Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
 by Simeon Floyd

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)

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 →

Preliminary ‘Come’ and ‘Go’ Questionnaire

The encoding of apparently ‘simple’ movement concepts such as ‘COME’ and ‘GO’ can differ widely across languages (e.g., in regard to specifying direction of motion relative to the speaker). ThisMore →

“Locally-Anchored Spatial Gestures”: Historical Description of the Local Environment As a Gesture Elicitation Task

Gesture is an integral part of face-to-face communication, and provides a rich area for cross-cultural comparison. “Locally-anchored spatial gestures” are gestures that are roughly oriented to the actual geographical directionMore →

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 →

Hypotheses Concerning Basic Locative Constructions and the Verbal Elements Within Them

Languages differ widely in terms of how they encode the fundamental concepts of location and position. For some languages, verbs have an important role to play in describing situations (e.g.,More →

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.

General Questions About Topological Relations in Adpositions and Cases

The world’s languages encode a diverse range of topological relations. However, cross-linguistic investigation suggests that the relations IN, AT and ON are especially fundamental to the grammaticised expression of space.More →

Man and Tree & Space Games

These classic tasks can be used to explore spatial reference in field settings. They provide a language-independent metric for eliciting spatial language, using a “director-matcher” paradigm. The Man and TreeMore →

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 →

Eliciting Contrastive Use of Demonstratives for Objects Within Close Personal Space

Contrastive reference, where a speaker presents or identifies one item in explicit contrast to another (I like this book but that one is boring), has special communicative and information structureMore →