Universität Konstanz
Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft
SFB 471 "Variation und Entwicklung im Lexikon"

Funding Period 1st of January 1997 - 31st of December 2008







Project A-5

Verb Semantics:
Constitution and Variation of Event Properties


Project Abstract

The work of the current project period (2006-7) includes investigations on abstract properties of models of representation as well as linguistical analyses of specific data fields in verb semantics. With regard to the models of representation, the focal point of the last project (2003-5) was an analysis of the frameworks of conceptual spaces (Gärdenfors 2000: "Conceptual Spaces", MIT press) and its application as a basis of lexical semantics in general, and the lexical semantics of verbs in particular. Complementary, we investigated how verb meanings can be modulated in essential fields, yielding event properties, namely the change of status, manner and spatial structure. The latter is connected with neurolinguistic investigations.
As a result, we design a model for verb meanings which specifies few abstract criteria of classification, embedded in a representation of separable conceptual dimensions. Conceptual modulation can then be represented as a process of mapping between a underspecified semantic form and a conceptual model. In the current final period, this model will be applied to a larger subcategory of verbs of motion and shall be connected with approaches of research about spatial cognition.


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