Publication details [#19628941]

Du, Jing, Fuyin Thomas Li, Yanlei Ge and Jinkai Zhang. 2023. Separation events in Mandarin, Russian and Korean: A crosslinguistic event-categorization study. Review of Cognitive Linguistics 21 (2) : 377–410.
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Crosslinguistic studies on motion events have revealed that S-languages demonstrate finer-grained lexical categories than V-languages in representing motion manners/gaits. But these studies were restricted to the semantic domain of motion events and confined to a limited number of S- or V- languages. In this paper, we further investigate whether the association between lexical diversity and language typology is manifest in a similar way in the semantic domain of separation events by focusing on Mandarin, Russian and Korean. Our results suggest that: (1) Separation expressions support the diversity-typology correlation proved in motion expressions because the two S-languages Mandarin and Russian demonstrate richer lexical diversity than the V-language Korean; (2) It is further pointed out that apart from language typology, lexical diversity is influenced by multiple factors including lexical resources, conceptual salience, event construal, and event type; (3) Though typologically different, these three languages, in their lexical naming of separation events, are constrained by the biomechanical structure and follow the principle of prototypicality. Overall, this study opens up a new crosslinguistic perspective by showing how lexical diversity is typologically and linguistically driven.