Alexis Wellwood
University of Southern California
Christopher A. Vogel
Shandong University
Questions about the nature of the relationship between language and extralinguistic cognition are old, but only recently has a new view emerged that allows for the systematic investigation of claims about linguistic structure, based on how it is understood or utilized outside of the language system. Our paper represents a case study for this interaction in the domain of event semantics. We adopt a transparency thesis about the relationship between linguistic structure and extralinguistic cognition, investigating whether different lexico-syntactic structures can differentially recruit the visual causal percept. A prominent analysis of causative verbs like move suggests reference to two distinct events and a causal relationship between them, whereas non-causative verbs like push do not so refer. In our study, we present English speakers with simple scenes that either do or do not support the perception of a causal link, and manipulate a one-sentence instruction for the evaluation of the scene. Preliminary results suggest that competent speakers of English are more likely to judge causative constructions than non-causative constructions as true of a scene where causal features are present in the scene. Implications for a new approach to the investigation of linguistic meanings and future directions are discussed.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4148/1944-3676.1092
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,219
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Logical Form of Action Sentences.Donald Davidson - 1967 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), The Logic of Decision and Action. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 81--95.
Perceptual Causality and Animacy.Brian J. Scholl & Patrice D. Tremoulet - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (8):299-309.
Events and Semantic Architecture.Paul M. Pietroski - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
On Semantics.James Higginbotham - 1985 - Linguistic Inquiry 16:547--593.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Lexical Flexibility, Natural Language, and Ontology.Christopher A. Vogel - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):1-44.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Mental Events Preceded by Their Physical Causes?Celia Green & Grant Gillett - 1995 - Philosophical Psychology 8 (4):333-340.
Events.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Defense of Negative Events.David Joshua Rosner - 1986 - Dissertation, Brown University
Relations Between Universals,or Divine Laws?Richard Swinburne - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):179 – 189.
Of Ghostly and Mechanical Events. [REVIEW]Jonathan Schaffer - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):230–244.
Talking About Intentional Objects.Michael Gorman - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):135-144.
Events, Truth, and Indeterminacy.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - The Dialogue 2:241-264.
Transitivity and the Ontology of Causation.Nicholas Unwin - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):101-111.


Added to PP index

Total views
16 ( #642,476 of 2,448,374 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #304,462 of 2,448,374 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes