About the project

The Aqua-motion project (based in Moscow, Russia) is devoted to the description and cross-linguistic comparison of aqua-motion predicates, i.e. predicates denoting motion in a liquid medium – like swim, sail and float in English, nager, naviguer, flotter and surnager in French or płynąć and pływać in Polish.

Within the project’s framework data have been collected on aqua-motion predicates in more than forty languages, either with the help of a special questionnaire or by examination of text corpora. This made it possible to compare aqua-motion systems in various parameters, and to suggest a number of generalizations concerning systems of aqua-motion predicates in different languages.

In particular, an important distinction has been made between the three semantic domains of aqua-motion, namely those of SWIMMING (“active motion”), SAILING (motion of vessels or aboard a vessel) and FLOATING (“passive motion”). Some languages manifest further distinctions, especially in the domain of FLOATING, where occasionally one can observe a contrast between drift and being on the surface.


See more on the website of the project: