Space and Language

Barbara Landau and James E. Hoffman

in Spatial Representation

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385373
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979189 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Space and Language

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The chapter presents studies on the semantics and syntax of motion events, the semantics of spatial terms engaging reference systems (e.g. above, below, right, left), and those expressing both physical and abstract spatial relationships (e.g. in, on, under). People with WS show rich knowledge of all these aspects of spatial language. Importantly, however, the chapter also finds similar rich knowledge in young normally developing children by the age of 4 or 6. Combined with evidence from the broader literature on vocabulary, morphosyntax, syntax, and syntax-semantics interactions, the chapter suggests that people with WS fully acquire those aspects of language that are normally acquired early but fail to acquire those aspects of language that are normally acquired later. This profile echoes that for spatial functions, consistent with a hypothesis of slow development followed by arrest in WS, for both systems. The last chapter spells out this hypothesis.

Keywords: language; syntax; spatial language; place terms; path terms; motion events; axial terms; axes; direction; morphosyntax; relative clauses

Chapter.  25791 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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