Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

English posture verbs An experientially grounded approach John Newman University of Alberta Conference on Expressions of posture and motion in Germanic.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "English posture verbs An experientially grounded approach John Newman University of Alberta Conference on Expressions of posture and motion in Germanic."— Presentation transcript:

1 English posture verbs An experientially grounded approach John Newman University of Alberta Conference on Expressions of posture and motion in Germanic languages Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium October 24, 2008

2 Structure of Talk Preliminaries - experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Final remarks – experiential realities

3 Preliminaries - experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Final remarks – experiential realities

4 Basic-level categories Basic-level categories of things (cf. Lakoff 1987) – dog and chair Basic-level categories of events? – come, go – see, hear – eat, drink – sit, stand, lie – give, take

5 Sit, Stand, and Lie (2004), clay sculptures by Francis O. Cuyler

6 Sitting, standing, lying The spatio-temporal domain – a strong contrast between the spatial configurations involved: a compact shape associated with sitting an upright, vertical elongation with standing a horizontal elongation in the case of lying – a strong sense of the extension of a state through time

7 Sitting, standing, lying The force-dynamics domain – the states are typically entered into through relatively brief movements – the states themselves are typically maintained for longer periods – there are clear differences between these states in terms of the sensorimotor control which is needed in order to maintain the position.

8 Sitting, standing, lying The socio-cultural domain – sitting is a relatively comfortable position – standing allows a greater exercise of physical power, vision over a greater distance and is a prerequisite for walking, running etc. – lying is the least compatible with physical action and is associated with rest, sleep, sickness, and death

9 Preliminaries - experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Final remarks – experiential realities

10 Posture verbs and locatives Posture verbs are the prototypical verbs which define a language type in the MPI-based research on basic locative constructions

11 Revised typology Ameka and Levinson (2007) Type 0: No verb (Saliba) Type I: Single locative verb – Ia: Copula (English) – Ib: Locative verb (Japanese) Type II: A small contrastive set of locative verbs – IIa: Postural verbs (Dutch) – IIb: Ground space indicating verbs (Tidore) Type III: Multiverb Positional verbs (German)

12 Revised typology Ameka and Levinson (2007) Type 0: No verb (Saliba) Type I: Single locative verb – Ia: Copula (English) – Ib: Locative verb (Japanese) Type II: A small contrastive set of locative verbs – IIa: Postural verbs (Dutch) – IIb: Ground space indicating verbs (Tidore) Type III: Multiverb Positional verbs (German)

13 sit, stand, lie Posture verbs are the prototypical verbs which define a language type in the MPI-based research on basic locative constructions Among the posture verbs, the set {sit, stand, lie} can have a special status in a language

14 SIT, STAND, LIE in English Corpora allow us to study usage Corpus-based study of posture verbs: – tell a lie sense found with lie(s) and lying – transitive vs. intransitive lay – both stand and lie are used as nouns – numerous idiomatic uses

15 Two corpora SemCor 3.0: – 700,000 words of the BROWN corpus – all verbs lemmatized and sense-tagged according to Princeton WordNet 3.0 – written usage of American English The Princeton WordNet Gloss Corpus: – more than 1.6 million words of the glosses of the WordNet 3.0 dictionary – a gloss is understood as the definition of a word and any example sentences

16 VERBWORDNET MEANINGSEM COR GLOSS CORPUS STANDbe standing, be upright SIT be sitting LIE be lying, be prostrate, be in a horizontal position 4658 HANGbe suspended or hanging2735 LEANincline or bend from a vertical position 1924 SQUAT sit on ones heels88 KNEEL rest ones weight on ones knees79 CROUCH sit on ones heels47 STOOPbend ones back forward from the waist on down 47 SPRAWLsit or lie with ones limbs spread out48 PERCHsit, as on a branch46 BENDbend ones back forward from the waist on down 33 LOUNGEsit or recline comfortably22

17 sit, stand, lie in Mbay In Mbay (Nilo-Saharan), locational and existential constructions typically involve one of the three verbs sit, stand and lie (Keegan 2002) Mbay also has a set of adverbs translating as here and there which are derived from sit, stand and lie.

