Raumausdrücke im Deutschen : Semantische Form und konzeptuelle Struktur. Ein Vergleich mit dem Schwedischen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of this thesis is to describe the conceptual structure of space and its relationship to semantics. It is a further aim to explain differences between German and Swedish verbal expressions of space, in which one language requires a directional and the other a static prepositional phrase. This is the case with causative positional verbs, many applicative verbs, certain verbs expressing arrival and most verbs expressing physical contact.

It is argued that these contrastive differences only can be adequately explained as different perspectives of the same conceptual structure (CS). A modular approach with two descriptive levels is chosen: the conceptual and the semantic level (Semantic Form). It is assumed that there is no 1:1 correspondence between these levels and that the semantic levels of Swedish and German cut out different parts of an identical conceptual strucutre for the linguistic representation.

The SF-representations are based on a lambda-categorial language, in which semantic predicates are related to their corresponding CS-elements through correspondence rules. German verbs and prepositions expressing spatial relations are categorized according to their relationship to the CS and for each class a prototypical lexical entry is given.

As for the CS-representations, it is assumed that the spatial CS consists of two components, both of which are tied to our perception of space. Directionality is seen as the motion of an Object over a line consisting of the components Source, Path and Goal/Loc. The static three dimensionality of space is represented in the form of a box, in relation to which objects in space can be in certain locations. Eight different locations are distinguished: Anteriority, Posteriority, Inferiority, Superiority, Interiority, Exteriority, Laterality and Mediality. A fundamental idea of the thesis is that directionality has to be integrated into the three dimensional spatial representation for a complete CS-representation of the interaction between verbs and local prepositions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • sematic form, conceptual structure, spatial expressions, local prepositions, motion verbs, positional verbs, contact verbs, space, applicative verbs, static relations, directionality
Original languageGerman
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Inger Rosengren, Supervisor
Award date1998 Mar 21
Print ISBNs91-22-01787-9
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1998-03-21 Time: 10:15 Place: Sal 339b, tyska institutionen, Helgonabacken 12, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Rauh, Gisa Title: professor Affiliation: Universität Wuppertal, Tyskland ---