Visualization and conceptual metaphor as tools for the teaching of abstract motion in German
The case study explores German examples of metaphorical motion events as in (1) einen Text ins Deutsche übersetzen (‘to translate a text into German’) or (2) Er war bei uns über die Feiertage (‘He was with us over (during) the holidays’) in the wider context of verb-framed and satellite-framed languages (Slobin, 1996, 2000; Talmy, 1985). Starting from a general description of the components of motion events (Talmy, 1985) the examples help illustrate the German preferences in the lexicalization of such motion events and also concretize the challenges for the learning tasks of foreign language learners related to the German case-marking. Traditionally, German case-marking constitutes one of the major difficulties for foreign learners, especially in expressions of abstract motion events in which so-called “two-way prepositions” (Smith, 1995) can be used. The learner has to make a decision of whether to use an accusative (for the expression of a dynamic motion event with a path and a goal) or a dative (for the expression of a location) according to the meaning conveyed. The empirical study conducted with intermediate French-speaking students of German shows that the teaching of German motion events with their case-alternation can be facilitated by a methodology which deals with language-specific concepts (Boers & Lindstromberg, 2008), visualization (Paivio, 2001) and metaphor (Littlemore & Low, 2006). The visual support may offer the basis for a potential link with underlying conceptual metaphors (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), e.g. abstract is concrete or knowing is seeing. Spatial distinctions such as those between containers and surfaces are extended to more abstract areas of experience, especially in the context of situations describing abstract changes. Here one of the main issues for the learner is to find out whether the abstract goal is conceptualized as a container, a surface or still another basic spatial relation.
Keywords: dual coding, case alternation, visualization, metaphor, French, German, language typology, motion event, foreign language learners, morpho-syntax, dative/accusative
Published online: 23 June 2015
Barcelona, A., & Ruiz de Mendoza, F.J.
Beréndi, M., Csábi, S., & Kövecses, Z.
Boers, F., Deconinck, J., & Lindstromberg, S.
Boers, F., & Demecheleer, M.
Boers, F., & Lindstromberg, S.
Brüning, L., & Saum, T.
Cienki, A., & Müller, C.
Cortazzi M., & Jin, L.
Deignan, A., Gabrys, D., & Solska, A.
De Knop, S., Dirven, R., & Smieja, B.
De Knop, S., Boers, F., & De Rycker, A.
Di Meola, C.
Evans, V., & Tyler, A.
Gibbs, R.W., & Perlman, M.
(2006) The contested impact of cognitive linguistics research on the psycholinguistics of metaphor understanding. In G. Kristiansen, M. Achard, R. Dirven, & F.J. Ruiz de Mendoza (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistics: Current applications, future orientations (pp. 211–228). Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Godfroid, A., Boers, F., & Housen, A.
Huette, S., Winter, B., Matlock, T., & Spivey, M.
Lemmens, M., & Perrez, J.
Littlemore, J., & Low, G.
(2005) Linguistic relativity in cognitive processes. Manuscript presented at 1st UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference: New Directions in Cognitive Linguistics , University of Sussex, October 2005.
Pourcel, S., & Kopecka, A.
Shires Golon, A.
(1987) The semantics of dative and accusative in German: An investigation in cognitive grammar. Ph.D. diss., Department of Linguistics, University of California at San Diego.
(1993) Cases as conceptual categories: Evidence from German. In R.A. Geiger & B. Rudzka-Ostyn (Eds.), Conceptualizations and mental processing in language: A selection of papers from the First International Cognitive Linguistics Conference in Duisburg, 1989 (pp. 531–565). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
van Noppen, J.-P., De Knop, S., & Jongen, R.
van Noppen, J.-P., & Hols, E.
Verspoor, M., & Boers, F.
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.