Chapter published in:Space in Diachrony
Edited by Silvia Luraghi, Tatiana Nikitina and Chiara Zanchi
[Studies in Language Companion Series 188] 2017
► pp. 41–66
Overlaps in spatial encodings
Evidence from the Indo-European translations of the New Testament
This paper is a contrastive study of spatial encodings in the Greek manuscript of the New Testament and their parallels in Latin, Gothic, Classical Armenian and Old Church Slavic. Our data comes from the PROIEL corpus (University of Oslo). We take a strictly data-driven approach in this study and examine not only language-internal overlaps, but also cases where the five languages choose different strategies, e.g. where one or more languages select an ablative or perlative marker in a context where the rest of the languages use a locative marker. We find evidence for several types of overlaps among these counterparts: ablative-locative, locative-perlative and ablative-perlative (rare). The results show that these overlaps exist due to differences in perspectives from which a situation can be viewed. Prepositional phrases that deal with proximity or specify allative meanings, e.g. notions ‘behind/beyond’ and ‘in front of/before’ appear to be salient in these cases of overlap. Our contrastive approach to prepositional interactions reveals transitional zones between spatial notions which cannot be detected by a language-internal analysis. We see these zones as potential bridging contexts that may ease the semantic extension of spatial markers diachronically.
Keywords: spatial language, Source, Path, Goal, Location, Ancient Greek, Latin, Gothic, Classical Armenian, Old Church Slavic
Published online: 14 August 2017
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