes to encode Path of motion with respect to Source and Goal. Nevertheless, despite this shared typological feature, these languages also display fine morphosyntactic and semantic differences. Our study reveals that the expression of Source and Goal is more asymmetrical in German as compared to Polish, in both the types of linguistic resources and the semantic distinctions. We show that German speakers tend to combine Path satellites with Path verbsincluding both deictic satellites and deictic verbsmore frequently in Source-oriented events, depicting them with finer semantic distinctions than Goal-oriented events. In the expression of the Ground, however, they tend to make more distinctions in the expression of Goals as 2 Benjamin Fagard & Anetta Kopecka compared to Sources, by using a greater variety of prepositions. Polish speakers, by contrast, tend to express Source and Goal in a more symmetrical fashion. These cross-linguistic differences are discussed in the light of language-specific characteristics and their role in the expressionsymmetrical or asymmetricalof Source and Goal.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03087649
Contributor : Benjamin Fagard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 24, 2020 - 8:42:44 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 5:46:02 PM

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Benjamin Fagard, Anetta Kopecka. Source/Goal (a)symmetry. Studies in Language, John Benjamins Publishing, 2020, ⟨10.1075/sl.00016.fag⟩. ⟨halshs-03087649⟩

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