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I have been following another on the copy editors' list, and have found that
it has converged interestingly (for me) with this one, and gives me the
opportunity to share a recent learning opportunity about spatial reasoning and
cognitive linguistics, and the spatial metaphors we use in everyday language
(which is indeed applicable to WHAT MOVES ON SCREEN?--and _especially apropo
to the wonderful response from someone who said that they move their head,
not the paper, unless hung over ;-) )
Intro. info.: the thread involved the overabundance of information in special-
ized fields, and how certain serendipitous fusions of info. from disparate
areas of study can give rise to new knowledge and understanding (the example
was the paleontologists' search for evidence of a meteor to explain dinosaur
extinction, which turned up after being buried for 20 years in an obscure
The excerpt from my reply:
Professor Max. J. Eganhofer, who is a Geographic Information Systems expert,
has been conferring with "cognitive linguists" about spatial reasoning
metaphors, how we use them in the language, and how these "natural metaphors"
can be applied to GIS User Interfaces. If their documents are indexed in, say,
Current Contents, or connected via hypertext links, using shared lexicography
(NOT Library of Congress Subject Headings..._meaningful_ up-to-date
terminology), someone interested in the applications of linguistic metaphors,
spatial reasoning, the representation of geography, and the mind- body problem
in philosophy will have an interesting reading list! (May not be up everyone's
alley, but it's very exciting to me--all my favourite topics roled into one.)
Yes, there is too much unstructured information out there, but...
I say, there is hope!
Gwen Gall (ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com)
P.S. Anyone interested in the "cognitive linguists"--Eganhofer also
described them as "mind-body philosophers" and "psychologists".
He gave me some citations of work these guys have published (sorry no WWW or
ftp site addresses!):
Johnson, Mark. The Body and the Mind. U. of Chicago Press, 1994 .
Lakoff, George. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. U. of Chicago (no date)**
Lakoff and Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. U. of Chicago Press (no date)
Also, although I have an incomplete reference, there is apparently a famous
paper that started interest in this area:
How Language Structures Space, Talmy, 1983 (is all I have)
**This title is apparently based on an (I think) Aboriginal language (or NZ,
or New Guinea, I'm not sure): Their words for "women", "fire" and "dangerous
things" are the same! Note that the title is NOT "and OTHER Dangerous Things".
Sorry for the long post: if you've read this far, I hope it was worthwhile!