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Representing Direction in Language and Space$
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Emile van der Zee and Jon Slack

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260195.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

Vector Grammar, Places, and the Functional Role of the Spatial Prepositions in English

Vector Grammar, Places, and the Functional Role of the Spatial Prepositions in English

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 Vector Grammar, Places, and the Functional Role of the Spatial Prepositions in English
Source:
Representing Direction in Language and Space
Author(s):

JOHN O’KEEFE

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199260195.003.0004

This chapter shows how different prepositions specify different aspects of the location vectors and of the spatial extents of the fields in different directions. Animal studies provide evidence that vector-based representations are employed in spatial cognition. This work addresses the issue of how different spatial relations are encoded within a vector-based representation called a cognitive map, which is an absolute or allocentric spatial representation of the environment. This chapter introduces the Boundary Vector Cell model, which assumes that place cells —representing certain locations in space—take their input from Boundary Vector Cells (BVCs). The properties of the BVCs and place cells cooperate to form graded regions; regions that are not isotropic, but represent a continuous acceptability gradient for many different spatial prepositions.

Keywords:   spatial prepositions, location vectors, direction, grammar, cognitive maps, Boundary Vector Cell, place cells, space, spatial cognition

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