Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

4 Issues per year

Folia Linguistica
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.324
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.616

CiteScore 2017: 0.55

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.349
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.093

Folia Linguistica Historica
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.529
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.525

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 49, Issue 2


Going beyond motion events typology: The case of Basque as a verb-framed language

Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano
  • Corresponding author
  • Departamento de Lingüística General e Hispánica, Universidad de Zaragoza, Pedro Cerbuna, 12 E-50009 Zaragoza, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-11-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2015-0012


The concept of motion is present in all the world’s languages. However, the ways in which speakers of different languages codify motion do not seem to be so universal. Languages offer different types of structures to express motion, and speakers pay attention to different elements within the motion event. The goal of this paper is to examine in great detail how motion events are described and expressed in Basque oral and written narratives. This study focuses on three main areas: motion verbs, elaboration of Manner and elaboration of Path. Although Basque can be classified in Talmy’s terms as a verb-framed language, it is argued that it is not a prototypical example of this group with respect to the lexicalisation of Path. Unlike other verb-framed languages, the description of Path in Basque motion events is very frequent and detailed, not only in situations when it adds new information, but also in pleonastic cases. This characteristic seems to be related to Basque’s rich lexical resources for motion and space, as well as to its high tolerance for verb omission. On the basis of these data, the scope of Talmy’s binary typology is questioned. It is suggested that the verb- and satellite-framed language typology should be revised in order to account for these intra-typological differences.

Keywords: motion events; lexicalisation patterns; Basque; Path; Manner; intra-typology; path salience


  • Akita, Kimi & Yo Matsumoto. Manner salience revisited: Evidence from two Japanese-English contrastive experiments. Osaka University & Kobe University.

  • Aksu-Koç, Ayhan A. 1994. Development of linguistic forms: Turkish. In Ruth Berman & Dan I. Slobin (eds.), Relating events in narrative: A crosslinguistic, developmental study, 328–385. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Amundarain, Iñaki. 2002. Juntadura eta elipsia euskaraz [Coordination and ellipsis in Basque]. Vitoria-Gasteiz: University of the Basque Country dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Amundarain, Iñaki 2003. Coordination. In José Ignacio Hualde & Jon Ortizde Urbina (eds.), A grammar of Basque, 844–892. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Aurnague, Michel. 2001. Entités et relations dans les descriptions spatiales: L’espace et son expression en basque et en francais. Toulouse: Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail, CLLE-ERSS.Google Scholar

  • Azkarate Villar, Miren. 1990. Hitz elkartuak euskaraz [Compound words in Basque]. Donostia: Mundaiz.Google Scholar

  • Azkue, Resurrección María de. 1923–25. Morfología vasca. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.Google Scholar

  • Beavers, John, Beth Levin & Shiao-Wei Tham. 2010. The typology of motion expressions revisited. Journal of Linguistics 44. 183–316.Google Scholar

  • Berman, Ruth A. & Dan I. Slobin. 1994. Relating events in narrative: A crosslinguistic, developmental study. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Bostak Bat. 1996. Diccionario Hiru Mila Hiztegia. Adorez 7 [Hiru Mila dictionary]. Bilbo: Bostak Bat.Google Scholar

  • Bohnemeyer, Jürgen, Nick Enfield, James Essegbey, Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Sotaro Kita, Friederike Lüpke & Felix K. Ameka. 2007. Principles of event segmentation in language: The case of motion events. Language 83(3). 495–532.Google Scholar

  • Childs, G. Tucker. 2003. An introduction to African languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Croft, William, Jóhanna Barddal, Willem Hollmann, Violeta Sotirova & Chiaki Taoka. 2010. Revisiting Talmy’s typological classification of complex events. In Hans Boas (ed.), Contrastive studies in construction grammar, 201–236. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • de Rijk, Rudolf P. G. 1990. Location nouns in standard Basque. ASJU-International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology 24(1). 3–20.Google Scholar

  • de Rijk, Rudolf P. G. 1995. Basque manner adverbs and their genesis. ASJU-International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology 29. 53–82.Google Scholar

