Being seaward-handed - A computational model of the acquisition of language specific spatial references

Matthias Rehm

erschienen 2004 "Cognitive Processing", Issue 1, Volume 5, Pages 15 - 30

Verlag: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg



Empirical findings of cross-linguistic studies reveal three different frames of spatial reference: intrinsic, relative, and absolute. Of special interest are relative and absolute systems because they have antagonistic logical implications concerning the dependence on standpoint and orientation of the speaker/hearer. On the background of these findings it becomes crucial to show how an agent can form such language-specific spatial representations. In this paper, the system Locator is introduced as a model of concept formation in the spatial domain. It is assumed that an agent creates necessary discriminative features in processes of self-organization and selection and cannot just discover or find them in its environment. A number of simulations show that agents successfully create concepts of either a relative system (German) or an absolute system (Marquesan), relying solely on multimodal input (visual and linguistic).