Event conceptualisation and aspect in (second language) L2 English and Persian: An application of the Heidelberg-Paris model

SND-ID: SND 1120

Description Data and documentation

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Somaje Abdollahian Barough - Stockholm University


The data have been used in an investigation for a PhD thesis in English Linguistics on similarities and differences in the use of the progressive aspect in two different language systems, English and Persian, both of which have the grammaticalised progressive. It is an application of the Heidelberg-Paris model of investigation into the impact of the progressive aspect on event conceptualisation. It builds on an analysis of single event descriptions at sentence level and re-narrations of a film clip at discourse level, as presented in von Stutterheim and Lambert (2005) DOI: 10.1515/9783110909593.203; Carroll and Lambert (2006: 54–73) http://libris.kb.se/bib/10266700; and von Stutterheim, Andermann, Carroll, Flecken & Schmiedtová (2012) DOI: 10.1515/ling-2012-0026.
However, there are system-based typological differences between these two language systems due to the absence/presence of the imperfective-perfective categories, respectively. Thus, in addition to the description of the status of the progressive aspect in English and Persian and its impact on event conceptualisation, an impor

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Research principal, contributors, and funding

Research principal

Stockholm University

Protection and ethical review
Method and time period

Sampling procedure

Snowball method: those participants who did the experimental linguistic task were asked to introduce new participants that would be appropriate for the study.

Time period(s) investigated


Language resources

Resource type

Language description

Language description type


Encoding levels

Syntax, Other

Theoretic model

The original linguistic relativity theory, as presented by Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941) in Language, thought and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (1956), edited by J. B. Carroll.



Original source

Carroll, M. & Lambert, M. (2006): Reorganizing principles of information structure in advanced L2s: French and German learners of English. In: Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (2006): Educating for advanced foreign language capacities: constructs, curriculum, instruction, assessment. (pp. 54-73). ISBN: 978-1-58901-118-2 (pbk).

Slobin, D. I. (1991). Learning to think for speaking: Native language, cognition, and rhetorical style. Pragmatics, 1(1), 7–25. DOI: 10.1075/prag.1.1

Slobin, D. I. (1996). From “thought and language” to “thinking for speaking.” In J. J. Gumperz & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Rethinking linguistic relativity (pp. 70–96). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521448905.

Slobin, D. I. (2003). Thought online: Cognitive consequences of linguistic relativity. In D. Gentner & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought (pp. 157–191). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN: 0-262-07243-2 (inb).

Stellmach, Thomas (1996): Quest [animation]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTyev6OaThg

Von Stutterheim, Christiane (n/a): Video of 63 short film clips presenting unrelated single events. Heidelberg University Language & Cognition (HULC) Lab. https://www.hulclab.eu/

Von Stutterheim, C., & Lambert, M. (2005). Crosslinguistic analysis of temporal perspectives in text production. In: H. Hendriks (Ed.), The structure of learner varieties (pp. 203–230). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110909593.203

Von Stutterheim, C., Andermann, M., Carroll, M., Flecken, M., & Schmiedtová, B. (2012). How grammaticized concepts shape event conceptualization in language production: Insights from linguistic analysis, eye tracking data, and memory performance. Linguistics, 50(4), 833–867. DOI: 10.1515/ling-2012-0026

Whorf, Benjamin Lee (1956): Language, thought, and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. http://libris.kb.se/bib/449449

Text part

  • Language

    • (eng)

      Persian l2 english (other)

    • (fas)

      Persian l2 english (other)

  • Modality

    Spoken Language

Video part

  • Link to other media


  • Description of video content

    Experiment 1: A 63-clip video shows short unrelated everyday events to be retold in one single sentence responding to the task question "what is happening"., Experiment 2: The main events in the speechless animation film are related to a sandy creature, a sandman, who is in quest of water and leaves the sand world in which he lives. He wanders through other worlds made of paper, stone, iron, and machines following the sound of dripping water he continuously hears. In the end he manages to reach the water despite the tragic situations that threaten him along his way. The different worlds of the film divide it into different episodes, or scenes, marked in the film as separate by means of a black screen indicating the beginning of a new episode. The scenes related to the paper and stone worlds are analysed. They are the second and third scenes of the video. The first scene about a paper world was omitted, like in the Heidelberg-Paris studies, due to idiosyncrasy in language production. It indicates that participants need time to get used to the task.
Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden, Iran, Islamic Republic of, United Kingdom, United States


Abdollahian Barough, S. (2019). Event conceptualisation and aspect in L2 English and Persian: An application of the Heidelberg-Paris model. (PhD thesis). Stockholm University, Department of English.

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Event conceptualisation and aspect in L2 English and Persian: An application of the Heidelberg-Paris model

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The data consist of two data sets as the study includes two linguistic experiments, Experiment 1 and Experiment 2. The data for both experiments were collected by email. Separate forms of instructions, and language background questions were prepared for the six different informant groups, i.e. three speaker groups and two experimental tasks, as well as a Nelson English test https://www.worldcat.org/isbn/9780175551972 on the proficiency of English for Experiment 2 was selected and modified for t

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Somaje Abdollahian Barough. Stockholm University, Department of English (2019). <em>Event conceptualisation and aspect in L2 English and Persian: An application of the Heidelberg-Paris model</em>. Swedish National Data Service. Version 1.0. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5878/wz3s-wt38">https://doi.org/10.5878/wz3s-wt38</a>

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Data format / data structure


Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Somaje Abdollahian Barough - Stockholm University

Time period(s) investigated



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Published: 2019-09-17
Last updated: 2019-11-07