Orientation as a strategy of spatial reference

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper explores a strategy of spatial expression which utilizes orientation, a way of describing the spatial relationship of entities by means of reference to their facets. We present detailed data and analysis from two languages, Jahai (Mon-Khmer, Malay Peninsula) and Lavukaleve (Papuan isolate, Solomon Islands), and supporting data from five more languages, to show that the orientation strategy is a major organizing principle in these languages. This strategy has not previously been recognized in the literature as a unitary phenomenon, and the languages which employ it present particular challenges to existing typologies of spatial frames of reference.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-136
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)