18 sit, stand, lie in Mbay

19 sit, stand, lie in Kxoé Kxoé (Khoisan), it is precisely sit, stand, and lie which function as present tense markers (Köhler 1962; Heine and Kuteva 2002)

20 sit, stand, lie in Euchee Euchee (Amerindian isolate) sit, stay, stand, and lie form the basis of a three-way noun- classification system (Wagner ; Watkins 1976; Linn 2000) The three forms function as articles/demonstratives occurring with singular inanimate nouns

21 sit, stand, lie in Euchee

22 sit, stand, lie SIT, STAND, LIE are the cardinal posture verbs in English sit, stand, lie can be a distinctive set of verbs in other languages – Mbay locational/existential constructions – Kxoé tense marking – Euchee noun classification system

23 Preliminaries - some experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Summary

24 From state to location Posture verbs which are used with essentially static, at-rest meanings are more likely to lead to locative functions Dunn, Michael, Anna Margetts, Sergio Meira, and Angela Terrill. (2007). Four languages from the lower end of the typology of locative predication. Linguistics 45.5/6: 873–892.

25 Action and State (German) German sich hinsetzen is an action predicate German sitzen is usually a state predicate The state meaning is nevertheless often contextually salient with sich hinsetzen

26 German sich hinsetzen Es kommt vor, daß ich mich dann für einige Augenblicke hinsetze und zu erraten versuche, was gerade passiert. So I sit down [action predicate] for a few moments then and try to guess what just happened. [Mannheimer Morgen, ; Lo und Lu Roman eines Vaters]

27 German sich hinsetzen Es kommt vor, daß ich mich dann für einige Augenblicke hinsetze und zu erraten versuche, was gerade passiert. So I sit down [action predicate] for a few moments then and try to guess what just happened. [Mannheimer Morgen, ; Lo und Lu Roman eines Vaters]

28 German sich hinsetzen und.. keinen freien Augenblick, um sich hinzusetzen und nachzudenken no free moment to sit down and reflect dachte, die Kinder würden sich hinsetzen und malen thought that the children would sit down and paint

29 German sich hinsetzen und.. keinen freien Augenblick, um sich hinzusetzen und nachzudenken no free moment to sit down and reflect dachte, die Kinder würden sich hinsetzen und malen thought that the children would sit down and paint

30 German sich hinsetzen, um...zu habe sich der jetzige Präsident hingesetzt, um sich auszuruhen the current president sat down to rest jeden Tag, wenn ich mich hinsetzen will, um etwas zu schreiben every day, if I want to sit down to write something

31 German sich hinsetzen, um...zu habe sich der jetzige Präsident hingesetzt, um sich auszuruhen the current president sat down to rest jeden Tag, wenn ich mich hinsetzen will, um etwas zu schreiben every day, if I want to sit down to write something

32 The sitting frame Action is profiled: sich hinsetzen State is profiled: sitzen

33 Action and State (English) Is SIT an action or a state verb?

34 State SIT in Bible The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? John 9:8 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. John 11:20 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. Mark 10:40

35 O.E. SITTAN > SIT in state sense John 9.8 3Sg. Past John Sg. Past Mark Sg. Past West Saxon Gospels c.990 sæt West Saxon Gospels c.1175 sæt set John Wycliffe Bible c.1384 sat William Tyndale NT sate sat Great Bible 1540 satsatesat King James Bible 1611sate

36 Action SIT in Bible And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. Luke 4:20 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:2 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Luke 16:6

