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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 6, 2012

Event structure, conceptual spaces and the semantics of verbs

  • Massimo Warglien, EMAIL logo , Peter Gärdenfors, and Matthijs Westera,
From the journal Theoretical Linguistics


The aim of this paper is to integrate spatial cognition with lexical semantics. We develop cognitive models of actions and events based on conceptual spaces and vectors on them. The models are then used to present a semantic theory of verbs.

We propose a two-vector model of events including a force vector and a result vector. We argue that our framework provides a unified account for a multiplicity of linguistic phenomena related to verbs. Among other things it provides a cognitive explanation for the lexico-semantic constraint regarding manner vs. result and for polysemy caused by intentionality. It also generates a unified definition of aspect.

Published Online: 2012-11-06
Published in Print: 2012-10-30

©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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