Prepositions name spatial relationships (e.g., book on a table), but also abstract, non-spatial relationships (e.g., Jordan is on a roll)—raising the question of how the abstract uses relate to the concrete spatial uses. The two most frequently extended prepositions are in and on, and there has been no consensus about what aspects of spatial meaning they retain when used abstractly. We propose that what is preserved is the relative degree of control between the located object (the figure) and the reference object (the ground). Building on previous work showing that this aspect of meaning can distinguish conventional abstract uses of in and on (Jamrozik & Gentner, 2011), we found that it is also extended to the comprehension and production of novel abstract uses. We discuss the application of the findings to second language instruction.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society|
|Editors||Paul Bello, Marcello Guarini, Marjorie McShane, Brian Scassellati|
|Publisher||Cognitive Science Society|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 2014|