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Journal Articles Language and Cognition Year : 2023

How language influences spatial cognition, categorization of dynamic motion events and gaze behavior: a crosslinguistic comparison

Abstract

According to Talmy, in verb-framed languages (e.g., French), the framing-event (Path) is lexicalized leaving the co-event (Manner) in the periphery of the sentence or optional; in satellite-framed languages (e.g., English), the framing-event is jointly expressed with the co-event in construals that lexicalize Manner and express Path peripherally. Some studies suggest that such differences are only surface differences that cannot influence the cognitive processing of events, while others support that they can constrain both verbal and non-verbal processing. This study investigates whether such typological differences, together with other contextual factors, influence visual processing and decision making. English and French participants were tested in three eye-tracking tasks involving varied Manner-Path configurations and language to different degrees. Participants had to process a target motion-event and choose the variant that looked most like the target (non-verbal categorization), then describe the events (Production), and perform a similarity-judgement after hearing a target sentence (verbal categorization). The results show massive crosslinguistic differences in production and additional partial language effects in visualization and similarity-judgement patterns –highly dependent on the salience and nature of events, and the degree of language involvement. The findings support a non-modular approach to Language-Though relations and a fine-grained vision of the classic lexicalization/conflation theory.
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Dates and versions

hal-04350367 , version 1 (26-02-2024)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike

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Efstathia Soroli. How language influences spatial cognition, categorization of dynamic motion events and gaze behavior: a crosslinguistic comparison. Language and Cognition, 2023, pp.1-45. ⟨10.1017/langcog.2023.66⟩. ⟨hal-04350367⟩
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