Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Tyko Dirksmeyer

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 necessary to treat this action as a complex scenario composed of separate stages (Dan dropped the plate and then the plate broke). The “Event Complexity” (ECOM) clips are designed to explore how languages differ in dividing and/or integrating complex scenarios into sub-events and macro-events. The stimuli consist of animated clips of geometric shapes that participate in different scenarios (e.g., a circle “hits” a triangle and “breaks” it). Consultants are asked to describe the scenes, and then to comment on possible alternative descriptions.


This Field Manual entry, and the accompanying stimulus materials, can be downloaded from the MPG Publication Repository:

How to cite this resource?

Bohnemeyer, J., & Caelen, M. (1999). The ECOM clips: A stimulus for the linguistic coding of event complexity. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 74-86). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874627.

Volume 1999 , filed under Event Representation.