In German a positional verb is frequently used to describe spatial relations. The verb is chosen from an alternate set to encode the orientation and disposition of the located object. On a German breakfast table, for example, the bread and the knife are 'lying' while the plates and
jam are 'standing'. For a non-native German speaker this kind of categorization often remains very confusing, especially when the speaker's mother tongue does not encode posture at all when giving a local statement. This paper will look at German positional verbs from an acquisition perspective.
Drawing on elicited speech production data it will be shown that German hängen 'to hang' is the first systematically used positional verb and is indeed so in both first and second language acquistion.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2011
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