Kristian Vejbæk Nicolaisen

Kristian Vejbæk Nicolaisen is a PhD student in psycholinguistics. His research concerns the representation and processing of events. He is also interested in the construction grammar approach to language and cognition. For his dissertation, he is investigating aspects of time in events denoted by ditransitive constructions.


Argument structure is conventionally considered to be the inherent features of a verb that put constraints on the types of its co-occurring NPs. Additionally, verbs are assumed to relate to event structures with temporal features such as states and processes. According to argument-time structure theory (Klein 1999), the notions of event structure and argument structure are inseparable. Verb meaning consequently consists of features of entities connected to specific event times. Theories of construction grammar also question conventional understanding of argument structure by assuming the existence of verb independent syntactic patterns stored as units with their associated event structure. The present project investigates the compatibility of these seemingly contrary lexical and structural approaches to language. Aspects of both theories are united in a model of event cognition. It is thus argued that syntactic constructions are associated with argument-time structures. Focusing on ditransitive events, the cognitive plausibility of this hypothesis is experimentally tested.

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