CRC 991

C03: Conceptual shifts: psycholinguistic evidence

Funding period 1: 01.07.2011 - 30.06.2015

Funding period 2: 01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

Project C03 pursues psycho- and neurolinguistic investigations of conceptual shifts.


In the first phase of the project, shifts across concept types in nouns (Löbner, 2011) have been investigated.
In the second phase, the developed paradigms are applied to investigate count/mass shifts in nouns. By employing Frame Theory and collaborating with project C09 from the CRC 991, theoretically valid semantic approaches will be examined experimentally and refined. Additionally to already completed corpus and sentence production studies, 3 experiments are planned which aim to gain new insights on the reaction of the language-comprehending brain to conceptual shifts by employing behavioral and electrophysiological measurements.
Ultimately, the project aims to provide a general neurocognitive approach to conceptual shifts. The working hypothesis states that different kinds of conceptual shits arise at the same processing stages and
may be subserved by at least partially overlapping neuronal populations. Evidence in favor of  this hypothesis would strongly support a generalized view of conceptual shifts as operations on frame representations.

Head of the project

Peter Indefrey
Institut für Sprache und Information
Abteilung Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Universitätsstr. 1
40225 Düsseldorf
Phone: +49 211 81-154 64
Email: indefreyphil.uni-duesseldorfde 


Natalja S. Beckmann
Phone: +49 211 81-031 88

(First Phase
Dorothea Brenner
Phone: +49 211 81-150 65
Email: brennerthphil.uni-duesseldorfde )