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Language and landscape: Geographical ontology in cross-linguistic perspective

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Burenhult,  Niclas
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Categories across Language and Cognition, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Language documentation and data mining, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Burenhult, N. (Ed.). (2008). Language and landscape: Geographical ontology in cross-linguistic perspective [Special Issue]. Language Sciences, 30(2/3).


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1F90-0
Abstract
This special issue is the outcome of collaborative work on the relationship between language and landscape, carried out in the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The contributions explore the linguistic categories of landscape terms and place names in nine genetically, typologically and geographically diverse languages, drawing on data from first-hand fieldwork. The present introductory article lays out the reasons why the domain of landscape is of central interest to the language sciences and beyond, and it outlines some of the major patterns that emerge from the cross-linguistic comparison which the papers invite. The data point to considerable variation within and across languages in how systems of landscape terms and place names are ontologised. This has important implications for practical applications from international law to modern navigation systems.