A cross-linguistic comparison of the event-structure of FETCH: Possible coding alternatives and their realizations
This paper presents the possible coding alternatives and the factual realizations of a complex event concept. We assume that any concept is built on a perceptional and functional basis and ask in what ways different languages encode such a concept, i.e., how the surface realizations of such a concept differ from one another. The concept under consideration in this paper, henceforth termed FETCH, is the concept realized in British English 'fetch' and Croatian 'dohvatiti'. After characterizing the event structure of FETCH at the beginning, a discussion of potential coding alternatives in terms of conceptual vs. lexical chunking follows. We then compare the cross-linguistic encoding of FETCH in a sample of 29 languages and show how the different surface realizations demonstrate different instantiations of potential conceptual and lexical chunking. Moreover, we discuss whether the event concept FETCH itself is universal. Finally, we test current theories on event structures, with a focus on the often assumed binary construction scheme.
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