MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Spatial language and converseness

    Burigo, Michele and Coventry, Kenny R. and Cangelosi, Angelo and Lynott, Dermot (2016) Spatial language and converseness. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69 (12). pp. 2319-2337. ISSN 1747-0226

    Download (690kB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Typical spatial language sentences consist of describing the location of an object (the located object) in relation to another object (the reference object) as in “The book is above the vase”. While it has been suggested that the properties of the located object (the book) are not translated into language because they are irrelevant when exchanging location information, it has been shown that the orientation of the located object affects the production and comprehension of spatial descriptions. In line with the claim that spatial language apprehension involves inferences about relations that hold between objects it has been suggested that during spatial language apprehension people use the orientation of the located object to evaluate whether the logical property of converseness (e.g., if “the book is above the vase” is true, then also “the vase is below the book” must be true) holds across the objects’ spatial relation. In three experiments using sentence acceptability rating tasks we tested this hypothesis and demonstrated that when converseness is violated people's acceptability ratings of a scene's description are reduced indicating that people do take into account geometric properties of the located object and use it to infer logical spatial relations.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Spatial language; Spatial relations; Inference; Converseness; Acceptability rating task;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 17659
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dermot Lynott
    Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 14:53
    Journal or Publication Title: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page


    Downloads per month over past year

    Origin of downloads