Christiane Stutterheim

Christiane Stutterheim
Universität Heidelberg · German as a Foreign Language Philology

Prof. Dr.

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71
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (71)
Chapter
The expression of motion events cuts across all components of linguistic competence. This subdomain of spatial cognition is defined on the basis of a conceptual category: motion events do not exist, they are the result of conceptual construal. This means that besides knowledge of the expressive devices such as motion verbs, spatial prepositions and...
Article
Through a survey of crosslinguistic empirical studies on narratives and in the domain of motion events, we argue that the principles of language use pose a hurdle for second language acquisition, an issue that has not been given adequate attention in earlier research. These principles are part of our pragmatic knowledge which encompasses language-s...
Article
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Patterns of information selection and verbal encoding may rely on an interdependence between the spatial and temporal conceptual domain in the context of motion events. This has been shown, e.g., for Tunisian Arabic (TA), a language with a highly differentiated aspectual system. We address the question whether this interdependence can also be obser...
Article
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A number of linguistic and cognitive deficits have been reported during the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its preceding stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with some deficits appearing years before onset of clinical symptoms. It continues to be a critical task to identify tools that may serve as an early marker of pathology that are...
Article
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Event perception and cognition is integral to our everyday experience and functional ability. A commonly reported complaint in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the inability to follow narratives – be it textual, conversational, video, or pictures. This phenomenon has received little systematic research so far. In the current study, we developed a novel...
Article
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In the context of theories of statistical learning, frequency of encounter is viewed as a major driving force in L2 acquisition. The present paper challenges this position with respect to core components at the level of language competence which relate to language-specific patterns in cognitive construal. Empirical evidence from very advanced L2 sp...
Article
Numerous crosslinguistic studies on motion events have been carried out in investigating the scope of the twofold typology "path versus manner" (Talmy 1985, 2000) and its possible implications. This typological contrast is too narrow as it stands, however, to account for the diversity found both within and across types. The present study is based o...
Article
Events, as fundamental units in human perception and cognition, are limited by quality changes of objects over time. In the present study, we investigate the role of language in shaping event units. Given fundamental cross-linguistic differences in the concepts encoded in the verb, as in French compared to German, event unit formation was tested fo...
Article
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Learning computer systems to recognize natural human speech is significantly easier and more effective when the cognitive process in humans is understood. Psycholinguistics, as an interdisciplinary study of language and cognition, is extremely helpful in this respect. The aim of this study is to understand which linguistic coping strategies people...
Article
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In tonal languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, the pitch contour of vowels discriminates lexical meaning, which is not the case in non-tonal languages such as German. Recent data provide evidence that pitch processing is influenced by language experience. However, there are still many open questions concerning the representation of such phonological...
Article
Motion events and their linguistic form have been studied extensively over the past decades from a typological as well as a psycholinguistic point of view. While many studies take Talmy’s (1985. Lexicalization patterns: Semantic structure in lexical forms. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description: Grammatical categories...
Chapter
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Ausgangspunkt der Überlegungen ist die Beobachtung, dass bestimmte Verwendungsweisen der deutschen Sprache zwar grammatisch und lexikalisch richtig sind, aber dennoch in einem bestimmten Kontext für einen Muttersprachler merkwürdig klingen und gewöhnlich nicht gebraucht werden. Man findet diese Formen der Variation zum Beispiel bei sehr fortgeschri...
Poster
Full-text available
The aim of the present study is to document the role of aspectual categories in the construal of motion events both in visual processing as well as message generation for verbalisation, as observed in Tunisian Arabic (TA) and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), two closely- related varieties with relevant contrasts in the types of verbal aspectual catego...
Article
Full-text available
The typological contrast between verb- and satellite-framed languages (Talmy, 1985) has set the basis for many empirical studies on L2 acquisition. The current analysis goes beyond this typology by looking in detail at the conceptualization of the path of motion in a motion event. We take as a starting point the cognitive salience of specific eleme...
Article
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Using eye-tracking as a window on cognitive processing, this study investigates language effects on attention to motion events in a non-verbal task. We compare gaze allocation patterns by native speakers of German and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), two languages that differ with regard to the grammaticalization of temporal concepts. Findings of the...
Article
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Studies on gaze allocation during sentence production have recently begun to implement cross-linguistic analyses in the investigation of visual and linguistic processing. The underlying assumption is that the aspects of a scene that attract attention prior to articulation are, in part, linked to the linguistic system, as well as the specific means...
Article
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Although the typological contrast between Romance and Germanic languages as verb-framed versus satellite-framed (Talmy 1985) forms the background for many empirical studies on L2 acquisition, the inconclusive picture to date calls for more differentiated, fine-grained analyses. The present study goes beyond explanations based on this typological co...
Article
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The linguistic knowledge which is brought to bear in carrying out a complex task such as a narrative or route directions has been at the centre of a series of studies on language-specific patterns in the organization of information for expression. Analyses of oral and written texts in German, Standard Arabic, and Russian show different patterns in...
Chapter
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One of the central questions in cognitive linguistics concerns human cognition and the way dynamic situations are structured for expression. When language is used to convey information on experience, it is far from being a mirror of what was actually perceived. Representations are based on information stored in memory and retrieved when construing...
Article
