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Comparative work on human spatial cognition contrasts systems of calculating position and trajectory that involve body-relative reckoning - frequently where the body in question is that of an egocentric observer - with systems which rely on global coordinates such as compass directions not relative to the positions and orientations of moveable entities. I consider here a case - from a Tzotzil speaker from highland Chiapas, Mexico - in which spoken resources for describing spatial relations are less developed than corresponding gestural representations. Previous studies of Tzotzil suggested that expressing spatial relationships relies, cognitively and interactively, on quite precise, absolutely oriented representations of both microspace and distant locations. I describe semi-experimental studies designed to examine expressive resources and their conceptual underpinnings. Gesture provides striking evidence not only about both the specificity of spatial knowledge, but also about other conceptual operations - transpositions and re-centerings - available to interactants for communicating about such knowledge.
Pour citer cet article :Haviland John B. (2005/2-3). Directional Precision in Zinacantec Deictic Gestures : (cognitive ?) preconditions of talk about space. In Mondada Lorenza (Eds), Space, inter/action & cognition, Intellectica, 41-42, (pp.25-54), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1720.