Associated motion

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Associated motion is a grammatical category whose main function is to associate a motion component to the event expressed by the verbal root.

This category is attested in Pama–Nyungan languages, where it was first discovered (Koch 1984, Wilkins 1991), in Tacanan (Guillaume 2006, 2008, 2009), and in Rgyalrong languages (Jacques 2013).

Languages with Associated Motion present a contrast between association motion and purposive motion verb constructions, as in the following examples from Japhug Rgyalrong (Jacques 2013:202-3).

(1) laχtɕʰa ɯ-kɯ-χtɯ jɤ-ari-a
thing 3sg-nmlz-buy aor-go-1sg
'I went to buy things'
(2) laχtɕʰa ɕ-tɤ-χtɯ-t-a
thing transloc-aor-buy-pst-1sg
'I went to buy things'

Although both examples have the same English translation, they differ in that (2) with the translocative associated motion prefix ɕ- implies that the buying did take place, while (1) with the motion verb does not. The distinction made by the translocative is similar to the distinction made in "I went and bought things".


  1. ^ "Grammatical Features - Associativity".


  • Guillaume, Antoine (2006). "La catégorie du `mouvement associé' en cavineña: apport à une typologie de l'encodage du mouvement et de la trajectoire". Bulletin de la société linguistique de Paris. 101 (2): 415–436. doi:10.2143/bsl.101.1.2019831.
  • Guillaume, Antoine (2008). A Grammar of Cavineña. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Guillaume, Antoine (2009). "Les suffixes verbaux de mouvement associé en cavineña" (PDF). Faits de Langues : Les Cahiers. 1: 181–204.
  • Jacques, Guillaume (2013). "Harmonization and disharmonization of affix ordering and basic word order". Linguistic Typology. 17 (2): 187–215. doi:10.1515/lity-2013-0009.
  • Koch, Harold. 1984. The category of ‘associated motion’ in Kaytej. Language in Central Australia 1: 23–34.
  • Wilkins, David P. 1991. The semantics, pragmatics and diachronic development of ‘associated motion’ in Mparntwe Arrernte. Buffalo Papers in Linguistics 1: 207–57.

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