ISBN 9781107008335,Development Of Geocentric Spatial Language And Cognition

Development Of Geocentric Spatial Language And Cognition



Cambridge University Press

Publication Year 2013

ISBN 9781107008335

ISBN-10 1107008336


Number of Pages 408 Pages
Language (English)


Egocentric spatial language uses coordinates in relation to our body to talk about small-scale space ('put the knife on the right of the plate and the fork on the left'), while geocentric spatial language uses geographic coordinates ('put the knife to the east, and the fork to the west'). How do children learn to use geocentric language? And why do geocentric spatial references sound strange in English when they are standard practice in other languages? This book studies child development in Bali, India, Nepal, and Switzerland and explores how children learn to use a geocentric frame both when speaking and performing non-verbal cognitive tasks (such as remembering locations and directions). The authors examine how these skills develop with age, look at the socio-cultural contexts in which the learning takes place, and explore the ecological, cultural, social, and linguistic conditions that favor the use of a geocentric frame of reference.

Table of Contents
Part I. Introduction and Methods
1. Theory and research questions
2. Methods
3. Settings
Part II. Results
4. Pilot study in Bali and first study (India and Nepal, 1999-2000)
5. Returning to Bali: main study 2002-2007
6. Varanasi
7. Kathmandu
8. Panditpur
9. Geneva
Part III. Additional Studies
10. Spatial language addressed to children
11. Geocentric gestures before language?
12. Spatial organization schemes
13. Neurophysiological correlates of geocentric space
14. Geocentric dead reckoning
Part IV. Conclusions
15. Discussion and conclusions
Appendix 1. Summary of instructions, questionnaires, and coding schemes
Appendix 2. Examples of language in each location
Appendix 3. Extracts from school manuals.