The typology of motion verbs in Northern Vietnamese
Talmy's (1985) seminal work on motion verbs categorized languages as either verb-framed or satellite-framed depending on how the core schema 'motion' is mapped onto an expression. However, Vietnamese has motion verbs that appear to function both as verb-framed and as satellite-framed. Furthermore, there is a tendency for expressions involving motion in Vietnamese to involve serial verb constructions. This in particular results in ambiguous utterances for semantic typology, because it is difficult to interpret post-verbal components as verbs or satellites. Here, the cases for both verb-framed and satellite-framed analyses are presented, and diachronous change and coverbs are discussed as ways to ultimately argue that Vietnamese is a satellite-framed language.
linguistics; language; motion verbs; serial verb constructions; coverb