The Grammar of Space cover image

The Grammar of Space

By Soteria Svorou
pdf
Format
1994
Year
English
Language
John Benjamins Publishing Company
Publisher

Summary

A cross-linguistic study of grammatical morphemes expressing spatial relationships that discusses the relationship between the way human beings experience space and the way it is encoded grammatically in language. The discussion of the similarities and differences among languages in the encoding and expression of spatial relations centers around the emergence and evolution of spatial grams, and the semantic and morphosyntactic characteristics of two types of spatial grams. The author bases her observations on the study of data from 26 genetically unrelated and randomly selected languages. It is shown that languages are similar in the way spatial grams emerge and evolve, and also in the way specific types of spatial grams are used to express not only spatial but also temporal and other non-spatial relations. Motivation for these similarities may lie in the way we, as human beings, experience the world, which is constrained by our physical configuration and neurophysiological apparatus, as well as our individual cultures.

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