'Serial-verb-constructions' in motion event encoding - morphological, syntactic, and contextual aspects

In the domain of motion event encoding, Mandarin Chinese is often referred to when it comes to languages that are 'in between' the well-known verb-framed vs. satellite-framed distinction (Talmy 1985). Slobin (2004) classified Mandarin as an equipollently-framed language, i.e., a language, in which path and manner information is distributed over two "equal" verbs. The structure that Slobin had in mind when he made this proposal is the so called "serial-verb-construction". However, a closer look at Mandarin Chinese raises some important questions which:

  • relate to the context in which speakers actually use a serial verb construction and not just either one verb that encodes manner of motion or just one verb that encodes information about the path (which happens frequently!), and
  • whether or not, it is even justified to analyze the lexical units that are combined as being verbs.

These two questions are in the focus of this project.

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