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Comparisons of spoken narrative texts by L1 speakers of English, French, and German provide evidence for macro-planning principles that are grammatically-based and perspective driven. These principles relate to the conceptual domains of entities, time, space, and worlds, and are reflected in the type of information selected for mention, the way the...
Article
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The present crosslinguistic study relates to narratives based on a film retelling task and focuses on the way speakers of German, English, and French proceed at the level of macrostructural planning. The type of information organisation required in carrying out a task of this kind can be described at different levels of analysis. There are question...
Article
Full-text available
The present crosslinguistic study relates to narratives based on a film retelling task and focuses on the way speakers of German, English, and French proceed at the level of macrostructural planning. The type of information organisation required in carrying out a task of this kind can be described at different levels of analysis. There are question...
Article
Full-text available
The paper presents a theory of the semantics und the discourse effects of German temporal dann in its sentence-initial and its sentence-internal position. The theory provides an algorithmic reconstruction of these differences on the basis of a single specification of the semantics of dann, which interacts with other semantic elements at sentence an...
Article
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Cross-linguistic studies of event time structures which include Semitic (Algerian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic), Germanic (English, German, Dutch, Norwegian), and Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish) reveal language-specific effects in the way events are construed, showing that the underlying principles are both perspective driven and lin...
Article
Full-text available
Cross-linguistic studies of event time structures which include Semitic (Algerian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic), Germanic (English, German, Dutch, Norwegian), and Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish) reveal language-specific effects in the way events are construed, showing that the underlying principles are both perspective driven and lin...
Article
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One of the central assumptions in discourse analysis is that texts are structured at two levels, a macrostructural or global level and a microstructural or local level. Notions such as topic continuity, global theme, global framing, backgrounding, serve to specify these structures. The study sets out to test some of the conditions which allow for o...
Article
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This study investigates in what way the verbal production of advanced German and French learners of English diverges from that of native speakers of English in the functional use of grammatical means, and of subordination in particular. This research is part of comparative cross linguistic project which has shown that in complex verbal tasks, (1) s...
Article
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This paper addresses the factors that distinguish very advanced learners from native speakers, investigating the difficulties which arise in overcoming the final thresholds in the learning process. Firstly, it compares different linguistic systems with respect to specific grammaticised categories, showing how these categories relate to patterns of...
Article
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Differences in how verbal tasks are solved by speakers of different languages are often attributed to specific cultural and stylistic traditions. In contrast to this position we argue that differences in the organization of information in texts are rooted in structural contrasts between languages. This claim is based on production data from speaker...
Article
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The paper reports on a series of empirical studies in which language-specific patterns in the construal of events are investigated. The background of the studies is given by crosslinguistic analyses of the verbalisation of events in film renarrations. The results for English, German, Spanish and Arabic suggest that grammaticised categories are rele...
Chapter
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“There can be little doubt that at the time of speaking we think in language specific-categories” (Levinson 1997: 34). In what seems to be a clear statement we find the central aspects with respect to which the controversial discussion about the relation between language and thought unfolds. One I will call the aspect of levels It is by no means cl...
Article
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The role of the listener in processes of language planning and production is assessed controversially in the literature. In this paper it is argued that differences observed in the degree of partner adaptivity are related to differences in task complexity. Earlier studies in this field focused on the production of single referential acts. In order...
Article
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L'A. defend la these selon laquelle, dans le processus de production de textes, les modeles specifiques a la langue jouent un role au niveau de la conceptualisation. La selection et la structuration des elements a partir d'une base de connaissance se fait ainsi d'apres des principes specifiques a la langue. Cette conception va a l'encontre de la th...
Article
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Many pecularities in the production of a second language learner can easily be diagnosed as grammatical, morphological or lexical deviations from the target norm. But there are others which escape such a straightforward analyis: there is not a single »error«, it is just felt that the learner’s utterances »are not English«; deviations of this type a...
Article
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This paper gives a cross-linguistic comparison of the way information is organized for expression in descriptions in English and German, given the same communicative tasks. The study focuses on factors governing the use of spatial concepts and the ways in which they are mapped into linguistic form. This involves a comparison of the concepts used in...
Article
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This paper reports on the results of an interdisciplinary study on object reference carried out by psychologists and linguists. The question investigated in particular concerns the choice of content (specifiers) and form (determiners) of noun phrases used for object reference in text production. Experiments were carried out in which context of use...
Article
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The structure of a text is constrained on both global and local levels by the nature of the question that the text in its entirety is produced to answer. These constraints include: (1) the partitioning of the text into main structure and side structures; (2) the filling of various possible domains of reference within each main structure utterance;...

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Projects (2)
Project
In the study we (Gerwien & v. Stutterheim) test the role of linguistically shaped event units for segmenting the continuous flow of visual input. Given fundamental cross-linguistic differences in the description of motion events in French and German event unit formation in both a verbal as well as a non-verbal task was tested. The results show significant differences between language groups in both tasks.