Event endings in memory and language

Miguel Santin, Angeliek van Hout, Monique Flecken*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Memory is fundamental for comprehending and segmenting the flow of activity around us into units called “events”. Here, we investigate the effect of the movement dynamics of actions (ceased, ongoing) and the inner structure of events (with or without object-state change) on people's event memory. Furthermore, we investigate how describing events, and the meaning and form of verb predicates used (denoting a culmination moment, or not, in single verbs or verb-satellite constructions), affects event memory. Before taking a surprise recognition task, Spanish and Mandarin speakers (who lexicalise culmination in different verb predicate forms) watched short videos of events, either in a non-verbal (probe-recognition) or a verbal experiment (event description). Results show that culminated events (i.e. ceased change-of-state events) were remembered best across experiments. Language use showed to enhance memory overall. Further, the form of the verb predicates used for denoting culmination had a moderate effect on memory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)625-648
    Number of pages24
    JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
    Volume36
    Issue number5
    Early online date17-Jan-2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Keywords

    • event cognition
    • memory
    • object-state change
    • event culmination
    • cross-linguistic analysis

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