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Serializing languages as satellite-framed

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Languages expressing motion events through serial verb constructions are categorized in various ways according to the typology of motion events. This paper challenges the typological classification of serializing languages by proposing that a serializing language like Fon is better analyzed as a satellite-framed language, lexicalizing the core-schema of motion — Path — in a verb satellite, than as verb-framed or equipollently-framed. Semantic and syntactic arguments are presented and lead to a new definition of verbal satellite in functional terms. It is further demonstrated that there is no need for a special treatment of serializing languages like Fon when conceiving the typology of motion events as a bipolar typological continuum, with at one end the verb-framing pattern and at the other end, the satellite-framing pattern.
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Keywords: Fon; motion events; path; semantics; serial verb constructions; typology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • Published under the auspices of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association
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