Chapters 79 and 80 dealt with intransitive motion-to and motion-from constructions (e.g. 'I go to Leipzig', 'I come from Leipzig'). The present and the following chapters parallel these two chapters in that they also analyze motion-to and motion-from constructions, but this time transitive motion constructions with 'push' and 'pull'.
In this chapter, we investigate constructions with the verb 'push' (or semantically very similar transitive motion verbs), as in Lea pushed Maria into the hole. We are especially interested in how orientation or motion-to in this transitive motion verb is expressed in comparison to the corresponding at-rest situation (’to be at a place’). Do we find a special motion-to preposition, such as into in the English example cited above, which cannot be used in at-rest contexts (*Lea is into the hole)? Or does the language use the at-rest preposition also for motion-to, which is for instance the case in Seychelles Creole?
Throughout this chapter, the (a) examples show transitive motion-to constructions, whereas the (b) examples show at-rest constructions.
Some languages may use serial verb constructions (with or without a preposition) to express the transitive motion construction in question, as in examples (8-10).
In this feature we distinguish six values:
|Special motion-to preposition||2||9||11|
|At-rest marking is used to express motion-to||32||18||50|
|Serial verb construction||4||4||8|
|Serial verb construction plus preposition||6||9||15|
In eleven APiCS languages, a special motion-to preposition is available to express a transitive 'push' construction (value 1), comparable to the English example cited in the introduction.
For the overwhelming majority of APiCS languages, at-rest marking is used to express transitive motion-to (value 2; see ex. 1 above). By "at-rest" we mean the two basic local regions containment ('in') and attachment ('at'), as in 'I am in the hole' and 'she is at the tree'. In languages with value 2, the transitive motion-to construction uses the same marking as the corresponding at-rest construction. In examples (3)-(5), there is the same prepositional marking (bini, nə, in):
There is also the possibility that both situations are not overtly marked at all. This is the case in Chinese Pidgin Russian, where the goal butyka 'bottle' in (7a) and the locus sopəka 'mountain' in (7b) show no marking:
There are 23 languages which feature serial verb constructions either without (value 3; 8 languages) or with a preposition (value 4; 15 languages). The four languages that have only simple serial verb constructions at their disposal are the four Gulf of Guinea creoles Principense, Santome, Angolar, and Fa d'Ambô.
The languages which have serial verb constructions with a preposition show a certain concentration in the Caribbean, the Guianas, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
Only one language is attested as having circumpositional motion-to marking (value 5):
The last type of coding is only represented by the mixed language Gurindji Kriol, which exclusively uses the allative case -ngkirri (value 6) to express transitive motion-to:
For 11 languages there is no information about this feature.
The overwhelming majority of APiCS languages use at-rest marking to express motion-to (value 2). This pattern is also widespread in the European base languages. French, for instance, uses dans in both contexts: Je suis dans la cuisine 'I am in the kitchen', Je la pousse dans la cuisine 'I push her into the kitchen.' In some varieties of English, too, causative motion verbs like put and push may show the preposition in, as in She put her gloves in the pocket, where the more standard variety would have the motion-to preposition into (She put her gloves into the pocket). Portuguese and Spanish do not seem to have these constructions. Therefore, this marking pattern in French- and English-based creoles may well be inherited from the European lexifier languages. But there are numerous Portuguese- and Spanish-based creoles which also show at-rest marking to express motion-to, e.g. Diu Indo-Portuguese in (4). Here, a different explanation must be sought. Maybe the relevant substrates show the same pattern.
The use of serial verb constructions in transitive motion verbs, however, has clear substrate sources. Lawal (1989: 10) cites parallel examples from Yoruba, where the serial verbs 'go', 'reach', 'come' are used in transitive motion-to constructions, as in (8) from Fa d'Ambô. Unfortunately, there is currently little cross-linguistic data on transitive motion constructions as outlined in this chapter.