Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

Online
ISSN
1613-396X
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Ahead of print

Issues

Defying chronology: Crosslinguistic variation in reverse order reports

Norbert Vanek
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use, Department of Education, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Barbara Mertins
  • Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur, Fakultät Kulturwissenschaften, Technical University of Dortmund, Emil-Figge Strasse 50, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2019-03-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2019-0006

Abstract

Much of how we sequence events in speech mirrors the order of their natural occurrence. While event chains that conform to chronology may be easier to process, languages offer substantial freedom to manipulate temporal order. This article explores to what extent digressions from chronology are attributable to differences in grammatical aspect systems. We compared reverse order reports (RORs) in event descriptions elicited from native speakers of four languages, two with (Spanish, Modern Standard Arabic [MSA]) and two without grammatical aspect (German, Hungarian). In the Arabic group, all participants were highly competent MSA speakers from Palestine and Jordan. Standardized frequency counts showed significantly more RORs expressed by non-aspect groups than by aspect groups. Adherence to chronology changing as a function of contrast in grammatical aspect signal that languages without obligatory marking of ongoingness may provide more flexibility for event reordering. These findings bring novel insights about the dynamic interplay between language structure and temporal sequencing in the discourse stream.

Keywords: event linearization; grammatical aspect; non-chronological ordering; language-specific discourse organization

References

  • Abondolo, Daniel. 1998. Hungarian. In Daniel Abondolo (ed.), Uralic languages, 428–456. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Athanasopoulos, Panos & Emanuel Bylund. 2013. Does grammatical aspect affect motion event cognition? A cross-linguistic comparison of English and Swedish Speakers. Cognitive Science 37(2). 286–309.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ayoun, Dalila & Rafael Salaberry. 2005. Tense and aspect in Romance languages: Theoretical and applied perspectives. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Baddeley, Alan. 2000. The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(11). 417–423.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Baker, Linda. 1978. Processing temporal relationships in simple stories: Effects of input sequence. Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report; no. 084.Google Scholar

  • Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen. 1994. Reverse order reports and the acquisition of tense: Beyond the principle of chronological order. Language Learning 44(2). 243–282.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bates, Elisabeth & Judith Goodman. 2001. On the inseparability of grammar and the lexicon: Evidence from acquisition. In Michael Tomasello & Elisabeth Bates (eds.), Essential readings in developmental psychology. Language development: The essential readings, 134–162. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Becker, Raymond, Todd Ferretti & Carol Madden-Lombardi. 2013. Grammatical aspect, lexical aspect, and event duration constrain the availability of events in narratives. Cognition 129(2). 212–220.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bergen, Benjamin & Kathryn Wheeler. 2010. Grammatical aspect and mental simulation. Brain and Language 112(3). 150–158.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Berman, Ruth & Dan Slobin. 1994. Narrative structure. In Ruth Berman & Dan Slobin (eds.), Relating events in narrative: A crosslinguistic developmental study, 39–84. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

  • Bhatarah, Parveen, Geoff Ward, Jessica Smith & Louise Hayes. 2009. Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: Similar patterns of rehearsal and similar effects of word length, presentation rate, and articulatory suppression. Memory & Cognition 37(5). 689–731.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bott, Oliver. 2010. The processing of events. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Brewer, William. 1984. The story schema: Universal and culture-specific properties. Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report; no. 322.Google Scholar

  • Briner, Stephen, Sandra Virtue & Christopher Kurby. 2012. Processing causality in narrative events: Temporal order matters. Discourse Processes 49(1). 61–77.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Burgess, Neil & Graham Hitch. 2006. A revised model of short-term memory and long-term learning of verbal sequences. Journal of Memory and Language 55(4). 627–652.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Burt, Christopher, Simon Kemp & Martin Conway. 2008. Ordering the components of autobiographical events. Acta Psychologica 127(1). 36–45.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Burt, Christopher, Simon Kemp, Jonathan Grady & Martin Conway. 2000. Ordering autobiographical experiences. Memory 8(5). 323–332.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bylund, Emanuel. 2011. Language-specific patterns of event conceptualization: Insights from bilingualism. In Aneta Pavlenko (ed.), Thinking and speaking in two languages, 108–142. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar

