A Crosslinguistic Study of the Language of Space: Sign and Spoken Languages

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9781443824910: A Crosslinguistic Study of the Language of Space: Sign and Spoken Languages
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This book examines spatial language in sign languages (Turkish Sign Language, Croatian Sign Language, American Sign Language, and Austrian Sign Language) and spoken languages (Turkish, English, and Croatian). The book presents a novel model, the Crossmodal Spatial Language, to account for similarities and differences in these languages. The model, which consists of Spatial Representations, Reference Frames, Temporal Representations, Conceptual Structure, and Linguistic Representations, shows that the features from spatial input are not necessarily mapped on the spatial descriptions regardless of modality and language. The book reports several studies to examine the descriptions of static and dynamic spatial scenes which involve, among others, spatial relationals such as left-right, front-back, besides, in, on, to, toward, pass by, away, and cause to move. The findings suggest that language users construct a spatial relation between the objects in a given time, employ a reference frame, which may not be encoded in the message, and use the same conceptual structure consisted of BE-AT for static spatial situations and GO-BE-AT for static dynamic situations.

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Engin Arik received a PhD in Linguistics from Purdue University, an MA in Linguistics from the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in Psychology from Koc University. He is Assistant Professor at Okan University, Istanbul. He teaches courses in introductory linguistics, contrastive linguistics, corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, and psychology.

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