"What is a Verb?"

July 26th - July 28th 2017 in Constance, Germany

Call for Papers

"What is a Verb?" - Abstract

Verbs are the basic building blocks of a sentence, setting the structure of arguments and putting the more static building blocks (the nouns) into relation one with the other. The question we ask in this endeavor is whether and how the meaning of (complex) verbs is processed and represented in lexical memory, and how this may differ across languages. In contrast to previous cross-linguistic comparisons, we are interested in contrasting languages like German, Dutch, and English on the one hand and Hebrew and Arabic on the other hand, belonging to two completely different language families – Germanic and Semitic, respectively. We ask how the different typological features of these languages affect the processing of verbs – in healthy adults, in children who are in the process of learning the language, and in patients who have experienced language loss.