Simone Mattiola

The conceptual space of pluractional constructions

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This paper investigates the functional domain of pluractional constructions (i.e., a verb modification that expresses a plurality of situations) through the analysis of a typological sample of 240 languages. Crosslinguistically, these constructions can express a large set of different functions, and they can be classified in two main classes: core and additional functions. The former class comprises the functions that are necessary to describe a construction as pluractional, the latter functions that convey some supplementary information and that are recurrent in the languages of the world. In order to describe and explain such multifunctionality, we adopt the Semantic Map model (Croft 2001; Haspelmath 2003). The result is a Pluractional Conceptual Space that shows the connections among the functions (both core and additional). Then, we provide a functional explanation that allows to interpret the organization of the space and we discuss some interesting linguistic correlations that the space reveals. These correlations ultimately lead also to a new conceptualization of pluractional constructions in a cross-linguistic perspective.


  • Pluractional Constructions
  • Linguistic Typology
  • Semantic Map Model


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