Poster F9, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Spatial expressions in German, English, Italian, Polish, and Persian
Katarzyna Stoltmann1,2, Fereshteh Modarresi1; 1Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS), Berlin, Germany, 2Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Spatial relations can be interpreted regarding three reference frames: absolute, relative, or intrinsic, depending on the situation. Native Speakers of English, German, Italian and Polish set the absolute perspective, when they reference to a geographic space. However, in everyday situations, they use either the relative or intrinsic reference frame for the interpretation and production of spatial relations (Levinson 2003). The relationships between the located object and the relatum in a spatial relation are expressed in these four languages using adpositions. The aim of the poster is to show results of a questionnare study with 561 participants indicating that the interpretation of the examined dimensional spatial expressions depends on the language and the situation. Significant differences in interpretation of `in front of' and `behind' were found between German and English native speakers. Italian native speakers deviated most frequently from the egocentric assignment of sides regarding the interpretation of `to the right of' and `to the left of'. They carried out a mental rotation of 180° during the interpretation (Perużyńska 2014). Additionally, we will present an ongoing study involving the use of mouse tracking software for interpretation of spatial relations in Persian and German.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial