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Motion events in Nepali

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This PhD thesis started in December 2015 under the co-supervision of Anetta Kopecka (DDL & Université Lyon 2) and Scott Delancey (University of Oregon, USA), and the external consultation of Madhav Prasad Pokhrel (Tribhuvan University, Nepal). The project is funded by the LabEx ASLAN. Nepali is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 12 million people, and this thesis will constitute the first typological investigation of the motion domain in this language. The thesis has three main objectives. First, it aims to examine the diversity of structural resources (lexical, grammatical and constructional) speakers of Nepali use to describe Motion events and its semantic elements (e.g. Manner, Path, Ground). Special attention will be given to the expression of Path and its different portions (initial, median and final), and to the expression of the point of view (Deixis). Second, its aim is to study the relationship between form and meaning and, more specifically, patterns of lexicalization in this domain of expression (cf. Talmy 1985, 2000). Finally, it will investigate how language-specific patterns influence the types of spatial information speakers of Nepali typically encode in discourse when describing motion and those that they tend to consider implicit (Slobin 2004). To carry out the study both descriptive and narrative data will be used. The descriptive data will be collected using the Trajectoire video stimuli (Ishibashi, Kopecka and Vuillermet 2006), and narrative data will be extracted from the (NNC) Nepali National Corpus (NNC).


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