A Case for Semantic Underspecification? The Representation of Aspectual Class Information for Motion Verbs and Directional Prepositions

This project investigates the cognitive processing of aspectual class (AC) information in descriptions of motion events. To this end we will conduct a series of experiments in order to study the relevant properties of the verb, its arguments – most importantly the directional PPs that accompany motion verbs – and different types of temporal and spatial modifiers that language users rely on in order to assign an AC to a linguistic expression at a particular processing stage. We specifically aim at what user behaviour under controlled conditions tells us about the way AC information is stored in the mental lexicon: Are verbs and directional prepositions stored with determinate information about their contribution to the AC of complex expressions in which they appear, or can their AC contribution – at least in some cases - be lexically underspecified.

Project publications

  • Aspectual Class (Under-)Specification in the Generation of Motion Event Representations – A Project Outline
  • Gerwien, J. & Herweg, M. (2017). Aspectual Class (Under-)Specification in the Generation of Motion Event Representations – A Project Outline. Heidelberg University Papers on Language and Cognition (1). article

  • Dynamic Event Types and Profiling in Motion Frames. Towards a frame-semantic account of the diversity of motion expressions
  • Herweg, M. (2017). Dynamic Event Types and Profiling in Motion Frames. Towards a frame-semantic account of the diversity of motion expressions. (extended version of a) presentation at the HULC Open Lab Day, May 11th, 2017. PDF

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