Expression of motion events in Farsi

Niloofar Akhavan, Nazbanou Nozari, Tilbe Göksun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study examines how gestural representations of motion events arise from linguistic expressions in Farsi, as this language offers many unique characteristics; exhibiting characteristics of both Talmy’s satellite- and verb-framed languages. We examined native Farsi speakers’ speech and gestures in describing 20 motion events. We focused on two motion event components: path (trajectory of motion like up) and manner (how the action is performed like jumping). Analyses of syntactic packaging and clause-level correspondence between speech and gesture, as well as parallel ordering of speech and gesture sequences were, for the most part, in support of models that posit a close correspondence between speech-gesture production. However, while Farsi speakers described both path and manner in their speech, gesture was markedly impoverished for manner, suggesting constraints on the one-to-one mapping between linguistic and gestural expressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 14 2017


  • Farsi
  • gesture
  • language and thought
  • Motion events
  • Persian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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