Aligning spatial perspective in route descriptions

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Spatial perspective refers to the use of reference systems in extended spatial descriptions and wayfinding. Variable viewpoints, conceptualizations, and reference terms may lead speakers to describe an environment and movement in it in a route perspective or a survey/gaze perspective. Previous research has indicated the role of a number of environmental, individual, and learning factors in choice of perspective. Here, in two experiments set up in a confederate experimental paradigm with speakers taking turns in describing routes on schematic maps, choice of spatial perspective was influenced also by the use of perspective of the dialogic partner, both before and after they switch perspective. Perspective priming did not occur when partners used perspective inconsistently, however. Participants with low spatial ability as assessed in a self-report measure did not align with their partner when the switch was from route to survey perspective. Results are discussed in the framework of interactive alignment. These studies also found considerable inter-individual variation in the stability vs. flexibility of spatial perspective use. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.




Andonova, E. (2010). Aligning spatial perspective in route descriptions. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 6222 LNAI, pp. 125–138).

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