NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1050900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0026-7902
Motion Encoding in Russian and English: Moving beyond Talmy's Typology
Pavlenko, Aneta; Volynsky, Maria
Modern Language Journal, v99 suppl 1 p32-48 2015
The aim of the present study is twofold. One, we will show that Talmy's (1985, 1991, 2000) motion typology that groups Russian and English together as satellite-framed languages may be justified on linguistic grounds but is inadequate from a psycholinguistic point of view. Two, we will argue that the shortcomings of the typology may account for inconclusive findings in research on language effects in motion cognition. The study examined lexicalization of motion in narratives elicited with the use of a picture book "Frog, where are you?" (Mayer, 1969) from L1 speakers of Russian (n?=?31), L1 speakers of English (n?=?38), and Russian-English bilinguals (n?=?30). All bilinguals told the story twice, once in each language, and were subdivided into early, childhood, and late bilinguals in order to control for combined effects of the Age of Arrival (AoA) and Length of Residence (LoR) in the L2 context on L2 performance. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the four motion verb corpora (L1 Russian, L1 English, Bilingual L1 Russian, Bilingual L2 English) revealed that L1 Russian speakers segment motion events in a more fine-grained way and encode the manner, directionality, and spatiotemporal contours of motion events significantly more frequently than speakers of L1 English. Bilinguals followed language-specific lexicalization patterns in both languages but late bilinguals displayed reduced lexical diversity in L2 English. These findings were linked to differences in obligatoriness, boundedness, and complexity of encoding of motion components in the two languages. We argue that these dimensions of motion encoding can be productively explored in instructional contexts and in future studies of language and motion cognition that go beyond Talmy's typology.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A