Meaning, Culture and Cognition

Centre for Language Studies | Faculty of Arts | Radboud University Nijmegen

Colloquium Categories, Diversity and Contact

Room: E 1.06
Date: Wednesday June 3rd 2015
Time: 15:30 – 17ː00

Laura Speed – Representing meaning: embodied vs. distributional theories

To understand the meaning of words we must map the arbitrary form of a word to its corresponding concept. In this talk I will discuss two current approaches to understanding word meaning: embodied and distributional approaches. Embodied theories propose that meaning requires mental simulation in the brain’s sensorimotor systems. Distributional theories on the other hand describe meaning in terms of statistical patterns in a language. These two approaches are typically described in opposition to each other, but in fact by combining the two forms of information we may have better semantic models. I conclude the talk by discussing integrated models of meaning that consider both embodied and linguistic information vital.

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