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Landscape Categories in Yindjibarndi: Ontology, Environment, and Language

  • David M. Mark
  • Andrew G. Turk
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2825)

Abstract

This paper describes categories for landscape elements in the language of the Yindjibarndi people, a community of Indigenous Australians. Yindjibarndi terms for topographic features were obtained from dictionaries, and augmented and refined through discussions with local language experts in the Yindjibarndi community. In this paper, the Yindjibarndi terms for convex landforms and for water bodies are compared to English-language terms used to describe the Australian landscape, both in general terms and in the AUSLIG Gazetteer. The investigation found fundamental differences between the two conceptual systems at the basic level, supporting the notion that people from different places and cultures may use different categories for geographic features.

Keywords

Geographic categories geographic ontology land scape terms natural language cultural differences Yindjibarndi Indigenous Australians spatial cognition geographic information systems GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Mark
    • 1
  • Andrew G. Turk
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geography, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and, Center for Cognitive ScienceUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.School of Information TechnologyMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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