Anja Goldschmidt, MA (Ms)
SToRE member since 01 Jan 2015
advisor: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Löbner
Pinching Loudly Doesn’t Hurt: Adverb Modification and the Conceptual Structure of Events in Language and Cognition
My project’s general topic is the representation of meaning, and the interaction between lexical semantics and compositional semantics in concept composition. More specifically, I look at verb-adverb modification, and here at the modification of verbs of contact through “so-called” manner adverbs. I want to know which meaning dimensions in the verbs are accessible for modification through which adverbs, and which dimensions are not accessible and why. Do the patterns that we can observe in verb-adverb modification originate from the lexical semantics of the combined words? Or do they arise due to concept composition?
To this end, I have collected data of acceptable verb-adverb pairs from two corpora, one for German and one for English. The corpus data show some interesting patterns with respect to the modification of the force dimension in verbs of contact. I have discovered a productive inference pattern on this dimension that cuts across traditional distinctions within adverbs (e.g. pure manner, agent-oriented manner, subject-oriented or mental-attitude).
Further evidence for this pattern has been collected in the form of questionnaires, and I am in the process of designing and running a self-paced reading experiment.
On the side of the verbs, I am interested in the force dynamic patterns, and how they influence verb semantics, and especially how they determine choice of modifier. How do different verbs divide the domain of forces? Why do some modifiers couple easily with a certain verb, while others don’t ?
I propose to model all of this within the theory of Frame Semantics, which is, in my opinion, the most suitable framework for formalising the role of conceptual knowledge in word and sentence composition.
Goldschmidt, Anja. 2015. Verb Adverb Modification: Why “lightly” isn’t “playfully”, yet “playfully” can be “lightly”. Presentation at the 16th Szklarska Poreba Workshop, February 20-23, Szklarska Poreba, Poland.
Goldschmidt, Anja. 2014. On “lightly” and “playfully” and other such manners. Presentation at the TiN Dag, February 1, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Goldschmidt, Anja and Joost Zwarts. 2013. From picture to preposition: Modeling lexical-semantic variation in the spatial domain. Presentation at the Workshop on Semantic Variation, October 25/26, University of Chicago, USA.
Goldschmidt, Anja. 2013. Dutch Spatial Prepositions in a Cross-Linguistic Context. Presentation at the TiN Dag, February 9, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Goldschmidt, Anja. 2011. Computers Don’t Fly in this World: An Experimental Approach to Possible World Semantics. Presentation at the 4th Young Linguists in Dialogue conference, May 14/15, University of Wrocław, Poland.