A contrastive, multimodal analysis of static location

When:3 Dec 2015, 2pm - 4pm
Venue:Morven Brown G5 (Map Ref C20)
Who:Professor Maarten Lemmens (University of Lille)
Maarten Lemmens

Linguistics Seminar


Against the background of Talmy’s (2000) typological distinction between Satellite- and Verb-framed languages, the present lecture reports on results from an on-going project on static locative relationships as expressed (mainly) by verbs in English, French, and Dutch (both applied to L1 and to L2). The data analysed is drawn from video-taped picture descriptions where subjects were asked to talk about the location of certain entities on these pictures. The typological differences show to have considerable consequences for the attention that speakers attribute to manner of location as well as how and where this is expressed (confirming our earlier analyses of Dutch posture and placement verbs, see e.g., Lemmens 2002, 2005, 2006, 2015; Lemmens & Perrez 2010, 2012, subm.). We will consider differences at different levels, showing how lexical and syntactic choices interact and suggest an interrelation with discourse strategies and information structure as well. We will also consider the use of co-verbal gesture. Several elements emerge from the analysis of gestures. They do differ across the languages, especially in shape, and they often encode information that remains lexically unexpressed. In addition, it shows that learners make more meta-linguistic gestures compared to the native speakers who make gestures that pertain to the structuring of the discourse. Finally, and this is a point that has not been observed in the literature, it turns out that speakers have “idiogests” (Brannigan 2011), that is, a kind of gestural idiolect that can be shown to reflect a semantic focus on the scene they are describing (see Lemmens, in prep.).

About Marteen Lemmens

Dr Maarten Lemmens is a Professor of English and Cognitive Linguistics at Université Lille 3, France. His research interests include: synchronic & diachronic lexical semantics, posture verbs, causative verbs, cognitive linguistics & construction grammar, L2 acquisition, light verb constructions in Odia. He has published numerous articles and monographs on these topics. He is the president of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA; 2013-2017), and the founder of the French Association of Cognitive Linguistics (AFLiCo). Further details on his research can be found on his web pages at: http://perso.univ-lille3.fr/~mlemmens.

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