Causality influences speech about manner of motion in Italian


Different languages express manner and path of motion in distinct ways. Some languages, such as English, express manner and path of motion in a single clause. They are called Satellite-framed languages. Other languages, called Verb-framed languages (e.g., Italian), usually convey manner and path of motion into two separate clauses. Previous studies on English showed that when the manner of motion caused the path movement (manner-causal), speakers used the Satellite-framed construction typical of their language. However, English speakers used more Verb-framed clauses when the manner of motion did not cause the path of motion (manner-incidental). This study tests if Italian speakers would use more Satellite-framed verbs with manner-causal or manner-incidental events. Our results showed that Italian speakers were more likely to produce Satellite-framed verbs with manner-causal than manner-incidental motion events, providing evidence against the language relativity hypothesis.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v46p25

Keywords: Manner and Path of Motion; Motion Causality; Linguistic Relativity; Cognition.


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