Martin Thiering’s research is on spatial concepts and mental models of space in languages with a non-written tradition. The theoretical framework is embedded in cognitive linguistics and cognitive anthropology aiming at a semiotics of space from a diachronic perspective. The idea is to survey the influence from culture upon language (and vice versa) and cognition. What is cultural or language-specific and what might be candidates for universals? These questions mirror discussions starting with Aristotle arguing that language expresses thoughts that are a priori given. Gottlob Frege and the early Ludwig Wittgenstein argue that all cognitive activity is linguistic. Wittgenstein claims in his Tractatus that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world“. Research on Amerindian languages introduced by Franz Boas, Edward Sapir, and Benjamin Lee Whorf built on Wilhelm von Humboldt’s idea of Weltansichten ‘world perspectives’, i.e., the idea that the structure of language influences the thought process. This concept is known as the linguistic relativity principle or Sapir-Whorf theory. Thiering subscribes to the idea that languages differ in the way they shape our world perspectives, but believes as others do that non-linguistic information has its impact upon language and categorization.
- Nov 28, 2011WorkshopPart of: Open Meeting: Theories of Space and KnowledgeOrganiser
- Mar 22, 2011WorkshopPart of: Open Meeting: Theories of Space and KnowledgeOrganiser
- Mar 18, 2011TalkPart of: Implicit Knowledge: On the Tacit Dimensions of Making SpaceSpeaker
- Jan 25, 2011WorkshopPart of: Open Meeting: Theories of Space and KnowledgeOrganiser
- Jan 25, 2011WorkshopOrganiser
- Jan 18, 2010Lecture SeriesSpeaker
- Nov 10, 2009TalkPart of: Spatial TuesdaySpeaker