Events of Motion and Talmyan Typology: Verb-framed and Satellite-framed Patterns in Portuguese

Cognitive Semantics

This paper discusses the classical Talmyan proposal (Talmy 1985, 2000) on events of motion and lexicalization patterns, which classifies languages as verb-framed and satellite-framed. The research is based on corpus data of European Portuguese (ep) and Brazilian Portuguese (bp), and focuses on costa-motion events, which imply movement along/ towards an area of land bordering on a water basin. It is shown that these motion patterns may be encoded by: a) denominal lexicalized verbs such as (a)beirar, margear, acostar, and b) satellite-framed patterns of the type [V + preposition + costa Noun], in which the noun may be instantiated by costa ‘coast’, margem ‘margin’ or beira ‘edge’. Our analysis challenges the assumption that Portuguese is a(n) (exclusively) verb-framed language by showing that while the verb-framed pattern is stronger in bp, ep seems to be moving toward satellite-framing. These results indicate different typological tendencies in the development of Portuguese as a pluricentric language.

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