Form and Function
This chapter addresses the question of how we can account for spatial language. Perceptual features, functional features, schemas, context, and affordances are among the bases proposed. It is argued that all can be operative. A survey of research from a variety of entity domains, especially natural kinds, artifacts, bodies, scenes, events, abstract categories, and design, and of relational domains, especially spatial relations, shows that perceptual features, especially form or structure, allow inferences to function, forming perceptual–functional units or affordances. Language abets inferences from form to function. These perceptual–functional units account for the coherence of category features and provide the basis for causal reasoning.
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