Survey and database
This component of the project tests the Topographic Correspondence Hypothesis (TCH; Palmer 2015) by surveying the spatial systems of 200+ Australian languages in their topographic environment. TCH predicts that languages spoken in similar environments will have spatial systems that are similar in ways that correspond to similarities in features of the topography, regardless of whether the languages are related or not, while a language spoken in different environments will use correspondingly different spatial systems in the varying topography.
A preliminary survey of geocentric spatial systems in 116 Australian languages. From Hoffmann, Dorothea, Bill Palmer & Alice Gaby. 2022. Geocentric directional systems in Australia: a typology. Linguistics Vanguard 8(S1):67-89. https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2021-0063
Photo by Dorothea Hoffmann