This is the first book in a new series at the forefront of research in the interfaces between brain, perception, and language.
This book considers how it is possible for people to use directions like 'above the table' or 'over the city'. How does our brain or any other information processing system represent a direction as a spatial entity? And, how is it possible to link such a representation to language, so that we talk about a direction we have in mind? When we look at or imagine a scene, what entities can be employed for representing a direction, and what are the parts in language thatcan be used to talk about directions? This book brings together research from linguistics, psychology, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, and neuroscience to answer these intriguing questions. By considering direction representation across different languages and in different informationprocessing systems, this book gives an overview of the main issues in this area for both the interested novice and the specialized researcher.
1. The representation of direction in language and space ; 2. Spatial language and spatial cognition: the roles of axial and vector ; 3. Vectors across spatial domains: from place to size, orientation, shape and parts ; 4. Vector grammar, places, and the functional role of the spatial prepositions in English ; 5. Constraints on motion event coding: vectors or path shapes? ; 6. Defining spatial relations: reconciling axis and vector representations ; 7. Places: points, paths, and portions ; 8. Ontological problems for the semantics of spatial expressions in natural language ; 9. Change of orientation ; 10. Memory for locations relative to objects: axes and the categorization of regions ; 11. How Finnish postpositions see the axis system ; 12. Directions from shape: how spatial features determine reference axis categorization ; 13. Spatial prepositions, spatial templates, and 'semantic' versus 'pragmatic' visual representations