Verbs and their features have always received wide attention in various disciplines concerned with linguistic research, since their contribution is essential to the structure and the interpretation of language. In recent years, the availability of new lexical resources and increasingly large corpora, the application of empirical methods and statistical algorithms and the development of technical devices such as eye-trackers and magnetic resonance imaging has led to advances in several linguistic areas.
Their great interest and relevance notwithstanding, verbs still defy attempts by
linguists and cognitive scientists to achieve a clear understanding of their organizational
principles, as well as of the features entering into their constitution. Verb complexity derives
not only from their notoriously high polysemy, but also and especially from the fact that verbs are
crucially the cornerstone of the syntax-semantics interface. The semantic behaviour of verbs is
therefore strongly intertwined with the syntagmatic constraints governing their distributions. As a
consequence, while there is a consensus on the multifarious nature of verb semantic
representations, however, the different types of verb features analysed in the literature (e.g.,
event properties, argument structure, aspect, etc.) still lie as separate pieces of a puzzle which
is far to be completed.
Success in this type of research is brought about by close collaboration between (computational) linguists and cognitive scientists. To this end, interdisciplinary workshops can play a key role in advancing existing and initiating new research. This was demonstrated by the interest generated on the Verb Workshop 2005, which received 33 submissions and was held as a standalone event at Saarland University over 2 days. A more clear understanding of the (computational) linguistic and cognitive properties of verbs will bring a positive reflect on the results of the research done within these communities. Therefore there is a real need to provide a forum where researchers can meet across disciplines.
Organisers: Pier Marco Bertinetto (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy), Anna Korhonen (University of Cambridge, UK), Alessandro Lenci (University of Pisa, Italy), Alissa Melinger (University of Dundee, UK), Sabine Schulte im Walde (University of Stuttgart, Germany), Aline Villavicencio (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and University of Bath, UK)