Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Şeyda Özçalışkan

Second Advisor

Gwen Frishkoff

Abstract

Speakers of satellite-framed languages (S-languages such as English) express manner more frequently than speakers of verb-framed languages (V-languages such as Spanish) because S-languages use "satellite" phrases to encode path, leaving the verb free to encode manner (Talmy, 1985, Slobin, 2004). Gestures have also been shown to follow these cross-linguistic differences. While numerous studies have examined the effect of manner and path expressions on cognition cross-linguistically and in V-languages, less is known about these effects within S-languages. The current study examines encoding of path and manner events in English using a novel word-learning paradigm. Our results show that English speakers are less accurate at identifying words for manner than path—after controlling for the effects of learning and similarity of event pairs—regardless of the modality of learning (speech only vs. speech+gesture). Overall, our results suggest a path advantage in word learning even for S-language speakers.

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