Talk About Motion: The Semantic Representation of Verbs by Motion Dynamics

Erin N. Cannon, Paul R. Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In this chapter we propose that word choice, particularly the utterance of a verb, is conditioned on situations containing representations of abstracted movement patterns from the environment. We begin by defining and exploring this theory of word meaning, and review of the developmental literature demonstrating the human sensitivity to meaningful movement patterns through space. We provide one account, P. R. Cohen's Maps for Verbs framework, as support for this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Spatial Foundations of Language and Cognition
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191720444
ISBN (Print)9780199553242
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Event representation
  • Language acquisition
  • Semantics
  • Verb learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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