  • Carota, Francesca & Angela Sirigu. 2008. Neural bases of sequence processing in action and language. Language Learning 58. 179–199.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Carreiras, Manuel, Nuria Carriedo, Maria Alonso & Angel Fernández. 1997. The role of verb tense and verb aspect in the foregrounding of information during reading. Memory & Cognition 25(4). 438–446.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Carroll, Mary & Christiane von Stutterheim. 2003. Typology and information organisation: Perspective taking and language specific effects in the construal of events. In Anna Ramat (ed.), Typology and second language acquisition, 365–402. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Chafe, Wallace. 1979. The flow of thought and the flow of language. In Talmy Givón (ed.), Discourse and syntax, 159–181. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Clark, Herbert. 1974. Semantics and comprehension. In Arthur Abramson (ed.), Linguistics and adjacent arts and sciences, Vol. 2, 1291–1428. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Clark, Herbert & Eve Clark. 1968. Semantic distinctions and memory for complex sentences. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 20(2). 129–138.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Claus, Berry & Stephanie Kelter. 2006. Comprehending narratives containing flashbacks: Evidence for temporally organised representations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 32(5). 1031–1044.Google Scholar

  • Dery, Jeruen & Jean-Pierre Koenig. 2015. A narrative-expectation-based approach to temporal update in discourse comprehension. Discourse Processes 52(7). 559–584.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Drummer, Janna, Elke van der Meer & Gesa Schaadt. 2016. Event-related potentials in response to violations of content and temporal order. Neuropsychologia 80. 47–55.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ellis, Nick. 2006. Cognitive perspectives on SLA: The associative-cognitive CREED. AILA Review 19(1). 100–121.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fabricius-Hansen, Cathrine. 2006. Tense. Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd edn., 566–573. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar

  • Farrell, Simon. 2012. Temporal clustering and sequencing in short-term memory and episodic memory. Psychological Review 119(2). 223–271.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ferretti, Todd, Marta Kutas & Ken McRae. 2007. Verb aspect and the activation of event knowledge. Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition 33(1). 182–196.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ferretti, Todd, Hannah Rohde, Andrew Kehler & Melanie Crutchley. 2009. Verb aspect, event structure, and coreferential processing. Journal of Memory and Language 61(2). 191–205.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Flecken, Monique & Johannes Gerwien. 2013. Grammatical aspect influences event duration estimations: Evidence from Dutch. In Markus Knauff, Michael Pauen, Natalie Sebanz & Ipke Wachsmuth (eds.), Cooperative minds: Social interaction and group dynamics. Proceedings of the 35th annual meeting of the cognitive science society, 2309–2314. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.Google Scholar

  • Gernsbacher, Morton. 1990. Two decades of structure building. Discourse Processes 23(3). 265–304.Google Scholar

  • Givón, Talmy. 1992. The grammar of referential coherence as mental processing instruction. Linguistics 30(1). 5–56.Google Scholar

  • Greenberg, Joseph. 1963. Some universals of grammar with particular reference to the order of meaningful elements. In Joseph Greenberg (ed.), Universals of language, Vol. 2, 73–113. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Habets, Boukje, Bernadette Jansma & Thomas Münte. 2008. Neuropsysiological correlates of linearization in language production. BMC Neuroscience 9(1). 77.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hodgson, Miren. 2003. The acquisition of Spanish perfective aspect: A study on children’s production and comprehension. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 29. 105–117.Google Scholar

  • Hoeks, John, Laurie Stowe & Charlotte Wunderink. 2004. Time is of the essence: Processing temporal connectives during reading. In Kenneth Forbus, Dedre Gentner & Terry Regier (eds.), Proceedings of the twenty-sixth annual conference of the cognitive science society, 577–582. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

  • Hopper, Paul. 1979. Aspect and foregrounding in discourse. In Talmy Givón (ed.), Syntax and semantics 12: Discourse and syntax, 213–241. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

