Agent versus Non-Agent Motions Influence Language Production: Word Order and Perspective in a VOS language

AbstractIs language production isolated from our experiences of physical events, or can physical motion affect the conceptual saliency of the components of a to-be-described event, in ways that affect its linguistic description? This study examined the influence of physical motion on the interpretation and description of simple transitive events. More specifically, we investigated whether engagement in non-speech physical actions affects the relative location of verbs versus arguments in sentence production, and the relative location and prominence of Agents, by testing native speakers of Truku, a language that allows flexibility in each of these options and presents under-studied typological patterns.


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