Motion Expression

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  • The representation of motion and space is a fundamental human cognitive ability. All languages encode motion through a variety of devices including verbs (enter and roll) and prepositions (into, out, and of). Motion terms are acquired early by language-learning children around the world, often on the basis of very few exposures. As detailed below, the acquisition of motion expressions is characterized by both universal and language-specific features.

    Languages analyze motion as the displacement of an object (figure) with respect to a reference object (ground). Additionally, languages may specify the path of motion (to the forest or up) and the manner of motion (rolling or spinning). It is widely recognized that these and other linguistic-motion primitives correspond to a set of prelinguistic, probably universal, conceptual-motion primitives that ...

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