This is the second chapter dealing with intransitive motion constructions. Here we investigate motion-from constructions, which express movement from a named place, as for instance in English I came back from Leipzig. In this example, the source term, Leipzig, is marked by the preposition from.
As in Chapter 79, we restrict our data to coming from named places, like villages, cities, or countries, and we exclude other sources. The reason for this methodological step is that many languages code different sources in different ways.
As noted in the last chapter, this restriction makes the data more comparable. Data on the highly frequent sources ‘market', 'village', 'home’ is available in Chapter 81 on motion-to and motion-from constructions.
In this feature we distinguish seven values:
|No adpositional/case marking||9||11||20|
|Serial verb plus preposition||2||3||5|
20 APiCS languages have the possibility of not marking the source by an adposition or a case marker (value 1) in sentences expressing coming from named places. This is in sharp contrast to the figures in Chapter 79 (Going to named places) where 53 APiCS languages, more than twice the number, do not show any adpositional or case marking. Thus, motion-from apparently lends itself much less to zero-marking.
Nine languages of this type have this value as their only option. As in Chapter 79, here again we find six out of the nine French-based creoles. Mixed Ma’a/Mbugu, Fanakalo, and Chinese Pidgin Russian are the other languages with this value. Interestingly, no English-based or Ibero-Romance-based creole has zero-marking in motion-from situations.
The overwhelming majority of APiCS languages (53 languages) can mark coming from a named place with a preposition (value 2).
As with going to named places (cf. Chapter 79), some languages with this value use the same preposition for coming-from and for going-to contexts. Such an all-purpose preposition does not express the orientation (motion-to/motion-from), but seems to refer to some spatial feature of the placed object (see also Chapter 81 on motion-to and motion-from). Saramaccan shows such a preposition.
Seven APiCS languages have postpositions to mark the source (value 3).
The areal restriction is interesting here: Five out of the six exclusively postpositional marking languages are spoken in South Asia and Melanesia (see also Chapter 4 on adposition order).
The next value involves a serial verb ‘come from' (value 5). Here, we find five languages, of which four have this construction as their only option. All four languages are Portuguese-based creoles of the Gulf of Guinea: Principense, Santome, Angolar and Fa d'Ambô.
There are five languages with value 6, serial verb plus preposition. One example comes from Nengee:
Here the construction with the serial verb komoto ‘come from’ and the preposition na ‘at, in’ can be combined with another optional serial verb kon ‘come’, which is postposed to the source Albina.
When comparing the use of the serial verb strategy (with and without a preposition) with the situation in Chapter 79 (on going to named places), it is interesting to note that serial verbs are less frequently used to express motion-from (ten languages) than motion-to (18 languages).
In two mixed languages, there is ablative case marking on the source argument (value 7): In Gurindji Kriol case marking is one option besides prepositional marking (value 2), while in Media Lengua case marking is the only option.
It is far from clear on which grounds we decide what is a case marker and what is an adpositional marker. It seems that it has a lot to do with grammaticographic traditions which are linked to writing systems. These often suggest that something is an affix, only because it is written in one word or at least hyphenated. It is beyond the scope of this project to come up with systematic tests for wordhood or affixhood. But the diversity of criteria in particular APiCS languages has made us aware of the difficulty of finding appropriate comparative concepts for deciding which morphemes should be regarded as free morphemes, and which morphemes should be classified as affixes (with clitics somewhere in between, see Haspelmath 2011b).
Lack of prepositional or case marking is confined to 20 languages, of which nine languages (six French-based languages) stand out as having this option as their only one. Interestingly, in contrast to what one might expect, pidgins as simplified languages are not overrepresented in this value. Instead, they show adpositional marking, e.g. in Pidgin Hawaiian, Pidgin Hindustani, Yimas-Arafundi Pidgin, Chinuk Wawa, Singapore Bazaar Malay and Chinese Pidgin English. Only the last two pidgins also show zero marking besides the prepositional marking.
For a more detailed interpretation of the data of this chapter in terms of substrate influence, see Chapter 81 on motion-to and motion-from.