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Motion event cognition and grammatical aspect: Evidence from Afrikaans
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2013 (English)In: Linguistics, ISSN 0024-3949, E-ISSN 1613-396x, Vol. 51, no 5, 929-955 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on the relationship between grammatical aspect and motion event construal has posited that speakers of non-aspect languages are more prone to encoding event endpoints than are speakers of aspect languages (e. g., von Stutterheim and Carroll 2011). In the present study, we test this hypothesis by extending this line of inquiry to Afrikaans, a non-aspect language which is previously unexplored in this regard. Motion endpoint behavior among Afrikaans speakers was measured by means of a linguistic retelling task and a non-linguistic similarity judgment task, and then compared with the behavior of speakers of a non-aspect language (Swedish) and speakers of an aspect language (English). Results showed the Afrikaans speakers' endpoint patterns aligned with Swedish patterns, but were significantly different from English patterns. It was also found that the variation among the Afrikaans speakers could be partially explained by taking into account their frequency of use of English, such that those who used English more frequently exhibited an endpoint behavior that was more similar to English speakers. The current study thus lends further support to the hypothesis that speakers of different languages attend differently to event endpoints as a function of the grammatical category of aspect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 51, no 5, 929-955 p.
Keyword [en]
Afrikaans, cognition, endpoints, grammatical aspect, linguistic relativity, motion event
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94589DOI: 10.1515/ling-2013-0033ISI: 000324043800003OAI: diva2:654025


Available from: 2013-10-07 Created: 2013-10-07 Last updated: 2014-01-09Bibliographically approved

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Bylund, Emanuel
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Centre for Research on Bilingualism
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