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Chambers, Mary Ruth (2009) Which way is up? Motion verbs and paths of motion in Kubokota, an Austronesian language of the Solomon Islands. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029301

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Abstract

This thesis examines the syntactic and semantic behaviour of motion verbs in Kubokota, a North West Solomonic language. In Talmy's (1985) typology of motion event lexicalisation. verb-framed languages lexicalise the path of motion in the verb and the manner of motion in a satellite, while satellite-framed languages lexicalise manner in the verb and path in a satellite. A Kubokota motion verb may lexicalise any of manner of motion, path conflated with ground (PATHG), path conflated with deixis (PATHD), source, goal or route. With both path and manner being expressed within the verb or serial verb construction (as are all other motion event components). Kubokota is neither verb- nor satellite-framed, but is best understood as equipollently-framed (Slobin 2004). Motion event lexicalisation patterns are explored in a case study of "frog story" and route description narratives. The thematic role of grounds such as source and goal depends on the semantics of the verb and cannot be determined from satellites such as prepositional phrases. This has implications for modality and event realisation. All PATHD 'go' verbs are goal- oriented, while 'come' verbs may be either source- or goal-oriented. Goal-oriented verbs are marked as irrealis while motion is in progress, because the goal has not been reached; source-oriented verbs are realis, because motion has left the source. As in many Austronesian languages, motion verbs operate within an absolute frame of reference (Levinson 2003), being closely tied to physical geography. Small and large scale systems orient to different geographical features (coastline, slope, land-sea boundary, prevailing wind). The scope of these scales and the interaction of geocentric and egocentric (deictic) information is explored through observed data, and through an experimental study of the men-and-tree photo matching game, in which motion verbs are used to describe the orientation of a figure.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029301
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:10
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29301

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