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The Emerging Spatial Mind$
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Jodie M. Plumert and John P. Spencer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189223.001.0001

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Adapting Spatial Concepts for Different Languages

Adapting Spatial Concepts for Different Languages

From Preverbal Event Schemas to Semantic Categories

(p.142) 7 Adapting Spatial Concepts for Different Languages
The Emerging Spatial Mind

Soonja Choi

Laraine McDonough

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the research showing that there is truth to be found in the different views of spatial concept development; indeed, they are more compatible than previously thought. Some spatial concepts are formed prior to language, yet they are then aligned through the guidance of linguistic input to match the semantic categories specific to the language being acquired. In some cases, the boundaries of preverbal spatial categories match these semantic categories. In other cases, it is suggested that either the boundaries will fade or new boundaries will become evident as language is acquired. An overview of how languages can differ in the domain of spatial relations is given. The theory of how early spatial categorization can take place and how it interacts with the input language are also reported. Moreover, a discussion of the mechanisms by which spatial categories for dynamic scenes can be formed during the preverbal stage and how these categories interact with the particular language that is being learned is provided. The data suggest that language and cognitive development interact with each other in a bidirectional way.

Keywords:   spatial concept development, language, semantic category, preverbal spatial category, spatial relations, cognition

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