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LINGUIST List 21.4395

Tue Nov 02 2010

Books: Cognitive Science/Socioling/Anthro Ling: Dasen, Mishra

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Daniel Davies , Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition: Dasen, Mishra

Message 1: Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition: Dasen, Mishra
Date: 10-Aug-2010
From: Daniel Davies <ddaviescambridge.org>
Subject: Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition: Dasen, Mishra
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Title: Development of Geocentric Spatial Language and Cognition
Subtitle: An Eco-cultural Perspective
Published: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521191050

Author: Pierre R. Dasen
Author: Ramesh C. Mishra
Hardback: ISBN: 9780521191050 Pages: 408 Price: U.S. $ 99.00

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 favour the use of a geocentric frame of reference.


Part I. Introduction and Methods:
1. Theory and research questions;
2. Methods;
3. Settings;
Part II. Results:
4. Pilot study in Bali and first study (India and Nepal, 1999-2000);
5. Returning to Bali: main study 2002-2007;
6. Varanasi;
7. Kathmandu;
8. Panditpur;
9. Geneva;
Part III. Additional Studies:
10. Spatial language addressed to children;
11. Geocentric gestures before language?;
12. Spatial organization schemes;
13. Neurophysiological correlates of geocentric space;
14. Geocentric dead reckoning;
Part IV. Conclusions:
15. Discussion and conclusions;
Appendix 1. Summary of instructions, questionnaires, and coding schemes;
Appendix 2. Examples of language in each location;
Appendix 3. Extracts from school manuals.


'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

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Cognitive Science

Written In: English (eng )

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