Manner of motion, evaluative and pluractional morphology

  • Dejan Stosic Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail CLLE-ERSS (UMR 5263)


Several works inspired by Talmy’s typology provided a very complete survey and description of various kinds of linguistic elements and strategies across languages for expressing two basic components of motion events: path and manner. This research has mainly focused on lexical and syntactic means of expressing path and manner and how these elements are combined in a single clause. Morphological means are mentioned when talking about encoding the path of motion but hardly ever when studying the expression of manner. This article shows that some languages widely use many affixational and non-affixational processes of “evaluative” and “pluractional” morphology to express manner (e.g., Serbian "leteti" ‘to fly’ > "letuckati" ‘to flutter’, Zoque "wit" ‘to walk’ > "witwitnay" ‘to walk aimlessly’). This research mainly focuses on data from Serbian, but also offers a comparative perspective to highlight the widespread use of such morphological means in encoding manner. It pays particular attention to the role of morphology in the linguistic expression of manner in the semantic domain of motion.

Author Biography

Dejan Stosic, Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail CLLE-ERSS (UMR 5263)
Assistant Professor of Linguistics Departement of Linguistics Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail