By Timothy E. Moore
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Additional resources for Cognitive Development and Acquisition of Language
Furthermore, beside presupposes at least two dimensions, since the side in beside refers to a facet of an object not defined as the front or back, or top or bottom; in this sense, beside is like width and is applied to a secondary dimension once the primary dimension has been designated. But as we will see later, the use of these prepositions is complicated by the introduction of ego as primary point of reference. The relative simplicity of these terms, therefore, is not exactly comparable to the relative simplicity of the spatial adjectives.
Each of the other scales works in the same way, with the unmarked member of the pair used as the name of the scale defining the positive direction and as the term labeling an excess in that direction. These adjective pairs differ, however, in their conditions of application. High-low, for example, requires that the object to which the adjectives are applied be three-dimensional and have a vertical dimension. To say The glip is tall is to presuppose these two conditions about glips. In this sense, the adjective pairs can be classified into three categories: (1) those that presuppose objects of at least one dimension; (2) those that presuppose objects of at least two dimensions; and (3) those that presuppose objects of at least three dimensions.
And because of his biological makeup, he perceives these objects, people, space and time, and their interrelations in a particular way. These are the conditions under which all speakers of any language have learned to speak and to describe the location of objects. But clearly man's physical and biological environment itself places a large number of constraints—a priori constraints—on how he can describe the location of objects. It is these constraints—the properties of P-space—that I want to delve into first, for as we will see, the properties of /'-space are strikingly close to the properties of the linguistic system (or L-space) the speaker of English actually uses in describing the locations of objects in space.
Cognitive Development and Acquisition of Language by Timothy E. Moore