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)

Topological Relations (BowPed)

This task is designed to elicit expressions of spatial relations. It was originally designed by Melissa Bowerman for use with young children, but was then developed further by Bowerman inMore →

Suggestions for the Field Research on Dimensional Expressions

The aim of this task is to explore the linguistic expression of “dimensions” — e.g., the height, width or depth — of objects in the world around us. In aMore →

Demonstratives in Context

Demonstratives (e.g., words such as this and that in English) pivot on relationships between the item being talked about, and features of the speech act situation (e.g., where the speakerMore →

Bloxes: An Interactive Task for the Elicitation of Dimensional Expressions

“Dimensional expressions” single out and describe one symmetric axis of a 1D, 2D, or 3D object (e.g., The road is long). “Bloxes” is an interactive, object-matching task that elicits descriptionsMore →

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 →

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 →


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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →