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Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition : An Eco-cultural Perspective - Pierre R. Dasen

Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition

An Eco-cultural Perspective


Published: 1st October 2010
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Egocentric spatial language uses coordinates in relation to our body to talk about small-scale space ('put the knife on the right of the plate and the fork on the left'), while geocentric spatial language uses geographic coordinates ('put the knife to the east, and the fork to the west'). How do children learn to use geocentric language? And why do geocentric spatial references sound strange in English when they are standard practice in other languages? This book studies child development in Bali, India, Nepal, and Switzerland and explores how children learn to use a geocentric frame both when speaking and performing non-verbal cognitive tasks (such as remembering locations and directions). The authors examine how these skills develop with age, look at the socio-cultural contexts in which the learning takes place, and explore the ecological, cultural, social, and linguistic conditions that favor the use of a geocentric frame of reference.

'A remarkable illustration of how research can integrate concepts, methods and findings from cognitive and developmental psychology, as well as from cultural anthropology and linguistics, to explain the development and use of spatial frames of reference in a number of cultures.' John W. Berry, Queen's University, Canada
'A wonderful contribution to the literature on child development in relation to language and culture.' Penelope Brown, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
'Dasen and Mishra invite us to revisit the concept of spatial knowledge from a radically decentered perspective. From Bali through India to Nepal, they treat us to a fascinating journey into a variety of cultures. This book offers a richly documented, refreshing alternative to the Western view of human spatial cognition and language.' Michel Denis, LIMSI-CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research, Orsay

List of figuresp. vii
List of tablesp. x
Prefacep. xiv
Acknowledgementsp. xviii
Introduction and methods
Theory and research questionsp. 3
Methodsp. 49
Settingsp. 76
Pilot study in Bali and first study (India and Nepal, 1999-2000)p. 109
Returning to Bali: main study 2002-2007p. 141
Varanasip. 163
Kathmandup. 184
Panditpurp. 213
Genevap. 222
Additional studies
Spatial language addressed to childrenp. 233
Geocentric gestures before language?p. 242
Spatial organization schemesp. 248
Neurophysiological correlates of geocentric spacep. 265
Geocentric dead reckoningp. 281
Discussion and conclusionsp. 297
Summary of instructions, questionnaires and coding schemesp. 323
Examples of language in each locationp. 335
Extracts from school manualsp. 346
Bibliographyp. 355
Name indexp. 376
Subject indexp. 381
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521191050
ISBN-10: 052119105X
Series: Cambridge Studies in Cognitive and Perceptual Development
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 1st October 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.77