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Language, space and mind: the conceptual geometry of linguistic meaning

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsMonograph

Publication date10/07/2014
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages325
ISBN (Print)9781107010130
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The idea that basic spatial cognition, including navigation and orientation, provides the foundation of linguistic meanings has been around for some time. The book begins by examining the geometric elements that can be used to describe concrete spatial expressions and cognitions but moves rapidly to an abstract space that is still grounded in concrete geometry and preserves deixis and point of view. The Deictic Space Theory proposes a three-dimensional conceptual space that integrates attentional distance, temporal distance and epistemic distance, making it possible to unify a number of well known linguistic-conceptual phenomena, including tense, aspect, counterfactuals and deontic modality. Though the resulting diagrams can be complex, the theory remains rooted in an embodied geometry. Because the overarching framework is cognitive, the book makes frequent reference to findings the cognitive sciences, concluding with a chapter speculating on ways in which neuroscience may underpin the theory.