Dr Keir Moulton

UK Host Institution: University of York
Project status

The Grammar of Events and Experiences

Human languages can make reference to general kinds of things (“The domestic cat is a common species”) as well as particular tokens of that kind (“My cat is napping”). A growing body of research has shown that language makes reference to events in a similar way: to kinds of events (“House-hunting is generally difficult”) and to events as particular tokens (“Going house-hunting this morning was difficult”). This project investigates how different languages describe events and their kinds. In doing so, we aim to broaden understanding of the categories in the world carved out by the human mind, a topic that also interests philosophers and cognitive scientists.

The project focuses on Italian and Korean, and brings together researchers working on a range of languages in the University of York community. A significant component of the project involves experiments that probe how people comprehend the meaning of complex sentences in real time.

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