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Book Chapter

How to put and take in Kalasha


Petersen,  Jan Heegård
University of Copenhagen;
Categories across Language and Cognition, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Petersen, J. H. (2012). How to put and take in Kalasha. In A. Kopecka, & B. Narasimhan (Eds.), Events of putting and taking: A crosslinguistic perspective (pp. 349-366). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Cite as:
In Kalasha, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Northwest Pakistan, the linguistic encoding of ‘put’ and ‘take’ events reveals a symmetry between lexical ‘put’ and ‘take’ verbs that implies ‘placement on’ and ‘removal from’ a supporting surface. As regards ‘placement in’ and ‘removal from’ an enclosure, the data reveal a lexical asymmetry as ‘take’ verbs display a larger degree of linguistic elaboration of the Figure-Ground relation and the type of caused motion than ‘put’ verbs. When considering syntactic patterns, more instances of asymmetry between these two event types show up. The analysis presented here supports the proposal that an asymmetry exists in the encoding of goals versus sources as suggested in Nam (2004) and Ikegami (1987), but it calls into question the statement put forward by Regier and Zheng (2007) that endpoints (goals) are more finely differentiated semantically than starting points (sources).