932 - The Language of Space in Latin American Indigenous Languages

16.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30
16.07.2012 | 17:30 - 19:30

Convener 1: Floyd, Simeon (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen , Nijmegen, Netherlands / Niederlande)

The intersection of language and spatiality is a topic that cross-cuts linguistic, ethnographic and cognitive questions. Significant work has been done in this area in linguistics and related disciplines but the topic has yet to be approached by Latin Americanists within a regional framework, asking question about specific linguistic families or contact-based areal phenomena around the region. This symposium aims to bring together researchers working with languages from around Latin America to take stock of the diversity of spatial language, to identify commonalities and significant regional trends, and to form a network of scholars interested in future projects on this topic.

The variety of landscapes that indigenous peoples of Latin America inhabit (including lowland forests, highlands, deserts and coasts) prompts interesting questions about the possible relationships between linguistic systems and geography. In addition, the large number of diverse language families and isolates in the region, many of which are under-described in terms of their resources for talking about space, presents an opportunity to contribute to linguistic typology. All studies will include a new account or analysis of some previously-unstudied aspect of spatial language in the language(s) of study, but papers may take a range of analytical and thematic approaches, including but not limited to: (1) Toponyms and systems of topographic terms and relations, (2) Frames of reference (like "geocentric": "up/downriver" or "up/downhill", etc.), (3) Spatially indexical deictic systems, (4) Grammatical classes related to space (for example: positionals, motion verbs), (5) Multimodality and gesture (like pointing practices), (6) Place reference in social interaction, (7) Controlled stimuli focusing on space and spatial cognition, (8) Relationships between spatiality and temporality (9) Ethnographic accounts of spatial language in social context.

Keywords: indigenous languages, space

Title Author Country Co-Author
9696 - The grammar of space and movement in Oro Win Birchall, Joshua Netherlands / Niederlande
10301 - The interaction of ideophones, gestures and lexical verbs in the presentation of motion events in Awetí discourse Reiter, Sabine Germany / Deutschland
11553 - Directionals and posturals in Araona Emkow, Carola Germany / Deutschland
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