Talking about motion in Danish, French and Russian. Some implications for LSP in theory and practice.
AbstractThe article addresses the lexicalization of motion and space in the verb lexicons of Danish, French, and Russian and the impact that cross-linguistic differences in this regard have for LSP communication and translation. Several authors have suggested a sharp typological distinction between so-called MANNER languages (e.g. Danish) and PATH languages (e.g. French). This article further develops the semantic classification underlying such a typology by introducing the notion of location-based action verbs, or in short, relocation verbs. Using this framework, it will be argued that Russian presents an interesting special case in being a MANNER language which is in the process of switching over to a PATH oriented approach, allowing more room for manoeuvring to its speakers than is the case for both Danish and French. This hypothesis is tested in a pilot study based on Danish and Russian step-by-step process descriptions relating to the sugar industry. In the introductory part of the article, the relevance and place of typological data of the present sort in a broader LSP context are discussed at some length.
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