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Functional Features in Language and SpaceInsights from Perception, Categorization, and Development$
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Laura Carlson and Emile van der Zee

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264339

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264339.001.0001

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Towards a Classification of Extra-geometric Influences on the Comprehension of Spatial Prepositions

Towards a Classification of Extra-geometric Influences on the Comprehension of Spatial Prepositions

Chapter:
(p.149) 10 Towards a Classification of Extra-geometric Influences on the Comprehension of Spatial Prepositions
Source:
Functional Features in Language and Space
Author(s):

KENNY COVENTRY

SIMON GARROD

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264339.003.0010

There is much empirical evidence showing that factors other than the relative positions of objects in Euclidean space are important in the comprehension of a wide range of spatial prepositions in English and other languages. However, attempts at classifying so-called extra-geometric constraints have not been forthcoming. This chapter surveys experimental evidence for extra-geometric constraints, and provides the first attempt at classifying these influences. It argues that extra-geometric influences are basically of two types: dynamic-kinematic aspects of scenes, and knowledge of the functions of objects and how they usually interact with each other in particular situations. It reviews evidence for each of these parameters across a range of types of preposition, and reports some new data showing the influence of extra-geometric variables on the comprehension of between. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications the empirical data and resultant classification have for models of spatial language comprehensions.

Keywords:   extra-geometric influences, comprehension, spatial prepositions, geometric constraints

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