Language, cognition and landscape: understanding cross-cultural and individual variation in geographical ontology

Project: ResearchInterdisciplinary research


This project pursues a linguistic inquiry into landscape. From the linguist's point of view, the geophysical environment is virtually unexplored. Yet it has vast potential for influence on the discipline. The project situates landscape within linguistics as a fundamental domain of representational systems, and opens up important links to other disciplines concerned with landscape that usually have little to do with language. It has four main objectives: (1) to explore landscape categorization in a number of languages, (2) to compare such categorization, (3) to develop a model for understanding categorization across languages and speakers, and (4) to document vanishing landscape systems. The research team pursues landscape categorization in diverse language settings, and each setting represents a case study carried out by a team member with expert knowledge and prior field experience of the setting. Each setting offers opportunities of studying closely related languages as well as individuals speaking the same language, making comparison possible not only among maximally diverse languages but also at finer levels of linguistic granularity. An exploratory psycholinguistic subproject probes the relationship between language and cognition in the landscape domain.
Short titleLanguage, cognition and landscape
Effective start/end date2011/03/012016/02/29

Collaborative partners


Related research output

Schapper, A. & Huber, J. 2012 In : Wacana. 14, 2, p. 370-404

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schapper, A., Huber, J. & van Engelenhoven, A. 2012 Language & Linguistics in Melanesia. Hammarström, H. & van den Heuvel, W. (eds.). Linguistic Society of Papua New Guinea, p. 194-242

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

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Related activities

Niclas Burenhult (Keynote/plenary speaker)
2017 Dec 15

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

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