[Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

Bakker, Dik D.Bakker at uva.nl
Thu Oct 11 12:56:10 UTC 2018

I think that one should not ignore
the semantics of the verb ('hide').

Sebastian's English example (trans vs intrans) makes
this very clear.

So, it seems not to be a clear-cut case where
a simple translation would render the answer
with respect to possible case/adposition differences.



dr. Dik Bakker
Dept. of General Linguistics
Universities of Amsterdam & Lancaster
tel (+31) 35 544 75 78


Societas Linguistica Europaea
Van: Lingtyp [lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] namens Hannu Tommola [hannu.tommola at uta.fi]
Verzonden: donderdag 11 oktober 2018 14:48
Aan: Hartmut Haberland
CC: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Onderwerp: Re: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

For a Finnish speaker this is the only plausible solution..;-) , besides, it seems still to be possible to use the German _verstecken_ in this way, too. See Duden Wörterbuch: Sie versteckte das Geld in ihrem Schreibtisch / (selten:) in ihren Schreibtisch.


Quoting Hartmut Haberland <hartmut at ruc.dk<mailto:hartmut at ruc.dk>>:
I am a German speaker and immediately I find the Finnish solution very plausible. After all, in German we also have

Der Stein liegt in der Schale. (Dative)

Ich legte den Stein in die Schale. (Accusative)

So German is actually Finnish-type, too, in part at least. The problem seems to be with German ‘verstecken,’ that is not seen as a movement verb.


Ich verstecke den Stein hinter dem (not: hinter das) Haus.

There are other German verbs like that, e.g. anbringen, ablegen, abstellen, parken, archivieren, speichern, … that work the same.

Same with Danish gemme ‘verstecken, aufheben’:

Jeg gemmer maden (inde) i spisekammeret.

Now inde is not obligatory, actually a bit awkward, but possible. But it indicates place (where?), not direction (whither?), and the corresponding directional adverb (ind) would be impossible here.

With verbs like legen, stellen, setzen, sich setzen German is like Finnish. But they seem to be in the minority.

Never thought of it –

Wir parkten das Auto im Hof (We parked the car in the backyard), not

*Wir parkten das Auto in den Hof (*into the backyard)


Wir stellten das Auto im Hof ab (roughly same meaning, but more like ‚because it was in the way’)

I would marginally accept

Wir stellten das Auto in den Hof ab


Hartmut Haberland
Professor emeritus


Roskilde University
Department of Communication and Arts

Universitetsvej 1
DK-4000 Roskilde
Telephone: +45 46742841

Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> På vegne af Joo Ian
Sendt: 11. oktober 2018 13:01
Til: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Emne: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

Dear all,

I am interested in the following hypothesis:

In most of the world's languages, the PP "in my house" in sentence (1) and (2) are the same.

(1) My stone is in my house.

(2) I hide my stone in my house.

For example, in German:

(1) Mein Stein ist "in meinem Haus".

(2) Ich verstecke meinen Stein "in meinem Haus".

Although there are few languages where the PP of (1) and (2) are not identical, such as Finnish:

(1) Kiveni on "talossani". (Locative)

(2) Piilotan kiveni "talooni". (Illative)

But cases like Finnish are far fewer than English-like cases, I think.

I think this is interesting because the PP of (1) and that of (2) are semantically different: the PP in (1) is a location whereas that in PP is the endpoint of a placement event. If I can show that the two PPs are morphologically identical in most of the world's languages, then I can suggest that placement event profiles a static location as its endpoint and not a dynamic goal, like Rohde has argued in her dissertation (https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/18015)

Although I find this issue interesting, I would like to know if others find it so as well. What do you think? (Also, I would appreciate if anyone can let me know any other Finnish-like cases)

>From Hong Kong,

Ian Joo


Hannu Tommola
Professor emer. of Russian Language (Translation Theory and Practice)
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies
FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
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