Verb framing

Verb framing

In linguistics, verb-framing and satellite-framing are typological descriptions of how verb phrases in different languages describe the "manner" of motion and the "path" of motion.

Manner of motion refers to a type of distinct motion described by a particular verb, e.g., running, tumbling, sliding, walking, crawling, etc. Path of motion refers to the direction of the movement, e.g., movement into, out of, across, etc. These two concepts can be encoded in the verb as part of its root meaning, or in a separate particle associated to the verb (a "satellite").

Languages are considered "verb-framed" or "satellite-framed" based on how the motion path is encoded. English verbs use particles to show the path of motion ('run into', 'go out', 'fall down'), and its verbs usually show manner of motion; thus English is a satellite-framed language. English verbs that counter this tendency are almost invariably Latinate, such as "exit", "ascend", or "enter".

Spanish, on the other hand, makes heavy use of verbs of motion like "entrar", "salir", "subir", "bajar" ('go in, go out, go up, go down'), which directly encode motion path, and may leave out the manner of motion or express it in a complement of manner (typically a participle): "entró corriendo" 'he ran in', literally 'he entered running'; "salió flotando" 'it floated out', literally 'it exited floating'. All of the Romance languages, including Spanish, are verb-framed languages.


*Croft, W. "Croft Abstracts." Retrieved December 1, 2005 from the University of Manchester, Linguistics and English Language Web site:
*Slobin, D. (2004). The many ways to search for a frog: linguistic typology & the expression of motion events. In S. Strömqvist & L. Verhoeven eds. Relating Events in Narrative. Vol 2, 219-257. Mahwah, NJ: LEA.
*Talmy, L. (1991). Path to realization: A typology of event conflation. Berkeley Working Papers in Linguistics, 480-519.
*Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. Volume 1: Concept structuring systems. Volume 2: Typology and process in concept structuring. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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