This Wednesday, Juergen will be discussing his new project: Causality Across Languages, where he intends to investigate the representation of causality across 28 languages belonging to 25 genera spoken on six continents. His goal is to create a semantic typology of how speakers of different languages categorize causal chains for the purposes of linguistically describing them.
The project has four main objectives:
- To clarify semantic differences between the causative constructions available in the languages examined
- To improve models of the mapping between meaning and morphosyntactic form of causative constructions based on the data
- To reexamine the interface between language and nonlinguistic cognition in the representation of causality using the data
- To discern the criteria by which speakers choose from among the expressive options available to them