Boundaries and prototypes in categorizing direction

Vivien Mast, Diedrich Wolter, Alexander Klippel, Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Thora Tenbrink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Projective terms such as left, right, front, back are conceptually interesting due to their flexibility of contextual usage and their central relevance to human spatial cognition. Their default acceptability areas are well known, with prototypical axes representing their most central usage and decreasing acceptability away from the axes. Previous research has shown these axes to be boundaries in certain non-linguistic tasks, indicating an inverse relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic direction concepts under specific circumstances. Given this striking mismatch, our study asks how such inverse non-linguistic concepts are represented in language, as well as how people describe their categorization. Our findings highlight two distinct grouping strategies reminiscent of theories of human categorization: prototype based or boundary based. These lead to different linguistic as well as non-linguistic patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpatial Cognition IX - International Conference, Spatial Cognition 2014, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319112145
StatePublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference on Spatial Cognition IX, Spatial Cognition 2014 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: Sep 15 2014Sep 19 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8684 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


OtherInternational Conference on Spatial Cognition IX, Spatial Cognition 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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