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Motion and the English VerbA Diachronic Study$
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Judith Huber

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657802

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657802.001.0001

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Talking about MOTION in Old English

Talking about MOTION in Old English

Chapter:
(p.87) Chapter 5 Talking about MOTION in Old English
Source:
Motion and the English Verb
Author(s):

Judith Huber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190657802.003.0005

The analysis of the 189 Old English motion verbs shows that Old English has a large manner vocabulary and various non-motion verbs attested in motion readings, which are discussed in this chapter. It is argued that although there are Old English path verbs, hardly any of them can be considered as pure path verbs (except nēahlǣcan, genēahian ‘to approach’), a diagnosis which is supported by an investigation of how Latin path verbs are translated in the Old English version of the gospels. The analysis of motion expression in different texts reveals that Old English can be seen as strongly satellite-framing, with the proportion of manner verbs as opposed to neutral verbs depending on text type. The chapter also addresses the changing realization of satellites in the history of English: In the Old English texts analysed, satellites are typically realized by prepositional phrases and adverbs, while true prefixes only play a minor role.

Keywords:   Old English, motion verb, motion expression, path verb, manner verb, translation, text type, satellite

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