Granularity in the cross‐linguistic encoding of motion and location<sup>*</sup>

Miriam van Staden and Bhuvana Narasimhan

in Motion Encoding in Language and Space

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199661213
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745348 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Language and Space

Granularity in the cross‐linguistic encoding of motion and location*

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This chapter explores three ways in which the notion of ‘granularity’ emerges from the study of cross-linguistic event semantics. The first interpretation of granularity has to do with event segmentation for linguistic expressions. Depending on the language and cultural setting in which an event is encoded, humans vary in where they place event boundaries at the clausal level. Second, within the set boundaries of a ‘single event’ in time, there are many elements that could all receive expression. Again, languages show variation, both with respect to which elements are mentioned at all (the second interpretation of granularity), and the specificity with which these elements are characterized when mentioned (the third interpretation). It remains a matter for empirical research to discover whether these differences in linguistic expression reflect or inform different representations of event boundaries and event classification for non-linguistic purposes.

Keywords: event segmentation; cross-linguistic; granularity

Chapter.  6716 words. 

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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