Cued by what we see and hear: Spatial reference frame use in language

Coventry, Kenny R. ORCID:, Andonova, Elena, Tenbrink, Thora, Gudde, Harmen B. and Engelhardt, Paul E. (2018) Cued by what we see and hear: Spatial reference frame use in language. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. ISSN 1664-1078

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To what extent is the choice of what to say driven by seemingly irrelevant cues in the visual world being described? Among such cues, how does prior description affect how we process spatial scenes? When people describe where objects are located their use of spatial language is often associated with a choice of reference frame. Two experiments employing between-participants designs (N = 490) examined the effects of visual cueing and previous description on reference frame choice as reflected in spatial prepositions (in front of, to the left of, etc.) to describe pictures of object pairs. Experiment 1 examined the effects of visual and linguistic cues on spatial description choice through movement of object(s) in spatial scenes, showing sizeable effects of visual cueing on reference frame choice. Experiment 2 monitored eye movements of participants following a linguistic example description, revealing two findings: eye movement “signatures” associated with distinct reference frames as expressed in language, and transfer of these eye movement patterns just prior to spatial description for different (later) picture descriptions. Both verbal description and visual cueing similarly influence language production choice through manipulation of visual attention, suggesting a unified theory of constraints affecting spatial language choice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: reference frames,spatial language,visual cueing,eye movements,language production
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > UEA Experimental Philosophy Group
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2023 09:30
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01287


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