Language as a Means of Constructing and Conveying Cognitive Maps

  • Nancy Franklin
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 32)


We frequently rely on language, in conjunction with or in the absence of perceptual experience, to convey spatial information. Production of such descriptions involves a host of processes, including selection of important elements to communicate, temporal structuring of the elements, selection of frames of reference and perspectives, and verbal regularization of spatial relations. The addressee is then faced with the challenge of forming a spatial model from linearly ordered simple expressions. The literature shows that memory representations for these described configurations bear some functional resemblance to perceptually derived representations. However, their construction is not guaranteed, and even when mental models are created, they do not always appear to have perception-like properties. How we organize memory for described spatial information appears to depend not only on the structure of the described space itself, but also on cues from the text, characteristics of our typical interactions with space, and the nature of the expected task.


Mental Model Spatial Model Spatial Relation Perceptual Experience Spatial Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Franklin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New YorkStony Brook

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