An investigation of Turkish static spatial semantics in terms of lexical variety: an eye tracking study

Ertekin, Şeyma Nur
The semantics of spatial terms has been attracting the attention of researchers for the past several decades. As an understudied language, Turkish presents an appropriate test bed for studying the generalizability of semantic characterization of spatial terms across languages. Turkish also exhibits unique characteristics, such as the use of locative case markers and being an agglutinative language. The present study reports an eye-tracking investigation of comprehension of spatial terms in Turkish by employing Topological Relations in Picture Series (Bowerman & Pederson, 1992). The major research question of the study is the presence of a relationship between the variety of spatial expressions produced by native speakers and fixation patterns on the stimuli. The findings reveal that the richness of the spatial expression is related to longer and more frequent fixations on the stimuli. The findings also show that the presence of a locative case marker in the utterances plays a role in this relation. We also investigated whether Turkish native speakers exhibit any sensitivity on Core and Non-Core distinction in spatial term semantics (Landau, 2017). Our findings showed that some of the Non-Core term categories reveal more variety of spatial expressions and longer fixation durations on the Figure, supporting cross-linguistic Core categorization.


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Citation Formats
Ş. N. Ertekin, “An investigation of Turkish static spatial semantics in terms of lexical variety: an eye tracking study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.