Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Olivier le Guen

Space project (36 entries)

The Space project investigates how people talk about and understand space in large-scale space for navigation and small-scale space for locating objects, and how space structures our understanding of other domains, such as time.

(10 entries)

Hidden colour-chips task: demonstratives, attention, and interaction

Demonstratives are typically described as encoding degrees of physical distance between the object referred to, and the speaker or addressee. For example, this in English is used to talk aboutMore →

Route Description Elicitation

When we want to describe a path through space, but do not share a common perceptual field with a conversation partner, language has to work doubly hard. This task investigatesMore →

Toponym Questionnaire

Place-names (toponyms) are at the intersection of spatial language, culture, and cognition. This questionnaire prepares the researcher to answer three overarching questions: how to formally identify place-names in the researchMore →

Exploring the Intrinsic Frame of Reference

We can describe the position of one item with respect to another using a number of different ‘frames of reference’. For example, I can use a ‘deictic’ frame that involvesMore →


This task investigates the extensional meaning of body part terms, in particular the terms for the upper and lower limbs. Two questions are addressed, namely (i) are the boundaries ofMore →

Topological Relations Pictures: Topological Paths

This entry suggests ways to elicit descriptions of caused motion involving topological relations (the domain of English put IN/ON/TOGETHER, take OUT/OFF/APART, etc.). There is a large amount of cross-linguistic variationMore →

Recognitional Deixis

“Recognitional” words and constructions enshrine our systematic reliance on shared knowledge in dedicated morphological forms and usage patterns. For example, English has a large range of terms for use whenMore →

Topological Relations Pictures: Static Relations

The precursor to the Bowped stimuli, this entry suggests various spatial configurations to explore using real objects, rather than the line drawings used in Bowped.

Ethnography of Pointing Questionnaire

Pointing gestures are recognised to be a primary manifestation of human social cognition and communicative capacity. The goal of this task is to collect empirical descriptions of pointing practices inMore →

Space in Australian Languages Questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to explore how spatial relations are encoded in Australian language, but may be of interest to researchers further afield. Download Field Manual entry Space In AustralianMore →