The next session - Event Structure, Conceptual Spaces and the Semantics of Verbs Peter Gärdenfors, Massimo Warglien &
Matthijs Westera, was presented by Peter Gärdenfors whose book Conceptual Spaces (2000) I bought in Sedbergh in 2008 (talk about serendipity!).
Just reading the title back then was enough...
There was a starter question: Why are there word classes (nouns, verbs, adverbs...)?
It became evident that first morning that conceptual space as a representational form is very much still in active development. The abstract begins:
The aim of this paper is to integrate spatial cognition with lexical semantics. We develop cognitive models of actions and events based on conceptual spaces and vectors on them. The models are then used to present a semantic theory of verbs. ...Word classes were related (as in the book) to conceptual space elements, e.g.
nouns - categories
adjectives - properties
In addressing verbs this paper seeks a two-vector model of an event.
Agent (Force) -> Patient (Result) - result verbs describe the change in the object.
The Professor said that cognitive and linguistic aspects are often confused. Two theses were also provided - thesis 2: single domain constraint.
In addition talk of several spaces might be troubling (adding complexity), but to me the prospects of action space, category space and physical space makes the potential for modelling more explicit and accessible to Hodges' model.
I scribbled down 'agent not always necessary (fall, growth?...)' and pondered about self-care, relatives acting as a proxy.
There was a lot of detail on language, linguistics: static verbs, intentional verbs -> physical action; telic verbs. ... Rather than feel (completely!) confused by this specialist talk, I felt enthused for what is to follow.