Motion verb constructions, frames, and profiling

Michael Herweg 1
  • 1 Heidelberg University, Department of Computational Linguistics and Heidelberg University Language and Cognition Lab, Im Neuenheimer Feld 325, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany

Abstract

This paper offers a frame-semantic account of some of the manifold phenomena that can be observed in motion expressions in typologically diverse languages. The core of the proposed approach is a basic locomotion frame complemented with a mechanism of profiling that operates on this frame. The locomotion frame provides a rich structure which features the pivotal elements beneficial for the semantic representation of different types of motion descriptions. The profiling mechanism allows one to select, deselect and augment elements of this frame structure, as well as to specify significant relations between distinct parts of the frame. With these means, the profiling mechanism facilitates fine-grained differentiations among motion verbs that considerably exceed the classic dichotomy of path and manner-of-motion verbs. The proposed theory is applied to different kinds of path and manner-of-motion verbs, including those typically found in path-dominant and manner-dominant languages, as well as in languages which exhibit a pronounced diversity of motion verbs lined up in serial verb constructions. The suggested frame-semantic analyses thus reveal intricate differentiations in a multifaceted linguistic domain.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Aurnague, M. (2011). How motion verbs are spatial: the spatial foundations of intransitive motion verbs in French. Lingvisticae Investigationes, 34(1), 1-34.

  • Aurnague, M. (2019). About asymmetry of motion in French. In M. Aurnague and D. Stosic (Eds.), The semantics of dynamic space in French: Descriptive, experimental and formal studies on motion expression (pp. 32-65). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  • Barsalou, L. W. (1992). Frames, concepts, and conceptual fields. In A. Lehrer and E. Feder Kittay (Eds.), Frames, fields, and contrasts. New essays in semantic and lexical organization (pp. 21-74). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Beavers, J., Levin, B., and Tham, S. W. (2010). The typology of motion expressions revisited. Journal of Linguistics, 46, 331-377.

  • Carpenter, B. (1992). The logic of typed feature structures. With applications to unification grammars, logic programs and constraint resolution (Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science 32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Choi, S. and Bowerman, M. (1991). Learning to express motion events in English and Korean: The influence of language-specific lexicalization patterns. Cognition, 41(1-3), 83-121.

  • Fagard, B., Zlatev, J., Kopecka, A., Cerruti, M., and Blomberg, J. (2013). The expression of motion events: A quantitative study of six typologically varied languages. In M. Faytak, K. Neely, M. Goss, E. Donnelly, N. Baier, J. Heath, and J. Merrill (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, February 16–17, 2013 (pp. 364-379). Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/bls.v39i1.3893]

  • Fillmore, C. F. (1976). Frame semantics and the nature of language. In Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Volume 280. Origins and Evolution of Language and Speech, October 1976 (pp. 20-32). New York: New York Academy of Sciences. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1976.tb25467.x]

  • Fillmore, C. J., Lee-Goldman, R. R., and Rhodes, R. (2012). The FrameNet constructicon. In H. C. Boas, and I. A. Sag (Eds.), Sign-based construction grammar (pp. 321-372). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

  • Gamerschlag, T., Gerland, D., Osswald, R., and Petersen, W. (Eds.). (2014). Frames and concept types. Applications in language and philosophy (Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy 94). Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer.

  • Gawron, J. M. (2011). Frame semantics. In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger, and P. Portner (Eds.), Semantics. An international handbook of natural language meaning, Volume 1 (HSK 33.1) (pp. 664-687). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Gerwien, J. and Herweg, M. (2017). Aspectual class (under-)specification in the generation of motion event representations – A project outline. Working Paper, HUPLC – Heidelberg Papers on Language and Cognition 2017(1). Heidelberg University Language and Cognition Lab. [DOI: dx.doi.org/10.11588/huplc.2017.0.37820]

  • Gerwien, J. and von Stutterheim, C. (2016). Grammatical constraints on event packaging and potential effects on the segmentation of the perceptual stream. Motion events in language and cognition under a cross-linguistic perspective. Paper presented at the Workshop “Events in Language and Cognition – 2016”, Gainesville, FL, March 2nd, 2016.

  • Gerwien, J. and von Stutterheim, C. (2018). Event segmentation: Cross-linguistic differences in verbal and non-verbal tasks. Cognition, 180, 225-237.

  • Goldberg, A. E. (1995). Constructions. A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

  • Habel, C. (1989). zwischen-Bericht [Report on between]. In C. Habel, M. Herweg, and K. Rehkämper (Eds.), Raumkonzepte in Verstehensprozessen. Interdisziplinäre Beiträge zu Sprache und Raum [Spatial concepts in processes of understanding. interdisciplinary contributions to language and space] (pp. 37-69). Tübingen: Niemeyer.

