Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Shakila Shayan

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, English has a very general verb break, but K’iche’ Maya has many different ‘break’ verbs that are used for different kinds of objects (e.g., brittle, flexible, long). The aim of this task is to map out cross-linguistic lexicalisation patterns in the cutting/breaking domain. The stimuli comprise 61 short video clips that show one or two actors breaking various objects (sticks, carrots, pieces of cloth or string, etc.) using various instruments (a knife, a hammer, an axe, their hands, etc.), or situations in which various kinds of objects break spontaneously. The clips are used to elicit descriptions of actors’ actions and the state changes that the objects undergo.


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

How to cite this resource?

Bohnemeyer, J., Bowerman, M., & Brown, P. (2001). Cut and break clips. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 90-96). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874626.

Volume 2001 , filed under Event Representation.
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