[Lingtyp] Double marking of the goal argument

Juergen Bohnemeyer jb77 at buffalo.edu
Mon Aug 23 20:00:06 UTC 2021

Dear Farhad — There are a variety of different phenomena that could be considered manifestations of multiple encoding of path information in a single motion clause. A deceptively trivial case is that in which an adposition governs/selects for a particular nominal case marker, as in German and Russian. If the combination is obligatory, one could analyze the combination of adposition and case marker as a single complex sign (which isn’t really trivial, hence the “deceptive” part). That does not seem to be what’s happening in Persian, seeing how the postposition is optional.

Besides, there’s the intriguing apparent semantic contrast between your examples: judging by the translation, in (1), the house is a ‘bounded path’ goal and the description is telic, whereas in (2), the house is a ‘directional' goal and the description is atelic (the contrast of ‘bounded path’ vs. ‘direction’ is courtesy of Jackendoff 1983). It seems that in Persian, bounded path and directional goals are expressed by the same preposition, with a postpositional case marker differentiating between the two? If so, that’s pretty neat - I don’t recall seeing that in other languages.

Other forms of multiple expressions of path in a single motion clause include adposition and/or case marker plus a true Talmyan satellite, i.e., some kind of particle that forms a complex predicate with the verb, as in Estonian and German, and path verb plus any kind of other path expressions including directional morphology. Some of this is discussed in Bohnemeyer et al. (2007). Beavers et al. (2010) is another useful resource regarding the encoding of bounded paths vs. directions.

Best — Juergen

Beavers, J., B. Levin, & S. W. Tham. (2010). The typology of motion expressions revisited. Journal of Linguistics 46: 331-377.
Bohnemeyer, J., N. J. Enfield, J. Essegbey, I. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, S. Kita, F. Lüpke, & F. K. Ameka. (2010). Principles of event segmentation in language: The case of motion events. Language 83(3): 495-532.
Jackendoff, Ray. (1983). Semantics and cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

On Aug 23, 2021, at 9:52 AM, Farhad Moezzipour <fmp59i at gmail.com<mailto:fmp59i at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear all,

Is anyone aware of a language where the goal in a motion event is doubly marked? This happens in colloquial Persian:

(1) Ta     xune=ro          tu  20  dæqiqe dæv-id-æm.
      until  house=POSP in  20  minute  run-PST-1SG
      'I ran the distance to the house in 20 minutes.'

The goal is marked once by the preposition and once with the postposition RA, which is basically an object maker in Modern Persian. The given example is also possible without RA, as in (2).

(2) Ta     xune    20  dæqiqe dæv-id-æm.
      until  house  20  minute  run-PST-1SG
      'I ran toward the house for 20 minutes.'


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Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
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