Motion in Tswana and its characteristic lexicalization


  • Ronald P. Schaefer


lexicalization, Tswana, Bantu, motion, manner


Characteristic patterns for the lexicalization of motion in Tswana, a Southeastern Bantu language, are explored. Examination of constraints governing classes of verb roots referring to motion events reveals two of the typological patterns put forward by Talmy [1984] for the lexicalization of motion in natural language. The distinguishing feature of each pattern lies in the particular semantic elements incorporated in a main clause verb root. The fact of Motion and Manner/Cause are incorporated in the verb root when lexicalizing complex location-motion events. However, when lexicalizing complex motion events of a directional nature, as well as both locational- and directional- motion events of a less complex nature, the verb root incorporates the fact of Motion and the Path which a moving object takes.