Cognitive maps of landmark orientation
This chapter focuses on the linguistic representation of environmental landmarks and topographical coordinates in two unrelated cultures, Eipo and Dene. It explores the degree to which environmental experience of landmarks and spatial orientation are reflected as cognitive maps. Furthermore, topographical information of the immediate environment is represented as cognitive maps of topographical coordinates. These coordinates constitute a regional-specific gestalt. The data shows the influence and constructive process of environmental landmarks and cultural heritage (e.g. practices, myths) on the shaping of spatial categorization. Landmarks, defined as any kind of cultural-specific environmental reference points (mountains, rivers, houses, trees, or rocks) are used as proximate course-maintaining devices in the encoding of figure-ground asymmetries and they determine detailed topographical cognitive maps of the environment.