Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Gunter Senft

Topic — grammar (13 entries)

Hypotheses Concerning Basic Locative Constructions and the Verbal Elements Within Them

Languages differ widely in terms of how they encode the fundamental concepts of location and position. For some languages, verbs have an important role to play in describing situations (e.g.,More →

General Questions About Topological Relations in Adpositions and Cases

The world’s languages encode a diverse range of topological relations. However, cross-linguistic investigation suggests that the relations IN, AT and ON are especially fundamental to the grammaticised expression of space.More →

Eliciting Contrastive Use of Demonstratives for Objects Within Close Personal Space

Contrastive reference, where a speaker presents or identifies one item in explicit contrast to another (I like this book but that one is boring), has special communicative and information structureMore →

Story Book Stimulus for The Elicitation of External Possessor Constructions and Dative Constructions (“The Circle of Dirt”)

How involved in an event is a person that possesses one of the event participants? Some languages can treat such “external possessors” as very closely involved, even marking them onMore →

The ECOM Clips: A Stimulus for The Linguistic Coding of Event Complexity

How do we decide where events begin and end? In some languages it makes sense to say something like Dan broke the plate, but in other languages it is necessaryMore →

A Questionnaire on Event Integration

How do we decide where events begin and end? Like the ECOM clips, this questionnaire is designed to investigate how a language divides and/or integrates complex scenarios into sub-events andMore →

Picture Series for Positional Verbs: Eliciting the Verbal Component in Locative Descriptions

How do different languages encode location and position meanings? In conjunction with the BowPed picture series and Caused Positions task, this elicitation tool is designed to help researchers (i) identifyMore →

Cut and Break Clips

How do different languages treat a particular semantic domain? It has already been established that languages have widely varied words for talking about “cutting” and “breaking” things: for example, EnglishMore →

Reciprocal Constructions and Situation Type

Expressions like ‘John and Mary embraced (each other)’ represent complex situations where symmetry entails that each participant plays each of the two semantic roles (John embraced Mary, and Mary embracedMore →

Put Project: The Cross-Linguistic Encoding of Placement Events

How similar are the event concepts encoded by different languages? So far, few event domains have been investigated in any detail. The PUT project extends the systematic cross-linguistic exploration ofMore →