Precursors to spatial language

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In this chapter we ask whether there are similar developmental trajectories for natural language phonology and auditory perception compared to natural language semantics and concepts. What is new about this approach with respect to the discussion of spatial entities is that it offers insight from a previously unstudied population. We look at preverbal infants who are at the beginning stages of learning about spatial entities. The rationale is that, when children construct new cognitive abilities, they build on component cognitive systems that have a long ontogenetic history (Spelke 2000). Furthermore young infants have limited experience with language, so in many ways they offer insight to a system that has not been influenced by linguistic categories.


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