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作者 Tilbe, Timothy James
書名 Parts and Wholes in Mesoamerican Language and Cognition [electronic resource] / Timothy James Tilbe
出版項 Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2017
國際標準書號 9780355310443
book jacket
說明 1 online resource
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 79-03(E), Section: A
Adviser: Juergen Bohnemeyer
Thesis (Ph.D.)--State University of New York at Buffalo, 2017
Categorization of objects' parts varies across human populations. This dissertation provides evidence that the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of this categorization are closely linked. English speakers apply mostly terms with abstract geometrical meaning, like 'top,' to the parts of any arbitrary object. However, in the languages of Mesoamerica, it is common for body part terms to serve as general-purpose terms. Some Mesoamerican languages have been claimed to use basically different strategies to assign words to the parts of entities. Juchitan Zapotec (spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico) has been described as assigning part terms by global analogy from the human body, whereas Tseltal (a Mayan language spoken in Chiapas, Mexico) has been described as assigning part terms through a process that analyzes the object's proportions and the relative curvature of its parts. This research largely supports these claims, and probes for corresponding differences in non-linguistic classification and analogy. If speakers of certain languages compute their representations of part-whole structures in fundamentally different ways, this should result in measurable differences in analogical behavior. In order to test this, an experiment presented speakers of Juchitan Zapotec and Tseltal with unfamiliar 3-D objects and required them to choose one or more parts of each object that would correspond to parts of a doll. With subvocal rehearsal and the orientation of the object controlled for, the Zapotec speakers significantly favored choosing parts according to global analogy, and the Tseltal speakers significantly favored choosing parts according to the shapeanalytic algorithm. Another experiment provided evidence that in non-verbally categorizing the parts of objects, speakers of these two Mesoamerican languages rely more on the shapes of parts than on their functions, while speakers of English rely more on the functions of parts than on their shapes
School code: 0656
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 79-03A(E)
主題 Linguistics
Cognitive psychology
Alt Author State University of New York at Buffalo. Linguistics
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