  • Hurlstone, Mark, Graham Hitch & Alan Baddeley. 2014. Memory for serial order across domains: An overview of the literature and directions for future research. Psychological Bulletin 140(2). 339–373.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kahana, Michael. 1996. Associative retrieval processes in free recall. Memory & Cognition 24(1). 103–109.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kelter, Stephanie & Berry Claus. 2005. How do readers deal with flashbacks in narratives? In B. Bara, L. Barsalou & M. Bucciarelli (eds.), Proceedings of the twenty-seventh annual conference of the cognitive science society, 1126–1131. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

  • Khalil, Esam. 2000. Grounding in English and Arabic news discourse. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Kiefer, Ferenc. 2006. Aspektus és akcióminőség: Különös tekintettel a magyar nyelvre. [Aspect and Aktionsart: With particular attention to Hungarian]. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.Google Scholar

  • Klein, Wolfgang. 1984. Second language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Klein, Wolfgang. 1994. Time in language. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Klein, Wolfgang. 2009. How time is encoded. In Wolfgang Klein & Ping Li (eds.), The expression of time, 39–82. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1972. Language in the inner city. Blackwell: Oxford.Google Scholar

  • Lascarides, Alex & Nicholas Asher. 1993. Temporal interpretation, discourse relations and commonsense entailment. Linguistics and Philosophy 16(5). 437–493.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Levelt, William. 1989. Speaking: From intention to articulation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen. 2000. Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Lewandowsky, Stephan, Lisa Nimmo & Gordon Brown. 2008. When temporal isolation benefits memory for serial order. Journal of Memory and Language 58(2). 415–428.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Madden, Carol & Rolf Zwaan. 2003. How does verb aspect constrain event representations? Memory & Cognition 31(5). 663–672.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Magliano, Joseph & Michelle Schleich. 2000. Verb aspect and situation models. Discourse Processes 29(2). 83–112.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mandler, Jean. 1986. On the comprehension of temporal order. Language and Cognitive Processes 1(4). 309–320.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Morrow, Daniel. 1990. Spatial models, prepositions, and verb‐aspect markers. Discourse Processes 13(4). 441–469.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Münte, Thomas, Kolja Schiltz & Marta Kutas. 1998. When temporal terms belie conceptual order. Nature 395(6697). 71–73.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ohtsuka, Keisuke & William Brewer. 1992. Discourse organisation in the comprehension of temporal order in narrative texts. Discourse Processes 15(3). 317–336.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Owens, Jonathan & Marat Yavrumyan. 2007. The Participle. In Kees Versteegh (ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic language and linguistics, 541–546. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar

  • QUEST. 1996. Produced by Thomas Stellmach & Tyron Montgomery. Music: Wolfram Spyra. University of Kassel: Stellmach-Montgomery Production. An excerpt is available at http://stellmach.com/Webseiten/Quest/Quest_excerpt.html (accessed 28 March 2018).

  • Radvansky, Gabriel & David Copeland. 2006. Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Situation models and experienced space. Memory & Cognition 34(5). 1150–1156.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Salaberry, Rafael. 2003. Tense aspect in verbal morphology. Hispania 86(3). 559–573.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Schank, Roger & Robert Abelson. 1977. Scripts, plans, goals and understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

  • Schmiedtová, Barbara. 2004. At the same time…: The expression of simultaneity in learner varieties. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Schmiedtová, Barbara. 2011. Do L2 speakers think in the L1 when speaking in the L2? Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics 8. 97–122.Google Scholar

  • Schmiedtová, Barbara. 2013. Traces of L1-patterns in the event construal of Czech advanced speakers of L2 English and L2 German. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 51(2). 87–116.Google Scholar

  • Schmiedtová, Barbara & Natalya Sahonenko. 2008. Die Rolle des grammatischen Aspekts in Ereignis–Enkodierung: Ein Vergleich zwischen tschechischen und russischen Lernern des Deutschen. In Patrick Grommes & Maik Walter (eds.), Fortgeschrittene Lernervarietäten: Korpuslinguistik und Zweitspracherwerbsforschung Linguistische Arbeiten, 45–71. Tübingen: Niemeyer.Google Scholar

