Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning?

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Abstract

In Mandarin Chinese, the space-time word “前/qian” is used to express both the spatial concept of front/forward and the temporal concept of early/before (e.g., “前天/qian-tian”, literally front day, meaning the day before yesterday). This is consistent with the fact that Mandarin speakers can gesture to the front of the body to refer to a past event, and more generally can have past-in-front space-time mappings. In Chinese Sign Languages, however, the spatial front/forward and the temporal early/before are signed differently as the sign for spatial front is only used for the spatial concept of forward, and the sign for before/past is directed to the back. In this study we investigate whether the Mandarin sagittal spatial metaphors for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning. In two experiments, we found that Chinese deaf signers with higher Mandarin proficiency were more likely to interpret the Mandarin word “前/qian” as the temporal conception of past (Study 1), and to perform past-in-front space-time mappings (Study 2) as opposed to signers with lower Mandarin proficiency. The findings of the study not only provide within-culture evidence for the influence of language on thought, but also demonstrate that even cross-modal space-time metaphors can have an impact on deaf-signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsG. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, E. J. Davelaar
PublisherAustin, TX: Cognitive Science Society
Pages445-450
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Eventcogsci 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jul 201729 Jul 2017

Conference

Conferencecogsci 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period26/07/1729/07/17

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Gu, Y., Zheng, Y., & Swerts, M. (2017). Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning? In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. J. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 445-450). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Gu, Yan ; Zheng, Yeqiu ; Swerts, Marc. / Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning?. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society . editor / G. Gunzelmann ; A. Howes ; T. Tenbrink ; E. J. Davelaar. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 2017. pp. 445-450
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title = "Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning?",
abstract = "In Mandarin Chinese, the space-time word “前/qian” is used to express both the spatial concept of front/forward and the temporal concept of early/before (e.g., “前天/qian-tian”, literally front day, meaning the day before yesterday). This is consistent with the fact that Mandarin speakers can gesture to the front of the body to refer to a past event, and more generally can have past-in-front space-time mappings. In Chinese Sign Languages, however, the spatial front/forward and the temporal early/before are signed differently as the sign for spatial front is only used for the spatial concept of forward, and the sign for before/past is directed to the back. In this study we investigate whether the Mandarin sagittal spatial metaphors for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning. In two experiments, we found that Chinese deaf signers with higher Mandarin proficiency were more likely to interpret the Mandarin word “前/qian” as the temporal conception of past (Study 1), and to perform past-in-front space-time mappings (Study 2) as opposed to signers with lower Mandarin proficiency. The findings of the study not only provide within-culture evidence for the influence of language on thought, but also demonstrate that even cross-modal space-time metaphors can have an impact on deaf-signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning.",
author = "Yan Gu and Yeqiu Zheng and Marc Swerts",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
pages = "445--450",
editor = "G. Gunzelmann and A. Howes and Tenbrink, { T. } and Davelaar, { E. J. }",
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Gu, Y, Zheng, Y & Swerts, M 2017, Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning? in G Gunzelmann, A Howes, T Tenbrink & EJ Davelaar (eds), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society . Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, pp. 445-450, cogsci 2017, London, United Kingdom, 26/07/17.

Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning? / Gu, Yan; Zheng, Yeqiu; Swerts, Marc.

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society . ed. / G. Gunzelmann; A. Howes; T. Tenbrink; E. J. Davelaar. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 2017. p. 445-450.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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N2 - In Mandarin Chinese, the space-time word “前/qian” is used to express both the spatial concept of front/forward and the temporal concept of early/before (e.g., “前天/qian-tian”, literally front day, meaning the day before yesterday). This is consistent with the fact that Mandarin speakers can gesture to the front of the body to refer to a past event, and more generally can have past-in-front space-time mappings. In Chinese Sign Languages, however, the spatial front/forward and the temporal early/before are signed differently as the sign for spatial front is only used for the spatial concept of forward, and the sign for before/past is directed to the back. In this study we investigate whether the Mandarin sagittal spatial metaphors for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning. In two experiments, we found that Chinese deaf signers with higher Mandarin proficiency were more likely to interpret the Mandarin word “前/qian” as the temporal conception of past (Study 1), and to perform past-in-front space-time mappings (Study 2) as opposed to signers with lower Mandarin proficiency. The findings of the study not only provide within-culture evidence for the influence of language on thought, but also demonstrate that even cross-modal space-time metaphors can have an impact on deaf-signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning.

AB - In Mandarin Chinese, the space-time word “前/qian” is used to express both the spatial concept of front/forward and the temporal concept of early/before (e.g., “前天/qian-tian”, literally front day, meaning the day before yesterday). This is consistent with the fact that Mandarin speakers can gesture to the front of the body to refer to a past event, and more generally can have past-in-front space-time mappings. In Chinese Sign Languages, however, the spatial front/forward and the temporal early/before are signed differently as the sign for spatial front is only used for the spatial concept of forward, and the sign for before/past is directed to the back. In this study we investigate whether the Mandarin sagittal spatial metaphors for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning. In two experiments, we found that Chinese deaf signers with higher Mandarin proficiency were more likely to interpret the Mandarin word “前/qian” as the temporal conception of past (Study 1), and to perform past-in-front space-time mappings (Study 2) as opposed to signers with lower Mandarin proficiency. The findings of the study not only provide within-culture evidence for the influence of language on thought, but also demonstrate that even cross-modal space-time metaphors can have an impact on deaf-signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning.

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PB - Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society

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Gu Y, Zheng Y, Swerts M. Does Mandarin spatial metaphor for time influence Chinese deaf signers’ spatio-temporal reasoning? In Gunzelmann G, Howes A, Tenbrink T, Davelaar EJ, editors, Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society . Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. 2017. p. 445-450