Talmy’s Dichotomous Typology and Japanese Lexicalization Patterns of Motion Events

Noguchi, Hiromi

Talmy‘s (1985) crosslinguistic typology of lexicalization patterns of motion events have been extensively used in second language acquisition (SLA) research as a means to examine how second language (L2) learners map form, meaning, and function. These studies have yielded some conflicting results regarding the learnability of L2 lexicalization patterns — arguably the oversimplification over and the overreliance on the dichotomous typological categorization of such patterns. The present corpus study seeks to illustrate how Japanese, which is classified as a V-language, may express motion events differently from what the typology typically suggests. The results showed that (1) Japanese elaborates on the Manner of motion via nouns, adjectives and adverbs, and that (2) Japanese verbs conflate Manner and Motion via Chinese loanwords and compound verbs. In order to shed light on what is learnable and why certain lexicalization patterns are (un)learnable for specific population groups in adult L2 acquisition, it is argued that, a deeper understanding of the nature of L2 input and learners‘ native languages (NL), especially in terms of input frequency, the complexity of form-meaning relationships, and the ease of processing of lexicalization patterns, would be indispensable.


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Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

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Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 5, 2015