[Lingtyp] Cases of loss of goal markers

Niclas Burenhult niclas.burenhult at ling.lu.se
Sat Jan 12 15:56:15 UTC 2019

For some formally and ontologically revealing case studies and comparisons of relevance, see:

Cablitz, G. 2008. When "what" is "where": a linguistic analysis of landscape terms, place names and body part terms in Marquesan (Oceanic, French Polynesia). Language Sciences 30, 200-226.

Huber, J. 2018. Natural locations and the distinction between 'what' and 'where' concepts: evidence from differential locative marking in Makalero. Linguistics 56.3, 477-512.

Huber, J. 2014. Landscape in East Timor Papuan. Language Sciences 41, 175-196.

Rybka, K. 2016. How are nouns categorized as denoting "what" and "where"? Language Sciences 45, 28-43.


Niclas B

Från: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> för Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz <stolz at uni-bremen.de>
Skickat: den 12 januari 2019 16:02
Till: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Ämne: Re: [Lingtyp] Cases of loss of goal markers

Dear all,

there is also our book on zero-marking of spatial relations in which we survey cross-linguistic data from 112 languages which show that Place and Goal are frequently affected by zero-marking - be it obligatorily or optionally. More often than not  zero-marking of spatial relations occurs with place names whereas common nouns lag behind (somewhat). Our study is synchronic but it can be taken for granted that some of the instances of zero-marking are diachronic innovations.

The reference is

Stolz, Thomas & Lestrade, Sander & Stolz, Christel. 2014. The crosslingustics of zero-marking of spatial relations (= STTYP 15). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 978-3-05-006276-1

A follow-up study to our 2017 paper in Folia Linguistica will be available shortly:

Stolz, Thomas & Levkovych, Nataliya. 2019. Toponomastics meets linguistic typology: glimpses of Special Toponymic Grammar from Aromanian and sundry languages. Onomastica Uralica 11, 43-61.

We intend to continue our research in this area. Thus, comments are always welcome.

All the best. Thomas Stolz

Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz
University of Bremen
FB10: Linguistics
Universitäts-Boulevard 13
D-28 359 Bremen

stolz at uni-bremen.de

----- Nachricht von Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de<mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>> ---------
  Datum: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 13:29:03 +0100
    Von: Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de<mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>>
Betreff: Re: [Lingtyp] Cases of loss of goal markers
     An: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>

The omission of spatial goal (and location) markers with place names and other nouns used typically in spatial function is very widespread in the world's languages.

Until recently, there was no term for this phenomenon, but I now call it "differential place marking" (inspired especially by Stolz et al.'s 2017 paper mentioned by Grev Corbett, and by Jonathan Schlossberg's 2017 ALT talk on "local nouns" and the differential marking of place).

In my forthcoming paper "Differential place marking and differential object marking" (to appear in LTU/STUF; available on Academia.edu), I highlight the similarities with other kinds of differential marking:

It seems that in many (or most) languages that allow unflagged spatial goals (and/or locations), these occur especially or exclusively with "typical place nouns", most notably place names. The reason is nicely expressed by Karatsareas & Georgakopoulos in their 2016 paper (cited by Ponrawee Prasertsom):

"The omission of [the goal preposition] "se" therefore seems to be the preferred option in motion event utterances in which the Ground-encoding expressions display high degrees of informativity, and also possibly redundancy" (p. 326)

On 12.01.19 11:53, Vladimir Panov wrote:
Dear Ponrawee,

actually, not only in Asia Minor, but also in colloquial standard Modern Greek goal and location markers are often dropped, e.g.

ime athina / pao athina
cop.1sg athens / go-1sg athens
'I am in Athens' / 'I am going to Athens'

Concerning Viktor Friedman's comment on Macedonian, it makes sense to test if it might be a Balkan areal feature.


пт, 11 янв. 2019 г. в 20:53, Ponrawee Prasertsom <ponrawee.pra at gmail.com<mailto:ponrawee.pra at gmail.com>>:
Dear all,

I am looking for languages where goal markers (case affixes, prepositions, etc. corresponding to English to) developed into zero, i.e. are lost. That is, from something like I go to school to I go school. Does anyone know of such cases?

Currently, I am aware of only one such case: goal preposition loss on Asia Minor Greek (Karatsareas and Georgakopoulos 2016), which reconstructs history from variation among dialects (se > se/∅ > ∅).

Ideally, I would like cases with attested historical data, but reconstruction or any other relevant data such as ongoing change etc. is also welcome.


Karatsareas, Petros and Thanasis Georgakopoulos. 2016. From syntagmatic to paradigmatic spatial zeroes: The loss of the preposition se in inner Asia Minor Greek. STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 69(2), 309-340.

Yours sincerely,

Ponrawee Prasertsom

Graduate Student
Department of Linguistics
Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok, Thailand
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Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de<mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena
Leipzig University
Institut fuer Anglistik
IPF 141199
D-04081 Leipzig

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Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz
Linguistik / Allgemeine und vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
Fachbereich 10, Universität Bremen
Universitäts-Boulevard 13
28359 Bremen
Tel.: +49-421-218 68300
Email: stolz at uni-bremen.de<mailto:stolz at uni-bremen.de>
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