Evolution of Semantic Systems EoSS
A joint research initiative of the Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture Group and the project Categories across Language and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
The main aim of the EoSS project is to investigate how meanings vary over space and change over time. We focus on different kinds of categories: containers (kinds of objects), colour (attributes of objects), body parts (parts of objects), and spatial relations (how objects are related to one another). This study aims to collect data from 20 participants in each of 50 languages from the Indo-European language family. The project is estimated to run for approximately three years; the data collection phase is planned to take two years starting January 2011.
The project is carried out by members of the EoSS research consortium. The Institute of Multilingualism’s team have collected and coded data from Berne Swiss German and Romansh (Vallader). In a joint additional data collection, data from speakers of Romansh in German have been collected (with Claudia Cathomas, University of Berne).