  • de Rijk, Rudolf P. G. 2008. Standard Basque: A progressive grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Etxepare, Ricardo. 2003. Valency and argument structure in the Basque verb. In José Ignacio Hualde & Jon Ortizde Urbina (eds.), A grammar of Basque, 363–425. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Euskaltzaindia. 1991. Euskal Gramatika: Lehen Urratsak I-II [Basque grammar: First steps I-II]. Iruñea: Euskaltzaindia.Google Scholar

  • Euskaltzaindia. 1997. Hitz-elkarketa [Word compounding]. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.Google Scholar

  • Filipović, Luna. 2011. Speaking and remembering in one or two languages: Bilingual vs. monolingual lexicalization and memory for motion events. International Journal of Bilingualism 15(4). 466–485.Google Scholar

  • Filipović, Luna & Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano. 2015. Motion. In Ewa Dabrowska & Dagmar Divjak (eds.), Mouton handbook of cognitive linguistics, 526–545. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Garai, Koldo J. & Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano. 2002. From X to Y: The ‘Complete Path’ construction in Basque. Odense Working Papers in Language and Communication 23. 289–311.Google Scholar

  • Gastañaga, L.G. 1977. Gapping Basque constituents. In William Douglass, Robert Etulain & William Jacobsen (eds.), Anglo-American contributions to Basque Studies: Essays in honor of Jon Bilbao, 169–175. Reno: Desert Research.Google Scholar

  • Guo, Jiansheng, Elena Lieven, Nancy Budwig, Susan Ervin-Tripp, Keiko Nakamura & Şeyda Özçalışkan (eds.). 2009. Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar

  • Hamano, Shoko. 1998. The sound-symbolic system of Japanese. Stanford: CLSI Publications.Google Scholar

  • Hijazo-Gascón, Alberto & Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano. 2013. Las lenguas románicas y los eventos de movimiento. Romanische Forschungen 125(4). 467–494.Google Scholar

  • Hinton, Leanne, Johanna Nichols & John Ohala. 1994. Sound symbolism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Hualde, José Ignacio. 2003a. Derivation. In José Ignacio Hualde & Jon Ortiz de Urbina (eds.), A grammar of Basque, 328–351. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hualde, Jose Ignacio. 2003b. Adverbs. In José Ignacio Hualde & Jon Ortiz de Urbina (eds.), A grammar of Basque, 190–195. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hualde, José Ignacio & Jon Ortiz de Urbina (eds.). 2003. A grammar of Basque. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2001. An overview of Basque locational cases: Old descriptions, new approaches. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Department of Linguistics, International Computer Science Institute Technical Report No. 01–006.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2003. What translation tells us about motion: A contrastive study of typologically different languages. International Journal of English Studies 3(2). 153–178.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2004a. Motion events in Basque narratives. In Sven Strömqvist & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.), Relating events in earrative; Typological and contextual perspectives, 89–112. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2004b. Language typologies in our language use: The case of Basque motion events in adult oral narratives. Cognitive Linguistics 15(3). 317–349.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2004c. Motion events in second language acquisition: Spanish and Basque. Paper presented at the EUROSLA Conference, University of the Basque Country, Donostia-San Sebastián, 8–11 September.

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2005. Polysemy in Basque locational cases. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 18. 271–298.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2006a. Euskal onomatopeien hiztegia: Euskara-Ingelesera-Gaztelera[A Dictionary of Basque sound symbolic words: Basque-English-Spanish]. Donostia: Gaiak.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2006b. Sound symbolism and motion in Basque. München: Lincom Europa.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2009a. Lexicalisation patterns and sound symbolism in Basque. In Javier Valenzuela, Ana Rojo & Cristina Soriano (eds.), Trends in cognitive linguistics: Theoretical and applied models, 239–254. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2009b. Path salience in motion events. In Jiansheng Guo, Elena Lieven, Nancy Budwig, Susan Ervin-Tripp, Keiko Nakamura & Şeyda Özçalışkan (eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin, 403–414. New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2011. Aportaciones de la tipología semántica a la lingüística vasco-románica. Oihenart: Cuadernos de Lengua y Literatura 26. 299–315.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. 2012. Análisis lingüístico de las onomatopeyas vascas. Oihenart: Cuadernos de Lengua y Literatura 27. 129–176.Google Scholar

  • Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide. In press. Basque ideophones from a typological perspective. Canadian Journal of Linguistics.

