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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2021

2 A cross-linguistic survey of Associated Motion and Directionals

From the book Associated Motion
Daniel Ross


This chapter investigates the morphological expression of Associated Motion (AM) and Directionals from a broad typological perspective based on a balanced sample of 325 languages worldwide. Directionals are found in about one-third of the languages surveyed, whereas AM is found in about one-fourth, in some cases beyond the traditional areas for research on these phenomena, and often based on very different descriptive traditions and terminology. It is determined that, although the distributions of AM and Directionals overlap, they represent distinct grammatical categories. Typically, Directionals combine with lexical motion verbs to specify path, whereas AM contributes motion to nonmotion verbs. The main parameters of variation for AM are the moving argument (most often subject, alternatively object), and the temporal relationship of the motion to predicate (before, during or after). Prior AM is found to be the most common type, followed by Concurrent and Subsequent. Typological generalizations are presented based on the data, and challenging cases are discussed in detail, as well as implications for continued research.

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