Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles
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Research project

Expressions of motion and posture in Germanic languages.


De Knop Sabine, Perrez Julien, Gallez Françoise.


This project aims at exploring the expressions of posture and motion from various perspectives and linguistic theories (language typology, cognitive linguistics, generative linguistics). It deals with the expression and the marking of horizontality, verticality and movement in general, and their patterns of lexicalization in Germanic languages in particular.

It further extends the field of research to other syntactic or morpho-syntactic elements in sentences, such as locational predicates, aspect markers, auxiliaries, classifiers, case markers,... It also intends to offer a broad cross-linguistic overview of the expressions of posture and motion. From the point of view of conceptualization, it examines the relationship between posture/location events and motion events and their expression.

Participation to conferences:

1) Le 23.1.2008: Centre for Research on Language & Education (CREOLE) de la Graduate School of Education of the University of Bristol (GB), "Conceptualisation and the teaching of motion and location in French, German and English";

2) 24-29.8.2008: "Multilingualism: Challenges and Opportunities" de AILA àEssen (D), "Conceptualisation and the teaching of German abstract motion expressions and their case-marking";

3)24 oct. 2008: ?Expressions of posture and motion in Germanic languages aux FUSL », with John Newman (University of Alberta, Canada), Maarten Lemmens (Université de Lille III), Per Durst-Andersen (Copenhagen Business School), Marcel Den Dikken (CUNY New York) (site : www.fusl.ac.be/linguistics). Talk: "The conceptualisation of motion and location in French, German and English: Lexical, morpho-syntactic and figurative challenges"

4) 28 oct. 2009: « Approche contrastive des verbes de position et de mouvement en français, néerlandais, allemand et latin. Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis àBruxelles ». Talk: « Les constructions allemandes avec la préposition spatiale bis (?jusque?).

5) Sept 17 and 18 2010, "A Germanic Sandwich 2010: Dutch between English and German, A comparative linguistic conference", at the University of Oldenburg (Germany).

Presentation: (with Julien Perrez) ?On the use of the Dutch posture verbs ?staan?, ?liggen? and ?zitten? by German- and French-speaking learners of Dutch?


6) 11-17.7.2011: Participation to « Spatial Cognition in Talmy's Cognitive Semantics?, organised by Thomas Li at the ICLC Conference at the University of Xi?an in China. Talk: ?Manner of motion: A privileged dimension of German expressions? (avec F. Gallez).

7)De Knop, Sabine: 3-5 Juin 2015, Thinking, Doing, Learning, TDL2: Usage-based Perspectives on Second Language Learning, in Groningen.

Présentation: The conceptual and semantic variation of placement verbs in German: Typological and pedagogical challenges.



cognitive linguistics / language typology / motion expression / expressions of posture / contrastive approach / morphosyntactic approach / semantics / Germanic languages.

Research associate(s)

Sylvie De Cock.


Prof. Thomas Li of Beijing University, Department of English Linguistics
Prof. Francisco J. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibanez, University of Logrono, La Rioja.