A Language Where Space Has No Directions

July 11, 2016 | Science Daily

The way that different languages convey information has long fascinated linguists, anthropologists and sociologists alike. Murrinhpatha, the lingua franca spoken by the majority of Aboriginal people in the Moyle and Fitzmaurice rivers region of Australia’s Northern Territory has many interesting features, with the absence of verbal abstract directions a prominent one among them. But if a language doesn’t have terms to denote specific space concept, how can speakers communicate the direction of one location with respect to another?

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