  • Schumann, John. 1987. The expression of temporality in basilang speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 9(1). 21–41.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Silva-Corvalán, Carmen. 1983. Tense and aspect in oral Spanish narrative: Context and meaning. Language 59(4). 760–780.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Simner, Julia & Martin Pickering. 2005. Planning causes and consequences in discourse. Journal of Memory and Language 52(2). 226–239.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Simner, Julia, Martin Pickering & Alan Garnham. 2003. Discourse cues to ambiguity resolution: Evidence from “do it” comprehension. Discourse Processes 36(1). 1–17.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Swallow, Khena, Jeffrey Zacks & Richard Abrams. 2009. Event boundaries in perception affect memory encoding and updating. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 138(2). 236–257.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Takács, E. 2012. A progresszív jelentéstartalom konstruálásának sajátosságai a magyarban [Idiosyncracies of the progressive aspect in Hungarian]. Magyar Nyelvrol 136. 325–335.Google Scholar

  • Ter Meulen, Alice. 2000. Chronoscopes: The dynamic representation of facts and events. In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille Varzi (eds.), Speaking of events, 151–168. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Thieroff, Rolf. 1992. Das finite Verb im Deutschen. Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar

  • Tomita, Naoko. 2013. Strategies for linking information by German and Japanese native speakers and by German learners of Japanese. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 51(2). 117–149.Google Scholar

  • van Den Broek, Paul, Brian Linzie, Charles Fletcher & Chad Marsolek. 2000. The role of causal discourse structure in narrative writing. Memory & Cognition 28(5). 711–721.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • van der Meer, Elke, Reinhard Beyer, Bertram Heinze & Isolde Badel. 2002. Temporal order relations in language comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 28(4). 770–779.Google Scholar

  • Vanek, Norbert. 2013. Event linearization in advanced L2 user discourse: Evidence for language-specificity in the discourse of Czech and Hungarian learners of English. In Leah Roberts, Anna Ewert, Miroslaw Pawlak & Magdalena Wrembel (eds.), EUROSLA yearbook 13, 47–80. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Vanek, Norbert & Henriëtte Hendriks. 2015. Convergence of temporal reference frames in sequential bilinguals: Temporal structuring unique to second language users. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 18(4). 753–768.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Vendler, Zeno. 1957. Verbs and times. The Philosophical Review 66(2). 143–160.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • von Stutterheim, Christiane, Martin Andermann, Mary Carroll, Monique Flecken & Barbara Schmiedtová. 2012. How grammaticized concepts shape event conceptualization in language production: Insights from linguistic analysis, eye tracking data, and memory performance. Linguistics 50(4). 833–867.Google Scholar

  • von Stutterheim, Christiane, Abbassia Bouhaous & Mary Carroll. 2017. From time to space: The impact of aspectual categories on the construal of motion events: The case of Tunisian Arabic and modern standard Arabic. Linguistics 55(1). 207–249.Google Scholar

  • von Stutterheim, Christiane, Mary Carroll & Wolfgang Klein. 2009. New perspectives in analyzing aspectual distinctions across languages. In Wolfgang Klein & Ping Li (eds.), The expression of time, 195–216. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Ward, Geoff, Lydia Tan & Rachel Grenfell-Essam. 2010. Examining the relationship between free recall and immediate serial recall: The effect of list length and output order. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 36(5). 1207–1241.Google Scholar

  • Wood, Jacqueline & Jordan Grafman. 2003. Human prefrontal cortex: Processing and representational perspectives. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4(2). 139–147.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Zacks, Jeffrey & Barbara Tversky. 2001. Event structure in perception and conception. Psychological Bulletin 127(1). 3–21.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Zacks, Jeffrey, Barbara Tversky & Gowri Iyer. 2001. Perceiving, remembering, and communicating structure in events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 130(1). 29–58.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2019-03-19


Citation Information: Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2019-0006.

Export Citation

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in