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Abstract

Implicit causality of interpersonal transitive verbs (IC) pertains to preferences to attribute the cause of a given action to the subject or the object referent in active clauses. Causal attribution is operationalized as the probability of referential continuation in a subsequent explanatory clause. This paper presents an explorative investigation into the causal biases of action verbs, which in contrast to affective verbs have received less attention in IC research. We approach implicit causality as a discourse level phenomenon based on the textual level of discourse representation and enriched by conceptual knowledge. In study 1, we targeted IC effects of German action verbs (N = 52) in sentences containing causal, additive and adversative connectives. Results showed that IC based categories of subject-object-, and non-biasing predicates were clearly discernable in causal contexts only. In study 2, we examined effects of situational knowledge (physical affectedness & social acceptability) and affective appraisals (valence & arousal) represented in the conceptual structure of the verbs on the construal of causality biases and their interplay with immediate contextual information such as gender of referents. Results show that higher degrees of physical affectedness were associated with causal attribution to the object referent. This effect was modulated by the affective properties of the verbs. Our findings revealed the influence of physiological arousal, an affective dimension not considered in previous investigations of IC. Actions with a strong physical impact that were characterized by high arousal, e.g., kick, or tickle were more likely to be explained with reference to the subject. Participants also considered the available contextual information, as indicated by the significant interactions of gender information with arousal. Within the subsample of non-biasing verbs, higher estimates for social behavior increased probabilities of causal attributions to the subject.

The World without Sight. A Comparative Study of Concept Understanding in Polish Congenitally Totally Blind and Sighted Children

The paper presents the outcome of an experiment on concept understanding in Polish congenitally totally blind and sighted children. A test of free associations was administered to a group of 40 sighted and 24 congenitally totally blind children between the ages of 7 and 9. The research instrument included 25 sample concepts grouped into four categories such as colors, nature phenomena, features of living organisms and physical processes. The collected responses lend support to the fact that there exist many impediments to proper concept understanding due to limited hands-on experience arising out of blindness, visible in the research by the presence of gaps in knowledge or egocentrism-based responses. The data exhibits a blind child's high dependence on contextual clues and a delay in the process of decontextualization, especially if it is not accompanied by sufficient stimulation from the child's environment.

Information Science and Technology   40 (1): 521-543. Snasel, V., Polovincak, M., Dahwa, H. M. and Horak, Z. (2008). On concept lattices and implication bases from reduced contexts, Proceedings of the ICCS Supplement, Toulouse, France , pp. 83-90. Stumme, G. (2009). Formal concept analysis, in S. Staab and R. Studer (Eds.), Handbook on Ontologies , Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 177-199. Stumme, G., Wille, R. and Wille, U. (1998). Conceptual knowledge discovery in databases using formal concept analysis methods, Proceedings of the 2nd European Symposium on Principles of

Abstract

Asking first about how the lexical meaning manifests itself as we experience it in a communicative event, the author explores the background of the ways in which we are able to perceive the meaning of words in texts. One useful way of thinking about how recipients react to the words in utterances is in terms of behavioural and actional lexical meaning. The first refers to the understanding of meaning, the second corresponds to interpretations of words when the recipient does not succeed in the process of natural understanding of words. These terms lead to questions about the rationality of language. One aspect of this rationality is the function of the intentional­emergent mechanism that adjusts the interplay of automatic and deliberate use of language. This mechanism has its roots in the fundamental human nature: we are behavioural­actional beings. Pragmatic analysis sheds light on how hearers understand and interpret what they hear with regard to their conceptual knowledge associated with words.