37 O.E. SITTAN > SIT in action sense Luke Sg. Past Luke Sg. Present Luke 16.6 Sg. Imperative West Saxon Gospels c.990 sætsyttsite West Saxon Gospels c.1175 sætsitsite John Wycliffe Bible c.1384 sat[sittinge]sitte William Tyndale NT sate dounesytteth dounesyt doune Great Bible 1540 sate downesytteth downesyt doune King James Bible 1611sate downesitteth downesit downe

38 Two corpora The Wellington Corpus of Written New Zealand English (WWC) – 1 million words of written New Zealand English (1986 to 1990), comparable to the Brown Corpus of written American English and the Lancaster-Oslo-Bergen corpus (LOB) of written British English The Wellington Spoken Corpus (WSC) – 1 million words of spoken New Zealand English collected in the years 1988 to 1994

39 Action SIT

40 State SIT

41 SITTING DOWN in the spoken corpus

42 Is English SIT action or state? SIT (with or without down) occurs in clauses which range over action and state meanings STAND and LIE are probably similar The extension of English SIT, STAND, and LIE to locative usage is presumably compromised by these facts

43 Preliminaries - experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Final remarks - experiential realities

44 Global and local corpus methods Search for all the forms of the posture verbs and inspect all results, as in Schönefeld (2006) – global [Using a 3 million word newspaper subcorpus of the BNC.] Schönefeld, Doris. (2006). From conceptualization to linguistic expression: Where languages diversify. In Stefan Th. Gries and Anatol Stefanowitsch (eds.), Corpora in Cognitive Linguistics: Corpus-based Approaches to Syntax and Lexis, pp Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Search for a specific inanimate subject with a specific posture verb – local.

45 Schönefeld (2006) SITSTANDLIE HUMAN BEINGS 87% man, people, proper nouns 59.6% proper nouns, people, deputy, candidate 26.3% Proper nouns, people, man, child, girl CONCRETE OBJECTS 3.9% house, journal, book, plant, building 8.8% car, machine, book, tanks, temple 29.5% village, ship, coal, clothes, boat ABSTRACT OBJECTS 2.3% music, superstructure 19.1% case, deal, things, directive, conditions 42.1% blame, responsibility, problem, task PERSONIFIED OBJECTS 5.6% government, court, pentagon 8.8% pronoun, world, Britain, army, firm 1.7% (sports) club, talent ANIMALS 1.1% fox, mouse, owl 1.4% sheep, gelding, cat 0.4% dog

46 Schönefeld (2006) SITSTANDLIE HUMAN BEINGS 87% man, people, proper nouns 59.6% proper nouns, people, deputy, candidate 26.3% Proper nouns, people, man, child, girl CONCRETE OBJECTS 3.9% house, journal, book, plant, building 8.8% car, machine, book, tanks, temple 29.5% village, ship, coal, clothes, boat ABSTRACT OBJECTS 2.3% music, superstructure 19.1% case, deal, things, directive, conditions 42.1% blame, responsibility, problem, task PERSONIFIED OBJECTS 5.6% government, court, pentagon 8.8% pronoun, world, Britain, army, firm 1.7% (sports) club, talent ANIMALS 1.1% fox, mouse, owl 1.4% sheep, gelding, cat 0.4% dog

47 A LOCAL APPROACH Corpus of Contemporary American English, COCA (Mark Davies), 375 million words + Restrict verbs to the forms {sit, sits, sitting, sat} and {stand, stands, standing, stood} The verbs occur within a window of three words to the left or right of HOUSE. HOUSE functions as the head of the subject of the verb This search yielded more than 500 hits which were subsequently inspected item by item

48 Refining the search Excluded: a. So the White House is sitting tight. b. Well, the White House is still standing by Rove and his comments. Included: c. The 1758 Cupola House sits on South Broad Street in the heart of the business district. d. The hill on which the Santa Fe Opera House stands…

