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Regional Differences in Spatial Frame of Reference Systems for People in Different Areas of China

Levinson defined spatial frame of reference systems into three types and found that people who spoke different languages all over the world had different habits in the use of these systems. Some quasi-experimental designed research in China suggested that Chinese people in various areas had differen... Full description

Journal Title: Perceptual and Motor Skills April 2009, Vol.108(2), pp.587-596
Main Author: Li, Jing
Other Authors: Zhang, Kan
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0031-5125 ; E-ISSN: 1558-688X ; DOI: 10.2466/pms.108.2.587-596
Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.2466/pms.108.2.587-596
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recordid: sage_s10_2466_pms_108_2_587_596
title: Regional Differences in Spatial Frame of Reference Systems for People in Different Areas of China
format: Article
creator:
  • Li, Jing
  • Zhang, Kan
subjects:
  • Psychology
ispartof: Perceptual and Motor Skills, April 2009, Vol.108(2), pp.587-596
description: Levinson defined spatial frame of reference systems into three types and found that people who spoke different languages all over the world had different habits in the use of these systems. Some quasi-experimental designed research in China suggested that Chinese people in various areas had different preferences for frame of reference systems in nonlinguistic spatial tasks. In this study, a newly designed and strictly controlled laboratory experiment was conducted to measure performance on linguistic spatial tasks. Response times of two groups of participants, respectively selected from the north (10 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 4) and south (11 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 3) of China, were compared on processing of spatial terms used in different systems: absolute (e.g., east) versus relative (e.g., right). To reduce the effect of living experience, the Northern participants with less than 4 yr. living experience in the south of China were included, and vice versa. Analysis showed that Southerners, but not Northerners, differed in response times to terms between absolute and relative systems. This finding suggests that speed of processing spatial terms differs among people who speak the uniform language Mandarin but live in geographically distinct home areas in China and use different frame of reference systems.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0031-5125 ; E-ISSN: 1558-688X ; DOI: 10.2466/pms.108.2.587-596
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0031-5125
  • 00315125
  • 1558-688X
  • 1558688X
url: Link


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descriptionLevinson defined spatial frame of reference systems into three types and found that people who spoke different languages all over the world had different habits in the use of these systems. Some quasi-experimental designed research in China suggested that Chinese people in various areas had different preferences for frame of reference systems in nonlinguistic spatial tasks. In this study, a newly designed and strictly controlled laboratory experiment was conducted to measure performance on linguistic spatial tasks. Response times of two groups of participants, respectively selected from the north (10 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 4) and south (11 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 3) of China, were compared on processing of spatial terms used in different systems: absolute (e.g., east) versus relative (e.g., right). To reduce the effect of living experience, the Northern participants with less than 4 yr. living experience in the south of China were included, and vice versa. Analysis showed that Southerners, but not Northerners, differed in response times to terms between absolute and relative systems. This finding suggests that speed of processing spatial terms differs among people who speak the uniform language Mandarin but live in geographically distinct home areas in China and use different frame of reference systems.
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Levinson defined spatial frame of reference systems into three types and found that people who spoke different languages all over the world had different habits in the use of these systems. Some quasi-experimental designed research in China suggested that Chinese people in various areas had different preferences for frame of reference systems in nonlinguistic spatial tasks. In this study, a newly designed and strictly controlled laboratory experiment was conducted to measure performance on linguistic spatial tasks. Response times of two groups of participants, respectively selected from the north (10 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 4) and south (11 men and 12 women; M age = 24 yr., SD = 3) of China, were compared on processing of spatial terms used in different systems: absolute (e.g., east) versus relative (e.g., right). To reduce the effect of living experience, the Northern participants with less than 4 yr. living experience in the south of China were included, and vice versa. Analysis showed that Southerners, but not Northerners, differed in response times to terms between absolute and relative systems. This finding suggests that speed of processing spatial terms differs among people who speak the uniform language Mandarin but live in geographically distinct home areas in China and use different frame of reference systems.

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doi10.2466/pms.108.2.587-596
date2009-04