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lun. 06/05/2024 Sensory landscapes in motion? On spatial encoding of visual and auditory events
MSH-LSE, salle Elise Rivet & en ligne
Conférence de :
  • Yana Aquilina

dans le cadre DILIS

In this talk based on a parallel corpus study I am going to explore how two languages, English and Russian, convey perceptual events. More specifically, I will be interested in ways that linguistic items with directional meaning, such as verbs of motion,directional adpositions or satellites, structure visual and auditory language (e.g. come from below in The sound was definitely coming from below) and what it could reveal to us about linguistic conceptualisation of the senses.

The results show that in the examined corpus :
(i) both visual and auditory events are frequently expressed by linguistic items with directional semantics, which suggests that spatial lexis is an important source to talk about these two sensory modalities;
(ii) on the other hand, the following differences have been observed in visual versus auditory expressions: visual events are mostly conceptualized as motion of a gaze from the experiencer to the stimulus (e.g. Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore), whereas auditory events are predominantly conceptualized according to the opposite directionality, that is, as motion of a sound from the sound emitting entity to the experiencer (e.g.A low, soft hooting came from a dark shop). Therefore, in the case of vision, the experiencer is represented as a source of sensory motion, while in the case of audition - as a goal of such motion, which suggests that the orientation of a sensory path (for the term see Talmy, 2000: 115) is modality-specific. This result goes in line with Enghels’ (2005) observation that vision is linguistically represented as a more agentive, experiencer-based sense in comparison to hearing. The aforementioned directionality patterns, though contradicting contemporary scientific findings on vision, may be grounded in the fact that human physiology allows us to select the stimuli as well as control the time of a given visual contact by moving our eyes which makes us more agentive experiencers.
(iii) regarding the inter-linguistic dimension of the study, two key differences are going to be discussed. First, in the Russian sub-corpus we find relatively rich and specialized vocabulary used to talk about the motion of sounds (including a generic verb donositsja and a number of manner-of-motion verbs), while in the English sub-corpus the deictic verb come is the most common token, with manner being unspecified. Secondly, in the domain of vision, English and Russian use different strategies to encode vertical path of the gaze: English extensively uses satellites ‘up’ and ‘down’ (as in He looked down at his hands), whereas Russian uses a more complex construction with a verb of vertical caused motion (as in On podnjal glaza na nebo ‘He raised his eyes to the sky’). The aforementioned results will be discussed in the light of previous studies on the expression of human locomotion, visual motion (Cappelle, 2020; Cifuentes-Férez, 2014) and translation strategies.

Cappelle, B. (2020). Looking into visual motion expressions in Dutch, English, and French:How languages stick to well-trodden typological paths. In Y. Matsumoto & K. Kawachi (eds.), Broader Perspectives on Motion Event Descriptions, 235-280. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Cifuentes-Férez, Paula. (2014). A closer look at Paths of vision, Manner of vision and their translation from English into Spanish. Languages in Contrast. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Enghels, R. (2005). Les modalités de perception visuelle et auditive : différences conceptuelles et répercussions sémanticosyntaxiques en espagnol et en français. Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Gent. Talmy, L. (2000). Toward a cognitive semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lien Zoom : https://cnrs.zoom.us/j/91084656807?pwd=WnhqcWY2R1pSK25lc1hiVzl6SHZjQT09


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