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Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John

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Metaphor meets typology: Ways of moving metaphorically in English and Turkish

Şeyda Özçalişkan1


Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics. Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 207–246, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: 10.1515/cogl.2005.16.1.207, July 2005

Publication History

17 October 2001
22 December 2003
Published Online:


Earlier work on literal motion has shown that English and Turkish belong to typologically distinct classes of languages, with English speakers paying greater linguistic attention to the manner dimension of motion events (e.g., Özçalişkan and Slobin 1999a, 2003). As a further step, this article investigates whether typological differences hold true for the metaphorical extensions of motion events. Thus, the article compares two types of languages with regard to their lexicalization patterns in encoding metaphorical motion events: (1) verb-framed languages (or V-languages, represented by Turkish), in which the preferred pattern for framing motion events is the use of a path verb with an optional manner adjunct (e.g., enter running), and (2) satellite-framed languages (S-languages, represented by English), in which path is lexicalized in an element associated with the verb, leaving the verb free to encode manner (e.g., run in). The analysis of written texts and elicited responses in the two languages shows clear typological contrast, with English speakers encoding manner of motion in their metaphorical descriptions more frequently and extensively than Turkish speakers, using a variety of linguistic devices (e.g., verbs, adverbials). Overall, the results indicate that the degree of codability of a semantic dimension in a lexical item (i.e., motion verb) has a spillover effect on the choice of other lexical items in a sentence, suggesting the conceptual salience of this dimension for its speakers. This effect is observable in both the literal and the metaphorical uses of the lexicon.

Keywords: motion events; metaphorical motion; verb-framed typology; satellite-framed typology; manner of motion

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