Edited by Victoria Hasko and Renee Perelmutter
[Studies in Language Companion Series 115] 2010
► pp. 315–341
Chapter 13. Aquamotion verbs in Slavic and Germanic
A case study in lexical typology
The paper contrasts the verbs plyt’/plavat’ in Russian and plynac/plywac in Polish with their correspondences in Dutch, English and Swedish against a broader typological background. The three Germanic languages use several verbs for what is covered by a pair of derivationally related verbs in each of the two Slavic languages. The Germanic languages lexicalize the activity/passivity of motion, but vary considerably as to how they carve up the conceptual space. Russian and Polish, on the other hand, use plavat’/plyt’ independently of the activity/passivity of motion and focus on the uni- or non-unidirectionality of the motion. Nonetheless, it appears that the different lexicalizations in the Swedish-English-Dutch systems of aquamotion verbs are reflected in constructional differences in the Russian-Polish systems.
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