Chapter published in:Broader Perspectives on Motion Event Descriptions
Edited by Yo Matsumoto and Kazuhiro Kawachi
[Human Cognitive Processing 69] 2020
► pp. 63–104
Patterns of path encoding in German
This chapter proposes a classification of path encoding in motion events in German. It expands the framework that I developed for analyzing motion events in a narrow sense (Meex 2004) to motion events from a broader perspective including deictic, causative, and fictive motion. The chapter aims to deepen our understanding of how the conceptual components at the core of German motion event descriptions, viz. motion, direction, source-path-goal, manner, and cause, correlate and interact with the conceptual categories of deixis, aspect, and case. The analysis reveals seven path coding types, viz. source, intended goal, path of incomplete traversal, path of complete traversal, boundary traversing path, achieved goal, and trajective, depending on the aspectual framing (i.e. summativity, plexity, boundedness, mutativity) of the motion event. Systematic patterns of co-occurrence of these aspectual elements in the motion scene are described and their combination with specific lexical (e.g. deictic expressions) and morphosyntactic (e.g. inflectional case marking on the noun) categories are examined to support the analysis. It will also be shown that apart from a few exceptions, self-motion, caused motion, and fictive motion are compatible with all seven path coding types discussed, showing that German uses event-type neutral path expressions.
Keywords: aspect, case, caused motion, deixis, fictive motion
Published online: 11 August 2020
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