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The Specificity of Motion Conceptualization in English and Romanian: Typological and Discursive Parallels (based on the narrative text)

Author: Bodean-Vozian Olesea
Degree:doctor of philology
Speciality: 10.02.20 - Language Theory (Language Philosophy, Semiothics, Translation Theory)
Scientific adviser: Cornelia Cincilei
doctor, associate professor (docent), Moldova State University
Institution: Nicolae Testemitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Republic of Moldova


Term of presenting of the thesis 27 February, 2019


Adobe PDF document0.42 Mb / in romanian


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213 pages


conceptualization, motion events, motion verbs, picture of the world, narrative text, typology, translation


Structure of Dissertation. The present research includes annotations in Romanian, English and Russian; the list of abbreviations; Introduction; three chapters; General Conclusions and Recommendations; Bibliography (338 sources); 10 figures; three diagrams, seven tables and eight appendices. The main text contains 155 pages. The obtained results were published in 18 scientific articles. Key words: conceptualization, motion events, motion verbs, picture of the world, narrative text, typology, translation.

Area of study: the research is at the confluence of certain research domains, such as lexical semantics, semantic syntax, text stylistics, discourse analysis, cognitive linguistics and translation studies.

Purpose of the thesis: this PhD aims at establishing the peculiarities of motion conceptualisation in English and Romanian from the cognitive and typological perspectives as well as discursive implications of these typological differences in intercultural communication.

Objectives of the thesis: based on various studies on motion concept, to identify a coherent and comprehensive terminological toolkit to research the realisation of the concept of motion in language; to make a comparative study of the semantic structure of the English and Romanian motion verbs as a reflection of the motion event; to study the syntactic implications of the motion lexicalization differences in the two languages; to check the compliance of the Romanian language, as a Romance language to the lexicalization pattern described by L. Talmy within the binary typological opposition verb-framed languages versus satellite-framed languages; to analyse the impact of typological differences between the two languages on the intercultural communication, based on the translation of narrative texts.

Scientific novelty and originality ensue from the fact that the notion of motion is investigated from a complex, cognitive-typological perspective, as a mechanism of its conceptualization in English and Romanian, as well as from the viewpoint of the impact of typological differences that emerge in intercultural communication based on the narrative text (the original and its translation).

Solved scientific problem: the research contributed to the elucidation of the phenomenon of language variability from the point of view of motion conceptualization in typologically different languages, explained the nature of the difficulties related to intercultural communication caused by typological differences of motion conceptualization in these languages. Relying on the concept of „motion event”, we investigated the compensatory means to highlight the relevant discursive aspects of motion events, depending on the type of text/ discourse, taking as example the narrative texts which are very sensitive to lexical and structural transformations having implications for subjective manner, narrative perspective, level of granularity of motion events, and narrative tempo.

Theoretical significance stems from the relevance of the researched subject. The PhD thesis represents a multidisciplinary work combining aspects of lexical semantics, semantic syntaxis, text stylistics, discourse analysis, cognitive linguistics and translation studies. Our opinion is that the thesis contributed with new researches to the area of study, considering that Romanian was not among the languages that were closely investigated by the linguists who have focused on the translation difficulties of narrative texts from the point of view of motion conceptualization. The applied value of this research resides primarily in clarifying the differences at the level of lexicogrammatical continuum between the English and Romanian languages, which allow for a greater sensitivity to English phenomena in native speakers of Romanian, in particular during the translation of oral discourses and narrative texts from one language into another.

Results implementation: The results of this PhD thesis were implemented in scientific articles developed by the author (including, in co-authorship), and in communications that were delivered during national and international conferences. They could be applied in the teaching process of university courses for students of philology and translation, could serve as a departing point in the process of developing BA and MA theses, could represent a fundament for potential PhD theses in the area of language acquisition (English as FL and Romanian as mother tongue), gestures, emotions or language disorders in the context of motion verbs and could be included in specialised dictionaries (monolingual and multilingual, including illustrative dictionaries for children) or could be explored within interdisciplinary research programmes.