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Eva Wittenberg

With Light Verb Constructions from Syntax to Concepts

ISBN: 978-3-86956-329-9
139 pages
Release year 2016

Series: Potsdam Cognitive Science Series , 7

7,50 

This dissertation uses a common grammatical phenomenon, light verb constructions (LVCs) in English and German, to investigate how syntax-semantics mapping defaults influence the relationships between language processing, representation and conceptualization. LVCs are analyzed as a phenomenon of mismatch in the argument structure. The processing implication of this mismatch are experimentally investigated, using ERPs and a dual task. Data from these experiments point to an increase in working memory. Representational questions are investigated using structural priming. Data from this study suggest that while the syntax of LVCs is not different from other structures’, the semantics and mapping are represented differently. This hypothesis is tested with a new categorization paradigm, which reveals that the conceptual structure that LVC evoke differ in interesting, and predictable, ways from non-mismatching structures’.

This dissertation uses a common grammatical phenomenon, light verb constructions (LVCs) in English and German, to investigate how syntax-semantics mapping defaults influence the relationships between language processing, representation and conceptualization. LVCs are analyzed as a phenomenon of mismatch in the argument structure. The processing implication of this mismatch are experimentally investigated, using ERPs and a dual task. Data from these experiments point to an increase in working memory. Representational questions are investigated using structural priming. Data from this study suggest that while the syntax of LVCs is not different from other structures’, the semantics and mapping are represented differently. This hypothesis is tested with a new categorization paradigm, which reveals that the conceptual structure that LVC evoke differ in interesting, and predictable, ways from non-mismatching structures’.