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Hello and welcome to my home page!

My name is Aron Marvel and I am a linguist. I currently reside in Burbank, California, while working on my dissertation for University at Buffalo (in New York).

I do research about how we use language to categorize events and situations. This research involves experiments with human participants as well as some computational modeling.

Two concepts are key to understanding my work: categories and events. A category is a mental construct, often with a label (e.g. dog), that we use to denote a bunch of similar things. An event is anything that can be described by a clause. I don't just mean the notable things; events can be as mundane as someone lifting a pencil or even just sitting in a chair. I investigate what linguistic information people pay attention to when categorizing events.

For example, take the event where you lift a pencil. Obviously, the verb tells us a lot about the category right off the bat; lifting is very different from dropping or smashing or throwing. But an event is described by an entire clause, not just a word or phrase. How important is the fact that it's you rather than, say, a machine doing the lifting? Is it relevant that it's a pencil being lifted instead of your cat? And when other factors like time and place are included, to what extent are they taken into account? These questions are important for understanding and modeling event categorization.

The downloads page has some of my own work from conferences and talks I've given. The links page contains what I have found to be valuable resources accumulated over the years.

I can most easily be reached via email at aronmarvel@gmail.com.