Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association
Editor-in-Chief: Stefanowitsch, Anatol / Schoenefeld, Doris
1 Issue per year
Beyond conflation patterns: The encoding of motion events in Kiezdeutsch
In the domain of motion event encoding, many of the world’s languages fall into one of two types: verb-framed (the path is encoded in the verb) or satellite-framed (the path is encoded outside the verb in a prefix, particle or adverbial while the verb contains information about the manner of movement). A number of studies have investigated the language usage of bilingual speakers or language learners to find evidence of a transfer of the typological pattern of the dominant/native language to the non-dominant/foreign language. These studies have largely failed to show evidence of a straightforward transfer, although more subtle effects on usage have occasionally been observed. In this paper, we report the results of a corpus study comparing two groups of speakers of the urban German ethnolect “Kiezdeutsch”: one with a monolingual German background and one with a bilingual Turkish-German background. We find no significant differences in their preference for path or manner verbs, which is consistent with other studies. However, in comparison with the monolingual German group, the Turkish-German group prefer semantically light motion verbs and they avoid the combination of manner verbs with path satellites. This is consistent with the fact that the analogous construction is ungrammatical in verb-framed languages like Turkish. In other words, we find variation within “Kiezdeutsch” that can be explained by a transfer of usage preferences from the background language.