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Barbara Kaup, June 21

The experiential-simulation view of language comprehension: How is meaning composed?


Barbara Kaup
Department of Psychology, University of Tübingen

In language comprehension research many authors nowadays assume that meaning representations utilized in linguistic cognition are similar in nature to those utilized in non-linguistic cognitive processes, such as perception, imagery or action planning: Comprehenders are assumed to mentally simulate the experience of the referent situation during text processing (e.g., Barsalou, 1999; 2008; Fischer & Zwaan, 2008; Zwaan, 2004). Research conducted in the context of this experiential-simulations view of language comprehension has until now focused mainly on providing evidence that linguistic and non-linguistic cognition interact, as is predicted by this view. As of yet, relatively little attention has been devoted to the exact processes by which meaning is being composed at the sentence level.

In my talk I will report about an ongoing research project devoted to investigating the process of meaning composition in experiential-simulations during language comprehension. I will discuss several different possibilities with respect to the role that non-linguistic processes and representations play during language comprehension. I will also look into the distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge, and report pilot data concerned with this issue.

Where and when:
15:45-17:00 Jun 21, 2011
MPI, Room 163

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