October 1: Introduction to CAL

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
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