SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Ross, Daniel and Lovestrand, Joseph (2022) 'Do Prior Motion Serial Verbs (Go) Morphologize? Insights into Diachrony from Typology.' Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 65. pp. 105-145.

Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0).

Download (1MB) | Preview


Associated motion is a grammatical category which modifies a verbal predicate by adding a motion component such as indicating that motion took place prior to the event predicated by the verb. Many languages express prior associated motion (‘go and V’) in the form of a serial verb construction, while in other languages the same meaning is expressed morphologically. This suggests a possible diachronic link between serial verbs and affixes, but a comparison of the synchronic distributions of prior associated motion in serial verb constructions and verbal morphology reveal that such a path of grammaticalization is remarkably rare. This can be at least partially explained by temporal iconicity and a cross-linguistic suffixing bias. We conclude that prior motion serial verb constructions are relatively stable diachronically. The source of prior motion morphology is more likely other multiverb constructions, especially those with non-finite verbs where an overt morpheme marking dependency is lost to allow for a more efficient expression of this grammatical category, ultimately leading to univerbation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: associated motion, grammaticalization, Serial verb constructions, typology
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 1726541X
Copyright Statement: Copyright (c) 2022 Daniel Ross, Joseph Lovestrand
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2023 08:23

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item