Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Time in language and memory
Author: Wang, Yaqi
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis aimed to investigate how we represent event duration in memory and language, and how linguistic concepts modulate event duration representation. In Chapter 2, we investigated how people represent the duration conveyed by temporal adverbials during story comprehension. We found that longer events took longer to process, as more diverse world knowledge was associated with longer events. We argue that duration representation in language comprehension is rooted in activation of world knowledge. In Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, we investigated how people represent event duration from episodic memory and how language shapes event encoding and recollection. We found that the amount of verbally recalled information predicted the remembered event duration. The more recalled information, the longer the remembered duration. This relationship explains that deeper learning lengthens duration reproductions and the Vierordt's law. Moreover, we found that linguistic concepts introduced at encoding do not bias reproduced duration immediately, unless linguistic concepts prompted recollection. However, after 12hs delay with sleep, linguistic concepts biased the remembered duration. This result suggested that episodic details and linguistic concepts were initially stored independently and then integrated during sleep or language-mediated recollection. In Chapter 5, we explored how concepts and event structures modulate event segmentation. We found that concepts lead to coarser segmentation only when they convey goal-specific events rather than goal-unspecific events. We argue that conceptualizing abstract animations into goal-specific events enable us to chunk smaller segments into larger units according to a goal-hierarchy, leading to coarser segmentation. In contrast, goal-unspecific events by nature lack a goal-hierarchical structure. Therefore, verbal concepts contribute more to event segmentation for goal-specific events than goal-unspecific events. Taken together, these results support the information activation-based account for duration representation in language comprehension, and highlight the role of verbal concepts in shaping duration representation and event segmentation.
Supervisor: Gennari, Silvia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available