Constituent order in non-verbal representations: Describing events with pictures by speakers of Swedish and Kurdish
Abstract: In this thesis the question concerning possible influence of language on thinking was addressed by investigating constituent orders in non-verbal representations of motion events. Forty-nine participants, 25 native speakers of Swedish with the default order SVO (or Agent-Act-Patient), and Kurdish with SOV (Agent-Patient-Act) were recruited in Sweden and 24 in Iraqi Kurdistan to take part in an experiment. Reconstructions of motion events were elicited with video-clips and picture cards to investigate whether the constituent (word) order in one´s native language has an impact on the used order in pictorial sequencing. Evidence for the influence of language in the non-verbal representations could be detected in both language groups. In addition, the model of “thinking for speaking” suggested by Slobin (1996) was supported by the results, especially in the Swedish group.
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