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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 19, 2018

The encoding of motion events in football and cycling live text commentary: A corpus linguistic analysis

  • Simon Meier EMAIL logo and Martin Thiering


Based on large annotated corpora of German live commentary reports on football games and cycling races, this paper analyses the varying linguistic means of encoding motion from the perspective of cognitive semantics. We start from the observation that in football adpositional constructions in the accusative case with directional meaning prevail, e.g. in den Strafraum (‘into the box’). As opposed to football, in cycling text commentaries motion tends to be encoded by adpositional constructions in the dative case with locative meaning, e.g. an der Spitze des Hauptfeldes (‘at the top of the peloton’). We argue that in cycle racing motion is usually profiled as position. These findings can be explained with regard to the different perspectives taken by the camera that allow the spectators to take vectorial, hodological or birds-eye-perspectives on the actual event. Hence, the conveyed images induce different viewing arrangements as is known from cognitive semantics’ stage analogy. These arrangements are reflected linguistically in specific construals presenting the ways of conceiving the various frames of moving actors in football games and cycling races.

Published Online: 2018-1-19
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2018 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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