A perceptual learning approach to the Whorfian hypothesis:supervised classification of motion

Athanasopoulos, Panos and Albright, Daniel (2016) A perceptual learning approach to the Whorfian hypothesis:supervised classification of motion. Language Learning, 66 (3). pp. 666-689. ISSN 0023-8333

PDF (Athanasopoulos & Albright supervised classification of motion)
Athanasopoulos_Albright_supervised_classification_of_motion.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.

Download (174kB)


Recent research on the relationship between grammatical aspect and motion event cognition has shown that speakers of nonaspect languages (e.g., German, Swedish) attend to event endpoints more than speakers of aspect languages (e.g., English, Spanish). In this study, we took a perceptual learning approach to the Whorfian hypothesis, training native English speakers to categorize events either in an English-like way (same-language bias) or in a Swedish-like way (other-language bias), with and without verbal interference in English. Results showed that successful learning occurred in both language conditions. However, verbal interference disrupted learning only in the condition where the perceptual dimension to be learned was also salient in the participant's native language. This revealed selective language influence depending on the associative or dissociative relationship between the linguistic features occurring in the observer's native language and the perceptual features of the stimuli presented to them.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Language Learning
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Athanasopoulos, P. and Albright, D. (2016), A Perceptual Learning Approach to the Whorfian Hypothesis: Supervised Classification of Motion. Language Learning, 66: 666–689. doi:10.1111/lang.12180 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lang.12180/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
24 Mar 2016 16:08
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:04