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Segmenting the space of the human body

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons119

Majid,  Asifa
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Majid, A. (2007). Segmenting the space of the human body. Talk presented at the 3rd ICCLS Symposium on Spatial cognition and its expression in language and gesture. Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany. 2007-07-02.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-0944-C
Abstract
The body is widely regarded as a template for spatial cognition and spatial language. However, recent cross-cultural work suggests that the conception of the body – as reflected in language – is not universal. The basic segments and categories that are recognized across languages vary substantially, with a third of the world’s languages not lexically distinguishing between “hand” and “arm”, for example. It appears that there are a not a universal set of “body parts” that get encoded in language, raising the question – what is the precise relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic categories of the body.