LOT Summer School 2018

Language and event representation

Anna Papafragou



Title of the course:

Language and Event Representation



Course description:

This is a seminar on how language relates to event perception. The seminar pays particular attention to the complex question of whether and how event language might affect (and be affected by) cognitive processes, how different languages represent events, and how children acquire language-general and language-specific ways of encoding events. The course incorporates cross-linguistic, cognitive and developmental perspectives on a new and rapidly changing research area.

Day-to-day program:

Monday: Events in language and cognition.

Tuesday: Cross-linguistic event encoding.

Wednesday: Events and language acquisition.

Thursday: Pragmatic aspects of event encoding.

Friday: Event sources in language and memory.

Reading list:

Obligatory readings are marked with stars; the rest of the readings are optional. All readings by the Instructor are available from her website.

Background and preparatory readings:

  • Papafragou, A. (2015). The representation of events in language and cognition. In E. Margolis and S. Laurence (eds.), The conceptual mind: New directions in the study of concepts, 327-345. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.*

Course readings:

Lecture 1 (Monday):

  • Hafri, A., Papafragou, A., & Trueswell, J. (2013). Getting the gist of events: Recognition of two-participant actions from brief displays. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 142, 880-905. *
  • Yin, J., & Csibra, G. (2015). Concept-based word learning in human infants. Psychological Science 26, 1316-1324.*
  • Ji, Y., & Papafragou, A. (2017). Viewers’ sensitivity to abstract event structure. Proceedings from the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Lecture 2 (Tuesday):

  • Papafragou, A., Hulbert, J., & Trueswell, J. (2008). Does language guide event perception? Evidence from eye movements. Cognition 108, 155-184.*
  • Malt, B.C., Gennari, S., Imai, M., Ameel, E., Tsuda, N., & Majid, A. (2008). Talking about walking: Biomechanics and the language of locomotion. Psychological Science 19(3), 232-240.*
  • Wolff, P., & Holmes, K. (2011). Linguistic relativity. WIREs Cognitive Science 2, 253-265.

Lecture 3 (Wednesday):

  • Lockridge, C. B., & Brennan, S. E. (2002). Addressees’ needs influence speakers' early syntactic choices. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 9(3), 550–557.*
  • Grigoroglou, M., & Papafragou, A. (2016). Are children flexible speakers? Effects of typicality and listener needs in children's event descriptions. Proceedings from the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.*
  • Papafragou, A., Massey, C., & Gleitman, L. (2006). When English proposes what Greek presupposes: The cross-linguistic encoding of motion events. Cognition 98, B75-87.

Lecture 4 (Thursday):

  • Maguire, M. J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Imai, M., Haryu, E., Vanegas, S., Okada, H., …Davis, B. S. (2010). A developmental shift from similar to language-specific strategies in verb acquisition: A comparison of English, Spanish and Japanese. Cognition 114(3), 299-319.*
  • Gleitman, L. (1990). The structural sources of verb meanings. Language Acquisition 1, 3-55.
  • Skordos, D., & Papafragou, A. (2014). Lexical, syntactic and semantic-geometric factors in the acquisition of motion predicates. Developmental Psychology 50, 1985-1998.

Lecture 5 (Friday):

  • Ünal, E., Pinto, A., Bunger, A. & Papafragou, A. (2016). Monitoring sources of event memories: A cross-linguistic investigation. Journal of Memory and Language 87, 157-176.*
  • Tosun, S., Vaid, J., & Geraci, L. (2013). Does obligatory linguistic marking of source of evidence affect source memory? A Turkish/English investigation. Journal of Memory and Language 69(2), 121–134.
  • Ünal, E., & Papafragou, A. (2016). Production-Comprehension asymmetries in language acquisition: Evidential morphology as a test case. Journal of Memory and Language 89, 179-199.