Space in Languages

Linguistic Systems and Cognitive Categories

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  • Editors: Maya Hickmann1, and Stéphane Robert2
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027293558

Space is presently the focus of much research and debate across disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. One strong feature of this collection is to bring together theoretical and empirical contributions from these varied scientific traditions, with the collective aim of addressing fundamental questions at the forefront of the current literature: the nature of space in language, the linguistic relativity of space, the relation between spatial language and cognition. Linguistic analyses highlight the multidimensional and heterogeneous nature of space, while also showing the existence of a set of types, parameters, and principles organizing the considerable diversity of linguistic systems and accounting for mechanisms of diachronic change. Findings concerning spatial perception and cognition suggest the existence of two distinct systems governing linguistic and non-linguistic representations, that only partially overlap in some pathologies, but they also show the strong impact of language-specific factors on the course of language acquisition and cognitive development.

Subjects: Typology; Semantics; Cognition and language

  • Affiliations: 1: CNRS & University René Descartes, Paris 5; 2: CNRS-LLACAN & INALCO

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