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Models of conflation patterns. Julie Manchester and Aous Mansouri. Talmy’s lexicalization patterns. Aspect: Incorporating “the pattern of distribution of action through time” within the verb root Causation: incorporating causative meaning within the verb root Motion Verbs:

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models of conflation patterns

Models of conflation patterns

Julie Manchester


Aous Mansouri

talmy s lexicalization patterns
Talmy’s lexicalization patterns


  • Incorporating “the pattern of distribution of action through time” within the verb root


  • incorporating causative meaning within the verb root

Motion Verbs:

  • incorporating movement or maintenance of a stationary location within the verb root
meaning surface form relations
Meaning-surface form relations

“What pressure?”

  • Deletion: at what (degree of) pressure?
  • Interpretation: what degree vs. degree of pressure
  • Lexicalization: the meaning component is in regular association with a particular morpheme, or more correctly, with a particular usage. (pressure2 = degree of pressure1)
semantic components related with motion events
Semantic components related with motion events
  • Figure: an object moving or located with respect to another object (reference point)
  • Ground: the reference point with which the Figure interacts
  • Path: the course followed or site occupied by the figure object with respect to the Ground
  • Motion: the presence per se in the event of motion or location
  • Manner: the type of motion
  • Cause: types of causation
language typologies
Language Typologies:
    • The verb-root expresses (conflates) both the fact of Motion and its Manner or Cause
    • Path can be expressed externally

Semantic to surface relationship can be represented as follows:


{move/be located}

<surface verbs>

motion manner cause
  • The mouse crept out of the hole
  • The girl tobogganed down the hill
  • The shirt hung on the clothes line
  • The shirt blew off the clothes line
language typologies1
Language Typologies:
  • Motion + Path:
    • The verb root expresses both the fact of motion and its Path
    • Manner or cause is usually independent and expressed adverbially or with a gerund construction


{move/be L }

<surface verbs>

motion path
Motion + Path
  • She circled the building
  • La botella saliÓde la cueva flotando

‘The bottle exited the cave floating’

  • صعدت أختي السلّم ركضاً

Şacadat uxti: assullama rakđan

‘My sister ascended the stairs running’

language typologies2
Language Typologies:
  • Motion + figure:
    • The verb root conflates both the fact of motion and the Figure.
    • Languages of this type have a large number of surface verbs that express various objects or materials as moving or located.



<surface verbs>

motion figure
Motion + figure
  • I spat into the cuspidor
  • /’-w-uh-sťaq’-ik.-a/

‘Runny icky material is located on the ground from its own

weight acting on it’ (Guts are lying on the ground)

  • /s-’-w-cu-sťaq’-cis.-a/

‘I caused it that runny icky material move into fire by acting on it with a linear object moving axially’ (I prodded the guts into the fire with a stick)


Implications of Relativity?

  • Cognitive function effects?
  • Greek cognitive experiments
  • Slobin and musings on “The Frog Story” experiments
typological constraints
Typological constraints
  • Languages aren’t necessarily restricted to their typologies—as evidenced by the English examples
  • So why would we choose a non manner verb if the option was there?
    • Background information
    • Awkward constructions
      • Gesture
  • Broad category of immediate constituents of a verb root (including participles, adverbs, affixes, prepositional phrases…etc) that express a component of the motion event scenario not contained within the meaning of the verb
  • Together with the verb, they form a “verb complex” that modifies a head
semantic material expressed by satellites
Semantic material expressed by satellites
  • Path
    • The majority of satellites used in English express Path
    • Often combined with a prepositional phrase
      • Which can be deleted

I ran out of the house.

(After rifling through the house,) I ran out

satellites v prepositional phrases
Satellites v Prepositional Phrases
  • In most Indo European languages they have two distinct forms
    • In Russian:
      • satellites are bound prefixally with the verb
      • prep accompanies the noun and governs its case

Ya v-bežal (v dom)

I in-ran (into house (ACC))

I ran in (-to the house)

Ya vy-bežal (iz doma)

I out-ran (out of house (GEN))

I ran out (of the house)

satellites v prepositional phrases1
Satellites v Prepositional Phrases
  • English can present more problems:
    • When Ground is omitted only satellite remains
    • The classes are often separate
      • Satellite: together/apart/forth
      • Prep Phrase: from/at/toward
      • Different senses for overlapping forms:
        • I went to the store
        • I came to
satellites v prepositional phrases2
Satellites v Prepositional Phrases
  • Stress
    • Satellites receive ‘heavy’ stress
    • Prepositional Phrases receive ‘light’ stress
      • I went tō him
      • I followed him ín
      • I went ín tō him
      • I went past him
semantic material expressed by satellites1
Semantic material expressed by satellites
  • Path + Ground:
    • Expresses Path and its Ground
      • She drove home (to her cottage)
      • The gate swung shut (across the entryway)
    • Atsugewi is noted as having fifty such satellites
      • ikn- over the rim into a volume enclosure (hole/mouth)
semantic material expressed by satellites2
Semantic material expressed by satellites
  • Patient: (Figure/) Ground
    • Rare but found in some noun-incorporating Amerindian languages (eg Caddo)
      • Nisah-nt-kay-watak-ah

‘house-penetrate/traverse past’

‘He house-traversed’

‘He went through the house’

semantic material expressed by satellites3
Semantic material expressed by satellites
  • Manner
    • Rare. Found extensively in Nez Perce
      • ququ ‘(animal) galloping/(human) galloping (on animal)
      • Hi-ququ-lahsa-e

‘He/she ascended galloping’

‘He/she galloped uphill’

semantic material expressed by satellites4
Semantic material expressed by Satellites
  • Cause
    • Traditionally seen as instrument, now seen to express entire casual event

Again we turn to Atsugewi:

      • cu- object in action

‘from a linear object acting axially on P’

      • ti- from the buttocks acting on P
semantic material expressed by satellites5
Semantic material expressed by Satellites
  • Aspect
    • Common among languages;

Often a mix with notions manner, quantity, intention…

      • Re/over – The record restarted/The record started over
semantic material expressed by satellites6
Semantic material expressed by Satellites
  • Valence
    • Signals switch in arguments – not a change in the number of arguments
      • I ran it through him (it = sword)
      • I ran him through it
some final thoughts
Some Final Thoughts…
  • Talmy concludes that languages are comparable in conveying information, but generally differ in the amount and type of information that can be expressed in a background way
some final thoughts1
Some Final Thoughts…
  • The man ran back down into the cellar

More “information-packed” than the Motion + Path languages could convey

  • Similar instance with English and Atsugewi

(it) – from-wind-blowing – icky-matter-moved – into-liquid Factual

[cause……………..] [Figure…………..] Path+ Ground

‘It blew in’