Applying language typology: Practical applications of research on typological contrasts between languages

Luna Filipovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter illustrates the benefits of applying insights from language typologies in order to afford better understanding of both theoretical and practical implications of language contrasts. It examines the practical consequences of certain typological contrasts for different professional contexts of communication, such as translation, second language acquisition and teaching, and the law. For the purpose of the present volume we focus on the cognitive domain of motion. Our analysis of the relevant motion event lexicalization phenomena is based on the three central criteria that underlie the research within Applied Language Typology (ALT): (i) presence versus absence of lexical and grammatical categories, (ii) more versus less restrictive lexical and grammatical categories, and (iii) complementarity in the distribution of categories. In this chapter, we discuss a select number of examples of lexicalization of motion and dynamic spatial relations (e.g. speaker and Figure positioning) across typologically different languages and we show how the ALT criteria enable us to identify exact points of language contrast that cause practical difficulty. Finally, we suggest future directions for ALT research that benefits both academic researchers and language practitioners alike.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMotion and Space across Languages
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and applications
EditorsIraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027265364
ISBN (Print)9789027246752
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Cite this