  • Herweg, M. (2014). Spatio-temporal modification and the determination of aspect: A phase-theoretical account. In D. Gerland, C. Horn, A. Latrouite, and A. Ortmann (Eds.), Meaning and grammar of nouns and verbs. Studies in language and cognition 1 (pp. 185-222). Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press.

  • Herweg, M. (in prep.). Towards modelling interpretation preferences in frame semantics. Weight assignment and propagation in FAMEu. Working Paper, Heidelberg University Language and Cognition (HULC) Lab. [draft version on ResearchGate: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.12133.91367]

  • Hickmann, M. (2006). The relativity of motion in first language acquisition. In M. Hickman and S. Robert (Eds.). Space in languages: Linguistic systems and cognitive categories (pp. 281-308). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Hickmann, M., Bonnet, P., and Taranne, P. (2009). Motion in first language acquisition: manner and path in French and English. Journal of Child Language, 36(4), 705-741.

  • Ji, Y., Hendriks, H., and Hickmann, M. (2011). How children express caused motion events in Chinese and English: Universal and language-specific influences. Lingua, 121, 1796-1819.

  • Kallmeyer, L. and Osswald, R. (2013). Syntax-driven semantic frame composition in lexicalized tree-adjoining grammars. Journal of Language Modelling, 1(2), 267-330.

  • Kallmeyer, L., Osswald, R., and Pogodalla, S. (2016). For-adverbials and aspectual interpretation: An LTAG analysis using hybrid logic and frame semantics. In C. Piñón (Ed.), Empirical issues in syntax and semantics 11 (pp. 61-90). Paris: CSSP.

  • Kann, C. and Inderelst, L. (2018). Gibt es eine einheitliche Frame-Konzeption? Historischsystematische Perspektiven [Is there a uniform frame concept? Historical-systematic perspectives]. In A. Ziem, L. Inderelst, and D. Wulf (Eds.), Frames interdisziplinär. Modelle, Anwendungsfelder, Methoden [Frames interdisciplinary. Models, fields of application, methods] (pp. 25-68). Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press.

  • Kessakul, R. (2001). Two faces of linguistic encoding in Thai motion events: Evidence from Thai spoken narrative discourse compared with Japanese. In G. W. Thurgood (Ed.), Papers from the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (pp. 73-90). Arizona State University, Program for Southeast Asian Studies.

  • Kessakul, R. (2005). The semantic structure of motion expressions in Thai. (Doctoral dissertation). Tokyo University.

  • Kopecka, A. (2009). L’expression du déplacement en français: l’interaction des facteurs sémantiques, aspectuels et pragmatiques dans la construction du sens spatial [The expression of displacement in French: the interaction of semantic, aspectual and pragmatic factors in the construction of spatial meaning]. Langages, 173, 54-77.

  • Lang, E. (1989). The semantics of dimensional designation of spatial objects. In M. Bierwisch and E. Lang (Eds.), Dimensional adjectives: Grammatical structure and conceptual interpretation (pp. 263-417). Berlin et al.: Springer-Verlag.

  • Langacker, R. W. (2013). Essentials of cognitive grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Lee, S. (1992). The syntax and semantics of serial verb constructions. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Washington.

  • Löbner, S. (2011). Dual oppositions in lexical meaning. In C. Maienborn, K. von Heusinger, and P. Portner (Eds.), Semantics. An international handbook of natural language meaning, Volume 1 (HSK 33.1) (pp. 479-506). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Löbner, S. (2013). Understanding semantics. London, New York: Routledge.

  • Löbner, S. (2014). Evidence for frames from human language. In T. Gamerschlag, D. Gerland, R. Osswald, and W. Petersen (Eds.), Frames and concept types. Applications in language and philosophy (pp. 23-67). Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

  • Löbner, S. (2017). Frame theory and first-order comparators: Modeling the lexical meaning of punctual verbs of change with frames. In H. H. Hansen, S. Murray, M. Sadrzadeh, and H. Zeevat (Eds.), 11th International Tbilisi Symposium on Logic, Language, and Computation, TbiLLC 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia, September 21-26, 2015, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 98-117). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

  • Löbner, S. (2018). Barsalou-Frames in Wort- und Satzsemantik [Barsalou-frames in word and sentence semantics]. In S. Engelberg, H. Lobin, K. Steyer, and S. Wolfer (Eds.), Wortschätze. Dynamik, Muster, Komplexität [Vocabularies. Dynamics, patterns, complexity] (Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Jahrbuch 2017) (pp. 189-212). Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter.

