Abstract David Kemmerer

Action verbs across languages and brains: Some implications of semantic typology for cognitive neuroscience

The branch of cognitive neuroscience that studies conceptual knowledge has been advancing rapidly, but it has largely neglected parallel developments in semantic typology, which focuses on similarities and differences in the lexical and grammatical representation of meaning across the roughly 6,500 languages in the world.  With the aim of building some interdisciplinary bridges, I will describe three different kinds of crosslinguistic diversity in the meanings of action verbs, and consider their implications for research on the neural substrates of action concepts.