Abstract

In this paper a novel approach on knowledge integration in presented in the context of the knowledge-based society/economy (KBS/E). What this paper brings new is the transdisciplinary integrative approach of the knowledge through the “conceptual knowledge space” as a potentiality, and the “practical transdisciplinary knowledge space”, as actuality, with the transition between them through the included middle. Are introduced some of the most important practical educational environmental transdisciplinary conceptual and applied spaces, as innovative groundbreaking clusters that foster the origination, transfer and implementation of knowledge in the process of achieving sustainable development of the continuously integrative society. The University is considered the most appropriate space for this transdisciplinary approach of knowledge achievement, being a natural habitat of the synergistic integration of education, research and industry, and with its adaptability and adequateness in the knowledge economy space. University should become an open space in a reconfiguration in a integration of a highrequired degree with breadth profile competence in the integrated fields of different disciplines, with the need to have a depth profile of the knowledge in research on particular cognitive field. A new redefined mission of university by collaborating with industry should be linked to a redefinition of the role of the research in universities in the knowledge based society/economy.

Abstract

In this paper, a database of semantic features is presented. 104 nominal concepts from 13 semantic categories were described by young Czech school children. They were asked to respond to the question “what is it, what does it mean?” by listing different kinds of properties for concepts in writing. Their responses were broken down into semantic features and the database was prepared using a set of pre-established rules. The method of database design, with an emphasis on the way features were recorded, is described in detail within this article. The data were statistically analysed and interpreted and the results along with database usage methodologies are discussed. The goal of this research is to produce a complex database to be used in future research relating to semantic features and therefore it has been published online for use by the wider academic community. At present, databases have been published based on data gathered from adult English and Czech speakers; however participation in this study was limited specifically to young Czech-speaking children. Thus, this database is characteristically unique as it provides important insight into this specific age and language group’s conceptual knowledge. The research is inspired primarily by research papers concerning semantic feature production obtained from adult English speakers (McRae, de Sa, and Seidenberg, 1997; McRae, Cree, Seidenberg, and McNorgan, 2005; Vinson and Vigliocco, 2008).

Abstract

While exploring the situated nature of conceptual knowledge, the paper investigates the linguistic construction of identity relative to the language user’s sociocultural situatedness, which is regarded as a derivative of the continuity of language and culture. In this functionally-oriented study, we examine how the situatedness of the language user affects their expression of the selves, which in the article we construe in terms of social roles performed by men and women in a specific cultural community. Importantly, we claim that, although the data are historical in nature, they nevertheless help us address the problem of the elusive nature of human identity, a theme recurring in the linguistic study of subjectivity. We seek to explore the general question of experiential motivation behind the frequency patterns of linguistic usage. We illustrate the issue by referring to the historical data taken from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Clerk’s Tale. The poet’s use of selected modal verbs is contextualized in relation to the late medieval community of his present. We account for the poet’s usage of shul, mot- (in the sense ‘must’), o(u)ght(e), as well as mouen ‘may’, and willen, indicating the need for a more nuanced approach to the way in which the key modal notions of NECESSITY/OBLIGATION are applied in the study of linguistic modality. We thus advocate the adoption of a situated view of the abstract concepts. Furthermore, we argue that the usage patterns concerning the frequency with which the selected modal verbs are used in specific contexts of Chaucer’s narrative might be indicative of the ways in which the identity of a community member was negotiated in the late medieval society of the poet’s present. In conclusion, we indicate the challenges to present-day pragmatic research into the linguistic construction of identity. Specifically, the emphasis is laid on how findings from recent research into situated and social cognition can inform a pragmatic investigation of linguistic subjectivity.

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., & Pastene, J. (1991). Vegetative response during imagined movement is proportional to mental effort. Behavioral Brain Research, 42 (1), 1–5. Eno, B. (2011). Composers as Gardeners. Edge.org . Retrieved from http://edge.org/conversation/composers-as-gardeners . Gallese, V., & Lakoff, G. (2005). The Brain’s concepts: The role of the sensory-motor system in conceptual knowledge. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22 (3–4), 455–479. Garbarini, F., & Adenzato, M. (2004). At the root of embodied cognition: Cognitive science meets neurophysiology. Brain and Cognition, 56 (1), 100