Event Date: 

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • South Hall 3605

Pat Clancy, Jack Du Bois, & Marianne Mithun

In work far ahead of its time, Wallace Chafe dared to ask about the process that leads from the cognitive to the linguistic, from the non-propositional to the propositional: 'Verbalization . . . is meant to include all those processes by which nonverbal information is turned into words' (Chafe 1977). In a methodological innovation, he planned, scripted, and produced the Pear Film, which became famous as a tool used worldwide for producing comparable stretches of connected speech across languages, without the interference of translation. The verbalization of experience was an idea that captured the imagination of researchers and has continually spurred creative work by new generations of scholars asking questions in a variety of areas, from cognition to linguistic typology, and the processes by which grammar emerges from discourse. We provide glimpses of some of the kinds of work stimulated by these ideas.
The cross-linguistic verbalization of experience: Marianne Mithun
The question of where the processes of the verbalization of experience might show the effects of particular language structures is explored through comparisons of Pear Stories from five unrelated, typologically and geographically diverse languages.
So many events, so few verbs: The variable verbalization of 3-participant events in two languages:  John W. Du Bois
This paper examines the verbalization of 3-participant events in narrations of the Pear Film (Chafe 1980) in English and Sakapultek Maya, exploring variation in the use of verbs such as give, put, and their competitors to shed light on the implications for linguistic and cognitive aspects of the verbalization process.
What's in a sentence? Segmenting experience in Japanese narratives: Pat Clancy
The narratives of young Japanese children are analyzed to shed light on their developing ability to create multi-clause sentences demarcating various types of discourse units, moving beyond early strategies that equate the sentence with the clause or with the entire story.