  • Louie, M. and Ruangjaroon, S. (2020). Goal-of motion readings in Thai directional serial verbs. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 18(1), 69-113.

  • Maienborn, C. (1990). Position und Bewegung: Zur Semantik lokaler Verben [Position and movement: On the semantics of local verbs.]. IWBS-Report Nr.138, IBM Stuttgart.

  • Matsumoto, Y., Akita, K., and Takahashi, K. (2017). The functional nature of deictic verbs and the coding patterns of deixis. An experimental study in English, Japanese, and Thai. I. Ibarretxe-Antuñano (Ed.), Motion and space across languages: Theory and applications (Human Cognitive Processing 59) (pp. 95-122). Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

  • Petersen, W. (2015). Representation of concepts as frames. In T. Gamerschlag, D. Gerland, R. Osswald, and W. Petersen (Eds.), Meaning, frames, and conceptual representation. Studies in language and cognition (pp. 43-67). Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press.

  • Pourcel, S. and Kopecka, A. (2005). Motion expression in French: Typological diversity. Durham and Newcastle working papers in linguistics, 11, 139-153.

  • Pyoun, J. Y. (2011). The Syntax and semantics of Korean serial verb constructions: A corpus-based analysis. (Master’s thesis). San Diego State University. [URL: hdl.handle.net/10211.10/1378]

  • Ruppenhofer, J., Ellsworth, M., Petruck, M. R. L., Johnson, C. R., Baker, C. F., and Scheffczyk, J. (2016). FrameNet II: Extended theory and practice (Revised November 1, 2016). [https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/the_book]

  • Slobin, D. I. (1996). Two ways to travel: Verbs of motion in English and Spanish. In M. Shibatani and S. A. Thompson (Eds.), Grammatical constructions. Their form and meaning (pp. 195-219). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Slobin, D. I. (2004). The many ways to search for a frog: linguistic typology and the expression of motion events. In S. Strömqvist and L. Verhoeven (Eds.), Relating events in narratives. Vol. 2: Typological and contextual perspectives (pp. 219-257). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Smith, C. S. (1991). The Parameter of aspect. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Son, M. (2006). Directed motion and non-predicative path P in Korean. In P. Svenonius (Ed.), Tromsø Working Papers in Linguistics: Nordlyd, 33(2). Special Issue on Adpositions (pp. 176-199). Tromsø: CASTL.

  • Sudmuk, C. (2005). The syntax and semantics of serial verb constructions in Thai. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Texas at Austin.

  • Takahashi, K. (1998). Verbs for global locomotory body motion in Thai. In B. Caron (Ed.), Proceedings of the XVIth International Congress of Linguistics (ICL ‘97), Paris, 20-25 July 1997. New York, N.Y.: Pergamon. [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255593296_VERBS_FOR_GLOBAL_LOCOMOTORY_BODY_MOTION_IN_THAI]

  • Takahashi, K. (2009). Thai motion event expressions – a literature review. In M. Minegishi, K. Thepkanjana, W. Aroonmanakum, and M. Endo (Eds.), Proceedings of the Chulalongkorn-Japan Linguistics Symposium (pp. 29-43). Tokyo: CbLLE, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. [http://labo.kuis.ac.jp/private/kiyoko/CJ09.pdf]

  • Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. Two Volumes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Talmy, L. (2012). Main verb properties. International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics, 3(1), 1-24.

  • Wienold, G. and Schwarze, C. (2002). The lexicalization of movement concepts in French, Italian, Japanese and Korean: Towards a realistic typology. Arbeitspapier 112, Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Konstanz, October 2002.

  • Wunderlich, D. and Herweg, M. (1991). Lokale und Direktionale [Local and directional expressions]. In A. von Stechow and D. Wunderlich (Eds.), Semantik – ein internationales Handbuch der zeitgenössischen Forschung [Semantics – An International Handbook of Contemporary Research] (pp. 758–785). Berlin, New York: de Gruyter.

  • Zinova, Y. and Osswald, R. (2014). The composition of aspect and path in Russian motion expressions. (Slides). Chronos 11, 11th International Conference on Actionality, Tense, Aspect, Modality/Evidentiality. 16-18 June, 2014, Pisa. [www.academia.edu/7382781/The_composition_of_aspect_and_path_in_Russian_motion_expressions]

  • Zlatev, J. and Yangklang, P. (2004). A third way to travel: The place of Thai in motion event typology. In S. Strömqvist and L. Verhoeven (Eds.), Relating events in narratives. Vol. 2: Typological and contextual perspectives (pp. 159-190). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Zubizarreta, M. L. and Oh, E. (2007). On the syntactic composition of manner and motion (Linguistic Inquiry Monographs 48). Cambridge, London: The MIT Press.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search