Landscape Conceptualisation in Mbukushu

A Cognitive-Linguistic Approach
  • Birte Kathage
Part of the Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation book series (STHE, volume 4)


This chapter outlines a cognitive-linguistic approach to describing conceptualisation of landscape. It is based on the findings of a cognitive-linguistic investigation into Mbukushu, a Bantu language that is spoken mainly in the semiarid northeast of Namibia. Taking language as the main source this chapter highlights some of the main universal principles that underlie conceptualisation. Culture-specific principles are illustrated by examples from Mbukushu. In order to provide means for further cross-cultural research into landscape conceptualisation this chapter proposes descriptive parameters which are not culturally biased.

The findings substantiate common cognitive theories that universal principles of conceptualisation are based on the human physical endowment and on basic human needs. Culture-specific principles reflect how the Mbukushu people adapt culturally to specific features of their natural environment.


Spatial Orientation Universal Principle Semantic Field Source Entity Noun Class 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birte Kathage
    • 1
  1. 1.Africa ConsultingCologneGermany

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