Interaction of Spatial Configurations and Language: An Experimental Inquiry

Yılmaz, Naz Buse
The perception and description of space are one of the most fundamental phenomena in human cognition and evolution. Knowing where we are and telling allies about it is vital information from an evolutionary perspective. There is more than one way to define spatial scenes, and we choose one of these ways without even realizing it. Literature examines the spatial linguistic systems to find out what drives and provoke these differences. Linguistic elements that define space generally examined as topological descriptions, Frame of References (FoRs) and verbs. The reason for the preference of one spatial term to another is probably related not only to the language level but also to many other cognitive faculties. Topological descriptions or FoRs are generally defined by static scenes in the literature, and attention is drawn to verbs for dynamic scenes. However, topological terms and FoRs that are experimentally studied under static scenes are often referred to as static terms, but they are also used in dynamic scene descriptions in Turkish. Due to this gap in the literature, we set out with the question of whether these terms are affected by the motion axes in dynamical scenes for Turkish spatial language. Assuming that the difference created by the movement axes at the cognitive level must have a possible equivalent in the language, we examined the situations of the egocentric reference frame or topological definition elements in the movement depending on the horizontal and vertical axes. According to the experimental results focusing on the response times, we found that the movement axes and the horizontal movement direction affect comprehension performance of observers.


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Citation Formats
N. B. Yılmaz, “Interaction of Spatial Configurations and Language: An Experimental Inquiry,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.