Identifying actional features through semantic priming: Cross-Romance comparison


This paper reports four semantic priming experiments in Italian and Spanish, whose goal was to verify the psychological reality of two aspectual features, resultativity and durativity. In the durativity task, the participants were asked whether the verb referred to a durable situation, in the resultativity task if it denoted a situation with a clear outcome. The results prove that both features are involved in online processing of the verb meaning: achievements ([+resultative, -durative]) and activities ([-resultative, +durative]) were processed faster in certain priming contexts. The priming patterns in the Romance languages present some striking similarities (only achievements were primed in the resultativity task) alongside some intriguing differences, and interestingly contrast with the behaviour of another language tested, Russian, whose aspectual system differs in significant ways.

Taming the TAME Systems - Cahiers Chronos, 27
Alessandra Zarcone
Alessandra Zarcone
Professor of Language Technologies and Cognitive Assistants

Computational linguist with a background in NLP and in psycholinguistics, working on human-machine interaction.