We are happy to announce a talk by Cécile Meier (GU Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium.

The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301.

Title: Arbitrary mapping and object frequency: On cars and airplanes 

Date: April 21

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


Usually, the meaning-form relation of count nouns is thought to be arbitrary. This paper argues that object frequency in image data sets correlate with the type of reading of count nouns (taxonomic reading and specimen referring reading). If an object is rare in image data sets it is accessible to a taxonomic reading and an atomic kind reading derived from that reading. If an object is frequent in image data sets (and the objects are not similar to each other) a taxonomic reading is not available. If object frequency is relevant for visual perception and its reflex in semantic memory is relevant for the range of semantic types of count nouns then the semantic type (a formal linguistic feature) must be iconic.