How similar are objects and events?

Alexis Wellwood, Susan J Hespos, Lance Rips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Semanticists often assume an ontology for natural language that includes not only ordinary objects, but also events, and other sorts of entities. We link this ontology to how speakers represent static and dynamic entities. Specifically, we test how speakers determine whether an entity counts as "atomic" by using count vs. mass (e.g., some gleebs, some gleeb) and distributive vs. non-distributive descriptions (e.g., gleeb every second or so, gleeb around a little). We then seek evidence for atomic representation in a non-linguistic task. Ultimately we suggest that natural language ontology reveals properties of language-independent conceptualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-501
Number of pages29
JournalActa Linguistica Academica
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Mass/count
  • Number
  • Ontology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Telicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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