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Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 4.500

CiteScore 2018: 0.46

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.233
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.337

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Volume 38, Issue 3-4


Event structure, conceptual spaces and the semantics of verbs

Massimo Warglien, / Peter Gärdenfors, / Matthijs Westera,
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, ILLC, P.O. Box 94242, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Published Online: 2012-11-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tl-2012-0010


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.

Keywords: actions; events; conceptual spaces; similarity; force vector; result vector; manner/result complementarity; aspect

About the article

Published Online: 2012-11-06

Published in Print: 2012-10-30

Citation Information: , Volume 38, Issue 3-4, Pages 159–193, ISSN (Online) 1613-4060, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tl-2012-0010.

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