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STUF - Language Typology and Universals

Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung

Editor-in-Chief: Stolz, Thomas

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Volume 70, Issue 4


Within-type variation in Satellite-framed languages: The case of Serbian

Benjamin Fagard / Dejan Stosic
  • Department of Language Sciences, University Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, 5, allée Antonio Machado, 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9, France
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/ Massimo Cerruti
Published Online: 2017-10-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2017-0027


After a wealth of studies on motion event descriptions, it seems hard to say something new: the Verb-framed/Satellite-framed typology proposed by Talmy has spawned a long debate. Among other things, previous work has shown within-type variation for one of the two language types defined by Talmy, namely Verb-framed languages. In this paper, we address this debate, showing within-type variation for the other type, Satellite-framed languages, with new data elicited from native speakers of Serbian. In order to do so, we compare it with five other languages, from three Indo-European language families (Romance, Germanic and Slavic). Our data show that Serbian is a particularly interesting case, since it is structurally Satellite-framed, but behaves like Verb-framed languages in that speakers do not always express manner and path jointly (i.e. manner in the verb and path in the satellite), as expected on the basis of Talmy’s typology. The main result of our paper is thus that there is a good deal of within-type variation for both language types identified by Talmy.

Keywords: Verb-framed typology; Satellite-framed typology; motion event description; Serbian


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-10-20

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: STUF - Language Typology and Universals, Volume 70, Issue 4, Pages 637–660, ISSN (Online) 2196-7148, ISSN (Print) 1867-8319, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2017-0027.

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