Bilingualism, language shift and the corresponding expansion of spatial cognitive systems

Meakins, Felicity, Jones, Caroline and Algy, Cassandra (2015) Bilingualism, language shift and the corresponding expansion of spatial cognitive systems. Language Sciences, 54 1-13. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2015.06.002


Author Meakins, Felicity
Jones, Caroline
Algy, Cassandra
Title Bilingualism, language shift and the corresponding expansion of spatial cognitive systems
Journal name Language Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0388-0001
1873-5746
Publication date 2015-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.langsci.2015.06.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 54
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Neo-Whorfians argue that the structures our language uses to encode spatial relations influence the way we conceptualise space. One explicit test of this link has been studies of how speakers of different languages configure arrays of objects in non-linguistic rotation tasks. Subjects perform these tasks differently depending on their dominant linguistic frame of reference: relative e.g. left/right terms, or absolute e.g. N/S/W/E terms. One prediction is that changes in the linguistic system should result in corresponding cognitive changes. Such a linguistic shift has occurred among Gurindji people (Australia). Traditionally Gurindji people used a system of cardinal directions, however many have now also been exposed to the English left/right system. This paper demonstrates that this language difference is reflected cognitively. The ‘Animals-in-a-row’ task was administered to 107 Gurindji people. The results show strong ‘viewpoint independent’ responses, nonetheless those with a Tertiary education gave significantly more ‘viewpoint dependent’ responses which we attribute to exposure to English, and perhaps associated literacy practices.
Keyword Language change
Spatial relations
Frames of reference
Gurindji Kriol
Gurindji
Cardinal directions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 11 Aug 2015, 11:26:31 EST by System User on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures