On January 12th, Dr. Eva Wittenberg (UC San Diego) will give a formal online MPI Colloquium.
Using language comprehension to understand event construal
Understanding language is to recover the conceptual structure of a message from its grammatical packaging. The aim of my research is to understand how humans traverse this path from a signal to a thought, how it emerged, and how we can map it out. I address fundamental questions about the interaction of grammar, meaning, and broader cognitive processes. In this talk, I focus on how we can leverage subtle differences in the grammatical structure of a message to draw inferences about properties of the corresponding conceptual structure.
I present a case study of how people understand transitive events, like hugging, that are described in a ditransitive grammatical frame (Anna gave Mika a hug). These structures can tell us about the conceptualization of core properties of events, namely the representation of event participants and temporal structure. Then, I present highlights of recent and ongoing research in my lab that propels these insights forward to new questions: how we remember, refer back to, and hypothesize about events based on how they are grammatically packaged, and how an interdisciplinary approach can anchor a renewed discussion about linguistic architecture and how it interfaces with broader cognition.
Time and Location
Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Location: Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/94524200144?pwd=L1dOSUtGd3dGZTBQOEJPRmZGMzV0UT09, Passcode: 598237)