Boundaries and Prototypes in Categorizing Direction

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  • V. Mast
  • D. Wolter
  • A. Klippel
  • J.O. Wallgrun
  • T. Tenbrink
  • C. Freksa (Editor)
  • B. Nebel (Editor)
  • M. Hegarty (Editor)
  • T. Barkowsky (Editor)
Projective terms such as left, right, front, back are conceptually interesting due to their flexibility of contextual usage and their central relevance to human spatial cognition. Their default acceptability areas are well known, with prototypical axes representing their most central usage and decreasing acceptability away from the axes. Previous research has shown these axes to be boundaries in certain non-linguistic tasks, indicating an inverse relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic direction concepts under specific circumstances. Given this striking mismatch, our study asks how such inverse non-linguistic concepts are represented in language, as well as how people describe their categorization. Our findings highlight two distinct grouping strategies reminiscent of theories of human categorization: prototype based or boundary based. These lead to different linguistic as well as non-linguistic patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpatial Cognition IX
Subtitle of host publicationLecturers Notes in Computer Science
ISBN (Print)9783319112145
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

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