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

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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; van Staden, Mirjam; Bowerman, Melissa.

In: Cognitive Linguistics, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2007, p. 179-194.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - How similar are semantic categories in closely related languages? A comparison of cutting and breaking in four Germanic languages

AU - Majid, Asifa

AU - Gullberg, Marianne

AU - van Staden, Mirjam

AU - Bowerman, Melissa

N1 - The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - categorization

KW - verb semantics

KW - Swedish

KW - Dutch

KW - German

KW - English

KW - Germanic languages

KW - cut and break

KW - separation events

KW - cluster analysis

KW - semantic map

U2 - 10.1515/COG.2007.007

DO - 10.1515/COG.2007.007

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 179

EP - 194

JO - Cognitive Linguistics

JF - Cognitive Linguistics

SN - 1613-3641

IS - 2

ER -