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Language, Cognition and Space

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Spatial perception and cognition is fundamental to human abilities to navigate through space, identify and locate objects, and track entities in motion. Moreover, research findings in the last couple of decades reveal that many of the mechanisms humans employ to achieve this are largely innate, providing abilities to store ‘cognitive maps’ for locating themselves and others, locations, directions and routes. In this humans are like many other species. However, unlike other species, humans can employ language in order to represent space. The human linguistic ability combined with the human ability for spatial representation results in rich, creative and sometimes surprising extensions of representations for three-dimensional physical space.

Language, Cognition and Space brings together nineteen articles from leading scholars who investigate the relationship between spatial cognition and spatial language. This volume represents the state of the art in terms of language and space research and points to new directions in terms of findings, theory, and practice.

Published: Jun 1, 2010

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Introduction Paul Chilton
Part I: Perception and space
1 The perceptual basis of spatial representation Vyvyan Evans
Part II: The interaction between language and spatial cognition
2 Language and space: momentary interactions Barbara Landau, Banchiamlack Dessalegn, Ariel Micah Goldberg
3 Language and inner space Benjamin K. Bergen, Carl Polley, Kathryn Wheeler
Part III: Typological, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic approaches to spatial representation
4 Inside in and on: typological and psycholinguistic perspectives Michele Feist
5 Parsing space around objects Laura Carlson
6 A neuroscientific perspective on the linguistic encoding of categorical spatial relations David Kemmerer
Part IV: Theoretical approaches to spatial representation in language
7 Genesis of spatial terms Claude Vandeloise
8 Forceful prepositions Joost Zwarts
9 From the spatial to the non-spatial: the ‘state’ lexical concepts of in, on and at Vyvyan Evans
Part V: Spatial representation in specific languages
10 Static topological relations in Basque Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano
11 Taking the Principled Polysemy Model of spatial particles beyond English: the case of Russian za Darya Shakova, Andrea Tyler
12 Frames of reference, eff ects of motion, and lexical meanings of Japanese front/back terms Kazuko Shinohara, Yoshihiro Matsunaka
Part VI: Space in sign-language and gesture
13 How spoken language and signed language structure space differently Leornard Talmy
14 Geometric and image-schematic patterns in gesture space Irene Mittelberg
Part VII: Motion
15 Translocation, language and the categorization of experience Jordan Zlatev, Johan Blomberg, Caroline David
16 Motion: a conceptual typology Stéphanie Pourcel
Part VIII: The relation between space, time and modality
17 Space for thinking Daniel Casasanto
18 Temporal frames of reference Jörg Zinken
19 From mind to grammar: coordinate systems, prepositions, constructions Paul Chilton
Index Vyvyan Evans, Paul Chilton

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