In Western cultures, human interactions are generally envisaged such that the agent appears on the left, the recipient on the right, with action flowing from left to right. Here we explore the joint influence of 2 mechanisms driving such spatial asymmetries: the embodiment of script direction and the order in which subject and object are mentioned. A comparison of 3 language communities (Italian, Malagasy, Arabic) differing in script direction (left–right for Italian and Malagasy and right–left for Arabic) and in subject–object order (subject–verb–object in Italian and Arabic and verb–object–subject in Malagasy) provides evidence for the assumption that both mechanisms contribute to the spatial asymmetry.

What drives the spatial agency bias? An Italian-Malagasy-Arabic comparison study.

MAASS, ANNE;SUITNER, CATERINA;
2014

Abstract

In Western cultures, human interactions are generally envisaged such that the agent appears on the left, the recipient on the right, with action flowing from left to right. Here we explore the joint influence of 2 mechanisms driving such spatial asymmetries: the embodiment of script direction and the order in which subject and object are mentioned. A comparison of 3 language communities (Italian, Malagasy, Arabic) differing in script direction (left–right for Italian and Malagasy and right–left for Arabic) and in subject–object order (subject–verb–object in Italian and Arabic and verb–object–subject in Malagasy) provides evidence for the assumption that both mechanisms contribute to the spatial asymmetry.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2838403
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