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Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John / Divjak, Dagmar

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IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 2.135

CiteScore 2017: 1.62

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1613-3641
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Volume 18, Issue 2

Issues

How similar are semantic categories in closely related languages? A comparison of cutting and breaking in four Germanic languages

Asifa Majid / Marianne Gullberg / Miriam van Staden / Melissa Bowerman
Published Online: 2007-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/COG.2007.007

Abstract

Are the semantic categories of very closely related languages the same? We present a new methodology for addressing this question. Speakers of English, German, Dutch and Swedish described a set of video clips depicting cutting and breaking events. The verbs elicited were then subjected to cluster analysis, which groups scenes together based on similarity (determined by shared verbs). Using this technique, we find that there are surprising differences among the languages in the number of categories, their exact boundaries, and the relationship of the terms to one another—all of which is circumscribed by a common semantic space.

Keywords: cut and break; separation events; Germanic languages; English; German; Dutch; Swedish; verb semantics, categorization; cluster analysis; semantic map

About the article

*Any correspondence should be addressed to Asifa Majid, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Postbus 310, Nijmegen, 6525XD, The Netherlands


Received: 2005-06-24

Revised: 2006-12-08

Published Online: 2007-09-25

Published in Print: 2007-09-19


Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 179–194, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/COG.2007.007.

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Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

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[2]
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Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2016, Volume 20, Number 9, Page 649
[3]
Barbara C. Malt, Eef Ameel, Mutsumi Imai, Silvia P. Gennari, Noburo Saji, and Asifa Majid
Journal of Memory and Language, 2014, Volume 74, Page 107
[4]
Asifa Majid and Falk Huettig
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2008, Volume 31, Number 06, Page 720

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