Conference Proceedings

Conceptual event units of putting and taking in two unrelated languages

R DEFINA, A Majid, N Miyake (ed.), D Peebles (ed.), R Cooper (ed.)

Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2012) | Cognitive Science Society | Published : 2012


People automatically chunk ongoing dynamic events into discrete units. This paper investigates whether linguistic structure is a factor in this process. We test the claim that describing an event with a serial verb construction will influence a speaker’s conceptual event structure. The grammar of Avatime (a Kwa language spoken in Ghana) requires its speakers to describe some, but not all, placement events using a serial verb construction which also encodes the preceding taking event. We tested Avatime and English speakers’ recognition memory for putting and taking events. Avatime speakers were more likely to falsely recognize putting and taking events from episodes associated with takeput se..

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University of Melbourne Researchers