Going places in Dutch and mandarin Chinese: Conceptualising the path of motion cross-linguistically
Liao, Y., Flecken, M., Dijkstra, K., & Zwaan, R. A.
Going places in Dutch and mandarin Chinese: Conceptualising the path of motion cross-linguistically. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35
(4), 498-520. doi:10.1080/23273798.2019.1676455.
We study to what extent linguistic differences in grammatical aspect systems and verb lexicalisation patterns of Dutch and mandarin Chinese affect how speakers conceptualise the path of motion in motion events, using description and memory tasks. We hypothesised that speakers of the two languages would show different preferences towards the selection of endpoint-, trajectory- or location-information in Endpoint-oriented (not reached) events, whilst showing a similar bias towards encoding endpoints in Endpoint-reached events. Our findings show that (1) groups did not differ in endpoint encoding and memory for both event types; (2) Dutch speakers conceptualised Endpoint-oriented motion focusing on the trajectory, whereas Chinese speakers focused on the location of the moving entity. In addition, we report detailed linguistic patterns of how grammatical aspect, verb semantics and adjuncts containing path-information are combined in the two languages. Results are discussed in relation to typologies of motion expression and event cognition theory.