49 HOUSE in five genres of COCA

50 HOUSE in five genres of COCA (= expected distribution of HOUSE + SIT/STAND)

51 HOUSE + SIT/STAND in five genres (observed)

52 Expected and Observed expectedobserved

53 Modifers/Complements zeroAnd I don't even know if the house is standing. locativeThey were building a house sitting next to the waterfall,… mannerThe little houses sat hunched and still,… temporalTheir two-story town house was still standing,… locative + manner + temporal those houses sat under water for the longest amount of time there in St. Bernard Parish and there…

54 Zero vs. single vs. multiple SITSTAND Zero modifier09 Single modifier Multiple modifiers29186 Total196292

55 Zero vs. single vs. multiple SITSTAND Zero modifier09 Single modifier Multiple modifiers29186 Total196292

56 Zero vs. single vs. multiple the majority of SIT uses (167/196) occur with single modifier types the majority of STAND uses (186/292) occur with multiple modifier types the zero modifier type is found only with STAND

57 zero modifier a.Poor-white St. Bernard Parish had hardly a house standing. b.Once they knew the houses were standing and no one had been injured, they talked on for half an hour

58 still When STAND occurs with a temporal modifier type, the most common recurring temporal expression is the adverb still.

59 big There is tendency for STAND, but not SIT, to occur in contexts where HOUSE is qualified by big, tall, large, sturdy No tendency for SIT to occur in contexts where HOUSE is qualified by small, tiny, etc.

60 big a.At wide intervals in the valley stood big houses with white columns. b.and the tall old houses standing in the sand on the shore looked like beached vessels.

61 high a.She had pictured a big fine country house standing high over the ground on concrete pillars with a sunburst carving in the gable. b. The market had started out as an adjunct to their shotgun house that stood high on brick pillars.

62 The house stands high The house sits high

63 Multiple factors with STAND and that big white house stood high in them dark rivers for the next half century.

64 BIG HOUSE + STAND and that big white house stood high in them dark rivers for the next half century.

65 STAND + HIGH and that big white house stood high in them dark rivers for the next half century.

66 S TAND + LOCATIVE and that big white house stood high in them dark rivers for the next half century.

67 STAND + TEMPORAL (especially persistence despite adversity) and that big white house stood high in them dark rivers for the next half century.

68 Zero vs. single vs. multiple SITSTAND Zero complement09 Single complement Multiple complements29186 Total196292

69 Zero vs. single vs. multiple SITSTAND Zero complement09 Single complement Multiple complements29186 Total196292

70 Multiple factors With STAND (more than SIT), multiple factors within the clause are relevant to its use Its not enough to look at head noun of the subject and prepositions to understand why the verb STAND is used in a clause (cf. Schönefeld 2006)

71 Simple vs. Other Tenses Simple tenses: – Simple Present sit, sits, stand, stands – Simple Past sat, stood Other tenses: – Progressive is sitting, is standing, etc. – Perfect has stood, have stood etc. – Participial –ing forms without any accompanying auxiliary verb) sitting, standing

72 Tenses x Modifier x Verb L = Locative M = Manner T = Time

73 Preliminaries - experiential realities SIT, STAND, LIE as cardinal posture verbs Action vs. state meanings Inanimate subjects, including locative use Final remarks – experiential realities

74 Experiential grounding (1) An intuition that sitting, standing, and lying are basic experiential categories – helps us to appreciate why SIT, STAND, and LIE are the most frequent posture verbs in usage-based data (from corpora) – leads us to search for other data supporting the distinctiveness of these verbs in languages

75 Experiential grounding (2) Reflecting on the whole experience (frame) associated with postures leads to – Understanding that action and state of postures are closely interrelated, even in languages which formally distinguish such verbs – In English, usage data reveal a persistent vagueness about action and state meanings of the posture verbs

76 Experiential grounding (3) Reflecting on the spatio-temporal aspects and force dynamics of sitting vs. standing leads us to – Understand why SIT/STAND are associated with particular subject phrases and other collocating phrases

77 Thank you!


Download ppt "English posture verbs An experientially grounded approach John Newman University of Alberta Conference on Expressions of posture and motion in Germanic."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google