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Michael Spranger



MIT Press


Recruitment, Selection and Alignment of Spatial Language Strategies


All languages of the world have a way to talk about space and spatial relations of objects. Cross-culturally, immense variation in how people conceptualize space for language has been attested. Different spatial conceptualization strategies such as proximal, projective and absolute have been identified to underlie peoples conception of spatial reality. This paper argues that spatial conceptualization strategies are negotiated in a cultural process of linguistic selection. Conceptualization strategies originate in the cognitive capabilities of agents. The ecological conditions and the structure of the environment influence the conceptualization strategy agents invent and which corresponding system of lexicon and ontology of spatial relations is selected for. The validity of these claims is explored using populations of humanoid robots.