REMINDER: Invitation - USYD Department of Linguistics Research Seminar

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Sebastian Fedden

Aug 17, 2016, 9:16:36 PM8/17/16
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Dear colleagues,


Our USYD Department of Linguistics Research Seminar continues with a talk by:


Dr Rebecca Defina

The University of Melbourne


Events in language and thought: The case of serial verb constructions in Avatime


Fri, 19 August 2016, 12.00-13.30

Rogers Room, John Woolley Bldg A20, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006


You’re welcome to bring your lunch to the talk. After the talk we’ll have our Linguistics Afternoon Tea.


You will find the abstract below.







Events occur all around us in continuous streams of activity, yet we think and talk about them in terms of discrete units. These conceptual and linguistic event units are often assumed to align. For instance, serial verb constructions (SVCs) are often said to refer to single conceptual event units (e.g. Aikhenvald 2006; Bisang 2009; Comrie 1995). In this talk, I will present results from my investigations of SVCs and conceptual event units in Avatime, a Kwa language spoken in Ghana.


Conceptual event segmentation was investigated across three different kinds of thinking: thinking-for-speaking, memory, and perception. Co-speech gesture analyses suggested a strong alignment between SVCs and single event units during thinking-for-speaking in Avatime. Also during perception, priming with SVCs was found to lead people to segment events in a more unified manner. In contrast, no clear signs of alignment were found between SVCs and event units in memory. Together these results support the idea whereby rich and varied event concepts are constrained or aligned with linguistic structures when speaking or signing and this process of alignment may have knock on influences on how further events are processed or conceptualized.

Dr Sebastian Fedden | Lecturer in Linguistics

School of Letters, Art and Media | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


N367, John Woolley Bld A20 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006

T +61 2 9351 7518  | F +61 2 9351 2434


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