The objectification of space - The objectification of space - lingusitic and historical explorations of the concept space

Project: ResearchIndividual research project


A common assumption in linguistic theory is the fundamental role of space for linguistic meaning. Not only are spatial senses considered as more basic than non-spatial sense, but the former is seen as a structural template for the latter. For instance, the spatial sense of the preposition on (e.g. 'the cup is on the table') provides language and though with means to structure more abstract senses, such as time (e.g. 'the meeting is on Monday'). If spatial senses are basic, these can be explained by appeal to cognitive and psychological features such as basic principles for categorization. To explore this claim, the project details three investigations:
(1) Theoretical discussions of the concept space. What is space and which space(s) would be candidates for being basic?

(2) Cross-linguistic and typological research on spatial semantics.

(3) The historical dimension of space. The concept space has undergone remarkable transformations through history. Has this affected the alleged priority of space and if so in what sense.
StatusNot started