Dataset of Directional Arrows for German Particle Verbs

Based on a pre-selected set of base verbs (BVs), we systematically generated German particle verbs (PVs). We relied on BVs from three semantic source domains (SDs) differing in their degrees of abstractness: MACHINES AND TOOLS (MNT), FORCE and SOUND. The verbs belonging to the MNT domain (e.g., hämmern "hammer", schaufeln "dig") are easy to imagine and represent very concrete BVs. In comparison, the verbs from the FORCE domain (e.g., drücken "press", quetschen "squeeze") are less concrete, as the force itself is not directly perceivable, but only through interactions of its concrete entities encoded in the verb arguments. The verbs from the SOUND domain (e.g., schreien "cry", jaulen "yowl") are typically intransitive and represent the most abstract SD.

For each of the three domains we chose a total of ten base verbs that were not obviously ambiguous among the three classes. These 30 BVs were then systematically composed to PVs using nine different prepositional particles. We only took into account particles that cannot be used as verbal prefixes: ab, an, auf, aus, ein, mit, nach, vor, zu. As result, we got 300 verbs (30 BVs and 270 PVs) as target verbs for our collection. Due to the systematic composition of the PVs, also PV neologisms (neoPVs) were part of this data set.

We defined a set of 16 directional pictographs, to which we refer as Concept Images (CIs). The experiment participants were first asked to choose between one of the following statements, to check on whether the subjects knew the PVs: (i) unknown and difficult to understand, (ii) unknown but easy to understand, (iii) infrequent usage but known and (iv) frequent usage and known. Then, they were asked to mark the CIs which fit to the meaning(s) of the target verb. Multiple marks were allowed. Each verb was judged by approx. 20 subjects.

See here on how to obtain the data.


Sylvia Springorum, Sabine Schulte im Walde (2016)
Aiming with Arrows at Particles. Towards a Conceptual Analysis of German Particle Verbs
Abstract at Cognitive Structures: Linguistic, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (CoSt)
Biannual Conference hosted by the SFB 991 The Structure of Representations in Language, Cognition, and Science, Universität Düsseldorf.