Book Review: Event representation in language and cognition

Alexandra Polyzou

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


The volume contributes to “bridging the gap between linguistic and psychological research” (1) on event representation in language and cognition, After a concise review of previous work in the introduction (Pederson & Bohnmeyer), Andrew Pawley (Ch. 2) compares Kalam and English, addressing the question of the relationship between language and event conceptualization, as well as the more specific question of whether series of verb constructions in Kalam should be classified as a series of clauses/event representations, or as a construction in its own right (representing a single event). Bohnmeyer, N. J. Enfield, James Essegbey & Sotaro Kita (Ch. 3) are concerned with a typology of the segmentation of what they call “macro-events” into “events”—representations of dynamic stimuli (macro-event segments) influenced by lexical and syntactic constraints—focussing in particular on the segmentation of causal chains. Ch. 4 (Mary Carroll & Christiane von Stutterheim) presents findings from a study of English and German on the anchoring of the representation of events in context (specifically temporal context in this case), concluding that grammatical, semantic, and conceptual knowledge all come into play in determining the on-line linguistic representation of events. Asli Özyürek & Pamela Perniss (Ch. 5) discuss event representations in the Turkish and German Sign Languages. They indicate that choice of perspective and the semantics of the represented event influence event representation in both languages, but that there are also language-specific constraints. Jurgen Bohnemeyer & Eric Pederson (eds.)  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Pp. xii, 282. Hb. $95
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-549
JournalLanguage in Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


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