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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Across the world’s languages, spatial terms are organized around a set of basic, non-linguistic spatial notions. Nevertheless, there is also considerable cross-linguistic variation in terms of both the kinds of linguistic devices used to express spatial relations and the way these devices carve up the semantic domain of space. This chapter reviews literature on spatial terms cross-linguistically, focusing on three main sub-divisions of the spatial domain: location (i.e. the static position of an object in space); motion (i.e. the dynamic displacement of an object in space); and Frames of Reference (FoR; i.e. abstract spatial-coordinate axes imposed on spatial configurations). The intricate relation between spatial language and non-linguistic spatial cognition is discussed throughout the chapter.

Keywords: space, location, motion, Frames of Reference (FoRs), language and cognition, universality, language acquisition

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