Take it up, down, and away: Encoding placement and removal in Lowland Chontal

O’Connor, L. (2012). Take it up, down, and away: Encoding placement and removal in Lowland Chontal. In A. Kopecka, & B. Narasimhan (Eds.), Events of putting and taking: A crosslinguistic perspective (pp. 297-326). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
This paper offers a structural and semantic analysis of expressions of caused motion in Lowland Chontal of Oaxaca, an indigenous language of southern Mexico. The data were collected using a video stimulus designed to elicit a wide range of caused motion event descriptions. The most frequent event types in the corpus depict caused motion to and from relations of support and containment, fundamental notions in the de­scription of spatial relations between two entities and critical semantic components of the linguistic encoding of caused motion in this language. Formal features of verbal construction type and argument realization are examined by sorting event descriptions into semantic types of placement and removal, to and from support and to and from containment. Together with typological factors that shape the distribution of spatial semantics and referent expression, separate treatments of support and containment relations serve to clarify notable asymmetries in patterns of predicate type and argument realization.
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