This paper reports on an empirical experiment-based study testing the extent to which systems of linguistic spatial reference correlate with aspects of the physical environment in which a language community lives. We investigated linguistic spatial behaviour in two unrelated languages in both similar and contrasting locations, ranging from atoll islands to urban environments, using standardised tests whose results were subject to quantitative analysis. Our findings reveal significant variation in spatial referential strategy preference in the two languages. Some preferences correlated with environment (e.g. island vs. urban). However, others correlated with degree and nature of interaction with environment, and others with linguistic resources available to speakers. The findings demonstrate that spatial behaviour reflects a complex interplay of responses to environment; sociocultural interaction with environment; and speakers’ linguistic repertoire.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of Workshops and Posters at the 13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017)|
|Subtitle of host publication||Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography|
|Editors||P Fogliaroni, A Bellatore, E Clementini|
|Place of Publication||Cham Switzerland|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 4 Sep 2017|
|Name||Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography|