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Imagining the abstract and non-imageable

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 -
5:15pm to 7:00pm
47 Wellington Square, Ground Floor Lecture Room 1

When we say ‘a dog’ or ‘a chair’, we unconsciously imagine the picture of a dog or a chair in the world, sometimes this is the particular dog and other times more generic one. This is not true when we say ‘peace’ or ‘experience’. This talk will be concerned properties called concretness and abstractness. One usually learns many concrete and imageable words very early, while abstract and non-imageable words come much later and in smaller number.

These concepts are the core concepts in psycholinguistic research investigating role of remembering, recognizing and understanding, not only words, but the complexity of language architecture as well. Concrete concepts are seen as referring to perceivable and spatially embedded entities, while the abstract concepts are seen as referring to entities that “are neither purely physical nor spatially constrained” (Pavio 1975). Although concreteness and imageability were treated as interchangeable terms in the literature, recent research shows that there is a systematic gap between them, but that the researcher should consider word’s frequency and familiarity as well.

Prof Anita Peti-Stantić will address these theoretical issues and present the initial results of the project entitled The Building Blocks of Croatian Mental Grammar: Constraints of Information Structure, within the scope of which the Croatian Psycholinguistic Database is being constructed. Her talk will be followed by a Q and A.

The event is free and open to everyone.

The speaker: