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Influences of form and function on the acceptability of projective prepositions in Swedish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0897-8911
2008 (English)In: Spatial Cognition and Computation, ISSN 1387-5868, E-ISSN 1573-9252, ISSN 1387-5868, Vol. 8, no 3, 193-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Projective prepositions express the relation between two objects by referring to a direction in space and have traditionally been regarded as expressing purely geometric relations. Recent studies have shown that the appropriateness of English and Spanish projectives also depends on functional relations between objects. This study investigates if the acceptability of the Swedish projectives över, under, ovanför and nedanför are influenced by functional factors as well, and whether över and under are differentially influenced by function than ovanför and nedanför, as has been shown for their English cognates. It also investigates how the shape and parts of the related objects influence their functional interaction, and thereby the acceptability of the prepositions. This is done with respect to the predictions of the AVS-model, a model of the perceptual processes underlying the apprehension of projectives, which takes both the geometric and the functional relation between objects into account. It was found that acceptability judgments about the prepositions are influenced by function as their corresponding English and Spanish prepositions. The acceptability of över was more sensitive to function than ovanför, whereas under and nedanför were not differentially influenced by function, as has been shown for Spanish. It was further found that the shape and parts of both of the related objects influence acceptability regions associated with the prepositions in predictable ways, as functional interactions between objects largely depend on their parts. The results finally show that the AVS-model needs to be further developed in order to account for the form and function of the located object.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Psychology Press, 2008. Vol. 8, no 3, 193-218 p.
Keyword [en]
projective prepositions, Swedish, functional influences, AVS-model
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
General Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14154DOI: 10.1080/13875860801993652ISI: 000270114000002OAI: diva2:180674
Available from: 2008-06-14 Created: 2008-06-14 Last updated: 2014-04-29

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Hörberg, Thomas
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