Spatial language and converseness

Burigo, Michele, Coventry, Kenny R. ORCID:, Cangelosi, Angelo and Lynott, Dermot (2016) Spatial language and converseness. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 39 (12). pp. 2319-2337. ISSN 1747-0218

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Typical spatial language sentences consist of describing the location of an object (the located object) in relation to another object (the reference object) as in “The book is above the vase”. While it has been suggested that the properties of the located object (the book) are not translated into language because they are irrelevant when exchanging location information, it has been shown that the orientation of the located object affects the production and comprehension of spatial descriptions. In line with the claim that spatial language apprehension involves inferences about relations that hold between objects it has been suggested that during spatial language apprehension people use the orientation of the located object to evaluate whether the logical property of converseness (e.g., if “the book is above the vase” is true, then also “the vase is below the book” must be true) holds across the objects’ spatial relation. In three experiments using sentence acceptability rating tasks we tested this hypothesis and demonstrated that when converseness is violated people's acceptability ratings of a scene's description are reduced indicating that people do take into account geometric properties of the located object and use it to infer logical spatial relations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: spatial language,spatial relations,inference,converseness,acceptability rating task
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 May 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 01:13
DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1124894


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