Object Orientation Affects Spatial Language Comprehension

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Abstract

Typical spatial descriptions, such as “The car is in front of the house,” describe the position of a located object (LO; e.g., the car) in space relative to a reference object (RO) whose location is known (e.g., the house). The orientation of the RO affects spatial language comprehension via the reference frame selection process. However, the effects of the LO's orientation on spatial language have not received great attention. This study explores whether the pure geometric information of the LO (e.g., its orientation) affects spatial language comprehension using placing and production tasks. Our results suggest that the orientation of the LO influences spatial language comprehension even in the absence of functional relationships.

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