An empirically based comparison between English, German and Greek
Drawing upon recent insights into the role of Goal preference as reflector of cross-linguistic differences, this paper investigates the factors affecting the realization of Goals in motion event descriptions. In particular, it examines the interplay between the lexicalization pattern of a language, on the one hand, and grammatical viewpoint aspect, on the other – factors which have commonly been treated in isolation. In so doing, three typologically distinct languages were examined: English, German and Greek. The empirical basis of this paper includes: (a) a corpus study, in which we examined the distribution of Goals in a small set of verbs, and (b) an experimental verbalization study, from which we elicited descriptions of different motion event types. While the former does not give a clear picture concerning the cross-linguistic differences in Goal prominence, the latter indicates that lexicalization pattern assumes a more prominent role than grammatical viewpoint aspect in affecting Goal realization.
Keywords: Goals of motion, lexicalization patterns, grammatical viewpoint aspect, corpus data, language production, English/German/Greek
Published online: 10 September 2018
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