An Embodied Account of Argument Structure Development


  • Josita Maouene
  • Nitya Sethuraman
  • Mounir Maoene
  • Linda B. Smith



In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt:

All information enters the cognitive system through the body. Thus, it is possible that the body, and its morphology, may play a role in structurng knowledge and acquisition. This idea is particularly cogent in the case of verbs, since early learned verbs are about bodily actions and since recent advanc-es in cognitive neuroscience (Pulvermueller, 2005; James and Maouene, 2009) indicate that the neural processing of common verbs activates the brain regions responsible for the specific body parts that perform those actions. Here we provide initial evidence these body-part verb relations may also be related to the argument structures associated with specific verbs. We will conclude that in the same way that verb meaning and argument structure develop out of correlations in linguistic experiences, they may also develop out of correlations in body experiences.