Cross-linguistic categorization of throwing events: A behavioral approach
Gao, Helena Hong
Date of Issue2016
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Research on cross-linguistic categorization reveals that there were universal principles constraining the categorization of motion events across languages, and variations only distributed in a limited range. However, this finding has not been widely verified across languages and semantic domains. In this paper, we will address whether the universal constraints exist in the cross-linguistic categorization of throwing events, with the data collected with a behavioral approach. We asked 79 adult native speakers of English(12 male, 17 female), Chinese(15 male, 15 female), and German(18 male, 12 female) to perform actions denoted by near-synonymous ‘throw’ verbs in their native languages. Then we coded the features of their actions and compared them across individuals and languages. The results support the finding of previous studies that event categorization is constrained across languages. In addition, the top-down approach we adopted in this study allowed us to capture the focal and extensional semantic range of each verb involved, which advanced our knowledge of event categories and different semantic representations of a class of near-synonyms.
Cognitive Linguistic Studies
© 2016 John Benjamins Publishing Company. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Cognitive Linguistic Studies, John Benjamins Publishing Company. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/cogls.3.2.04wan].