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Event categorization: A cross-linguistic perspective

Majid, A., Van Staden, M., Boster, J. S., & Bowerman, M. (2004). Event categorization: A cross-linguistic perspective. In K. Forbus, D. Gentner, & T. Tegier (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 885-890). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Many studies in cognitive science address how people categorize objects, but there has been comparatively little research on event categorization. This study investigated the categorization of events involving material destruction, such as “cutting” and “breaking”. Speakers of 28 typologically, genetically, and areally diverse languages described events shown in a set of video-clips. There was considerable cross-linguistic agreement in the dimensions along which the events were distinguished, but there was variation in the number of categories and the placement of their boundaries.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

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