  • Kakehi, Hisao, Ikuriko Tamori & Lawrence Schourup. 1996. Dictionary of iconic expressions in Japanese. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Kita, Sotaro. 1997. Two-dimensional semantic analysis of Japanese mimetics. Linguistics 35. 379–415.Google Scholar

  • Kunene, Daniel P. 1978. The ideophone in Southern Sotho. Berlin: Verlag von Dietrich Reimer.Google Scholar

  • Laka, Itziar. 1996. A brief grammar of Euskara, The Basque language. Leioa-Donostia, Spain: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Office of the Vice-Rector for the Basque Language.Google Scholar

  • Lappin, Shalom. 1996. The interpretation of ellipsis. In Shalom Lappin (ed.), The handbook of contemporary semantic theory, 145–175. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C., Sérgio Meira & the Language and Cognition Group. 2003. ‘Natural concepts’ in the spatial topological domain – adpositional meanings in cross-linguistic perspective: An exercise in semantic typology. Language 79(3). 485–516.Google Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C. & David Wilkins. 2006. Grammars of space. Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Lobeck, Anne. 1995. Ellipsis: Functional heads, licensing, and identification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • McNeill, David. 2000. Analogic/analytic representations and cross-linguistic differences in thinking for speaking. Cognitive Linguistics 11. 43–60.Google Scholar

  • Mayer, Mercer. 1969. Frog, where are you? New York: Dial Press.Google Scholar

  • Mugica, Luis María. 1978. Origen y desarrollo de la sufijación euskérica. Donostia: Ediciones Vascas.Google Scholar

  • Ohala, John. 1984. An ethological perspective on common cross-language utilization of F0 of voice. Phonetica 41. 1–16.Google Scholar

  • Ohara, Kyoko Hirose. 2003. Manner of motion in Japanese: Not every verb-framed language is poor in manner. Paper presented at the 8th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Universidad de La Rioja, Spain, 20–25 July.

  • Özçalışkan, Şeyda & Dan I. Slobin. 2003. Codability effects on the expression of manner of motion in Turkish and English. In A.S. Özsoy, D. Akar, M. Nakipoğlu-Demiralp, E. Erguvanlı-Taylan & A. Aksu-Koç (eds.), Studies in Turkish linguistics, 259–270. Istanbul: Boğaziçi University Press.Google Scholar

  • Pederson, Eric, Eve Danzinger, David Wilkins, Stephen C. Levinson, Sotaro Kita & Gunter Senft. 1998. Semantic typology and spatial conceptualisation. Language 74(3). 557–589.Google Scholar

  • Peillen, Txomin. 2001. Euskaldunen ingurugiroan (ezpazioa eta denbora) [In the Basques’ habitat (space and time)]. Zarautz: Dakit argitaldaria.Google Scholar

  • Ragnarsdóttir, Hrafnhildur & Sven Strömqvist. 2004. Time, space, and manner in Swedish and Icelandic. In Sven Strömqvist & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.), Relating events in narrative: Typological and contextual perspectives, 113–142. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Schaefer, R. P. 1986. Lexicalizing directional and nondirectional motion in Emai. Studies in African Linguistics 17(2). 177–198.Google Scholar

  • Schaefer, R. P. 1997. Toward a typology of directional motion for African languages. Studies in African Linguistics 26(2). 194–220.Google Scholar

