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How similar are semantic categories in closely related languages? A comparison of cutting and breaking in four Germanic languages

Majid, Asifa; Gullberg, Marianne LU ; van Staden, Mirjam and Bowerman, Melissa (2007) In Cognitive Linguistics 18(2). p.179-194
Abstract
Are the semantic categories of very closely related languages the same? We present a new methodology for addressing this question. Speakers of English, German, Dutch and Swedish described a set of video clips depicting cutting and breaking events. The verbs elicited were then subjected to cluster analysis, which groups scenes together based on similarity (determined by shared verbs). Using this technique, we find that there are surprising differences among the languages in the number of categories, their exact boundaries, and the relationship of the terms to one another[--]all of which is circumscribed by a common semantic space.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
categorization, verb semantics, Swedish, Dutch, German, English, Germanic languages, cut and break, separation events, cluster analysis, semantic map
in
Cognitive Linguistics
volume
18
issue
2
pages
179 - 194
publisher
Mouton de Gruyter
external identifiers
  • scopus:34848844026
ISSN
1613-3641
DOI
10.1515/COG.2007.007
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
440c99eb-7943-4091-b1fd-8847e8750e09 (old id 1611763)
date added to LUP
2010-06-04 14:38:53
date last changed
2017-07-30 04:48:22
@article{440c99eb-7943-4091-b1fd-8847e8750e09,
  abstract     = {Are the semantic categories of very closely related languages the same? We present a new methodology for addressing this question. Speakers of English, German, Dutch and Swedish described a set of video clips depicting cutting and breaking events. The verbs elicited were then subjected to cluster analysis, which groups scenes together based on similarity (determined by shared verbs). Using this technique, we find that there are surprising differences among the languages in the number of categories, their exact boundaries, and the relationship of the terms to one another[--]all of which is circumscribed by a common semantic space.},
  author       = {Majid, Asifa and Gullberg, Marianne and van Staden, Mirjam and Bowerman, Melissa},
  issn         = {1613-3641},
  keyword      = {categorization,verb semantics,Swedish,Dutch,German,English,Germanic languages,cut and break,separation events,cluster analysis,semantic map},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {179--194},
  publisher    = {Mouton de Gruyter},
  series       = {Cognitive Linguistics},
  title        = {How similar are semantic categories in closely related languages? A comparison of cutting and breaking in four Germanic languages},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/COG.2007.007},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2007},
}