SNSF Project Ergativity, Event Cognition and Evolutionary Biases in Language ("E3")

What are the processing and learning mechanisms, the diachronic/typological effects, and the cognitive and evolutionary roots of the way human languages distinguish agents and patients in events?

  • Contact: Sebastian Sauppe

  • Team: Sebastian Sauppe, Caroline Andrews, Vanessa Wilson, Aitor Egurtzegi, Arrate Isasi-Isasmendi, Eva Huber, Balthasar Bickel, Anna Graff

This project collaborates closely with the Work Package SemanticRoles of the NCCR Evolving Language and the SNSF Project Origins of Syntax at U Neuchâtel (hence we call it "E3+").

Selected publications:

Sauppe, S., K.K. Choudhary, N.R. Giroud Rickenbacher, D.E. Blasi, E.Norcliffe, S. Bhattamishra, M. Gulati, A. Egurtzegi, I. Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, M. Meyer & B. Bickel 2021. Neural signatures of syntactic variation in speech planning. PLoS Biology, 19(1):e3001038

Sauppe, S. and Flecken, M. 2021. Speaking for seeing: Sentence structure guides visual event apprehension. Cognition 206:104516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104516

Bickel, B., A. Witzlack-Makarevich, K. K. Choudhary, M. Schlesewsky & I. Bornkessel-Schlesewsky. 2015. The neurophysiology of language processing shapes the evolution of grammar: Evidence from case marking. PLoS ONE 10. e0132819. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0132819

Bickel, B., T. Zakharko, L. Bierkandt & A. Witzlack-Makarevich. 2014. Semantic role clustering: An empirical assessments of semantic role types in non-default case assignment. Studies in Language 38. 485 – 511 https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.38.3.03bic

Wang, L., M. Schlesewsky, B. Bickel & I. Bornkessel-Schlesewsky. 2009. Exploring the nature of the ‘subject’-preference: evidence from the online comprehension of simple sentences in Mandarin Chinese. Language and Cognitive Processes 24. 1180–1226. https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960802159937