Linguistik online 20, 3/04

Wenn viele Wege aus dem Fenster führen -
Konzeptuelle Variation im Bereich von Bewegungsereignissen

Raphael Berthele (Freiburg i. Ue.)

 

Abstract

In this contribution, different varieties of German (Swiss German dialects, Standard High German) are compared with regard to their conceptual and syntactic elaboration of spatial descriptions. The case study examines a particular scene from the informant's picture-book based narratives, a scene wich refers to a dog climbing onto a window sill and then falling out of the window. The analysis shows considerable variability with respect to the linguistic means used to describe the scene, and the author argues that there are corresponding differences in the cognitive construal of the spatial event. The data show consistently that the Swiss German dialects tend to be more detailed in their elaboration of the path of the moving figure (e.g., the dog can be construed as falling "into" the window "out"), whereas speakers of Standard High German tend to use a generic, semantically and syntactically simpler construction. The analysis of this particular scene is demonstrated to coincide with a generally observable tendency of Swiss German dialects: Within motion verb predicates, the constituents encoding spatial arguments tend to be both syntactically and semantically enriched.


 

full text