  • Schaefer, R. P. 2001. Ideophonic adverbs and manner gaps in Emai. In F. K. Erhard Voeltz & Christa Kilian-Hatz (eds.), Ideophones, 339–354. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 1996a. From ‘thought and language’ to ‘thinking for speaking’. In J. John Gumperz & Stephen C. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity, 195–217. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 1996b. Two ways to travel: Verbs of motion in English and Spanish. In Masayoshi Shibatani & Sandra A. Thompson (eds.), Grammatical constructions: Their form and meaning, 195–317. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 1997. Mind, code, and text. In Joan Bybee, John Haiman & Sandra A. Thompson (eds.), Essays on language function and language type: Dedicated to Talmy. Givón, 437–467. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Slobin, Dan I. 1998. Coding of motion events in narrative texts. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Departments of Psychology and Linguistics.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 2000. Verbalized events: A dynamic approach to linguistic relativity and determinism. In Susanne Niemeier & René Dirven (eds.), Evidence for linguistic relativity, 107–138. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 2004. The many ways to search for a frog. In Sven Strömqvist & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.), Relating events in narrative. Typological and contextual perspectives, 219–257. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 2005. Relating narrative events in translation. In Dorin Diskin Ravid & Hava Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot (eds.), Perspectives on language and language development: Essays in honor of Ruth A. Berman, 115–129. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 2006. What makes manner of motion salient? Explorations in linguistic typology, discourse, and cognition. In Maya Hickmann & Stéphane Robert (eds.), Space in languages: Linguistic systems and cognitive categories, 59–81. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan I. 2008. Relations between paths of motion and paths of vision: A crosslinguistic and developmental exploration. In Virginia C. Mueller-Gathercole (ed.), Routes to language: Studies in honor of Melissa Bowerman, 197–221. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Snell-Hornby, Mary. 1983. Verb-descriptivity in German and English: A contrastive study in semantic fields. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag.Google Scholar

  • Strömqvist, Sven, Hrafnhildur Ragnarsdóttir, Olle Engstrand, Helga Jonsdóttir, Elizabeth Lanza, Matti Leiwo, Åsa Nordqvist, Ann Petøs, Kim Plunkett, Ulla Richtoff, Hanne G. Simonsen, Jorma Toivainen & Kirsti Toivainen. 1995. The interNordic study of language acquisition. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 18. 3–29.Google Scholar

  • Strömqvist, Sven & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.). 2004. Relating events in narrative: Typological and contextual perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Sujiyama, Yukiko. 2005. Not all verb-framed languages are created equal: The case of Japanese. Proceedings of the Thirty-First Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 31. 299–310.Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. 1985. Lexicalization patterns: Semantic structure in lexical forms. In Tim Shopen (ed.), Language typology and semantic description. Vol. 3: Grammatical categories and the lexicon, 36–149. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. 1991. Path to realization: A typology of event conflation. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 17. 480–519.Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. 2000. Toward a cognitive semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. Forthcoming. How language directs attention. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Trask, R. Larry. 1990. The -n class of verbs in Basque. Transactions of the Philological Society 88. 111–128.Google Scholar

  • Trask, R. Larry. 1997. The history of Basque. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Voeltz, F. K. Erhard & Christa Kilian-Hatz (eds.). 2001. Ideophones. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Wälchi, Bernhard & Michael Cysouw. 2012. Lexical typology through similarity semantics: Toward a semantic map of motion verbs. Linguistics 50(3). 671–710.Google Scholar

  • Wilkins, David. 2004. The verbalisation of motion events in Arrernte (Central Australia). InSven Strömqvist & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.), Relating events in narrative. Typological and contextual perspectives, 143–158. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, Peter. 2001. Ellipsis. In Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Ostman, Jan Blommaert & Chris Bulcaen (eds.), Handbook of pragmatics, 1–16. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Zamarripa, Pablo. 1913. Manual del Vascófilo. Bilbao: Wilsen Ed.Google Scholar

  • Zlatev, Jordan & Yangklang Peerapat. 2004. A third way to travel: The place of Thai in motion-event typology. In Sven Strömqvist & Ludo Verhoeven (eds.), Relating events in narrative. Typological and contextual perspectives, 159–190. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

About the article

Revised: 2011-09-15

Accepted: 2011-12-26

Revised: 2014-01-15

Accepted: 2014-12-22

Published Online: 2015-11-10

Published in Print: 2015-11-01

Funding: Financial support for the research presented in this paper has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (FFI2010-14903, FFI2013-45553-C3-1-P, MovEs project). I would also like to acknowledge the support and help I received from the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley (USA), the Institute of Human Development at University of California, Berkeley (USA) and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen (The Netherlands). Special thanks to Hubert Cuyckens for his careful reading and useful comments.

Citation Information: Folia Linguistica, Volume 49, Issue 2, Pages 307–352, ISSN (Online) 1614-7308, ISSN (Print) 0165-4004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2015-0012.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Mark Dingemanse
Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 2018, Volume 3, Number 1

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in