The origins of the radiality as a foundational cultural model in the domain of spatial relationship may be traced to the island nation of Tonga (Bennardo 2009). Tongan language has only 3 linguistic representations of spatial relationships. This makes it a simpler study than languages with many more because correlation interpretation is reduced to fewer permutations.
The concept of radiality impacts other realms of understanding within anthropology. It correlates with understandings of religious belief (Bennardo 2009). It explains theories about spatial navigation and material possessions. It also helps in our comprehension of kinship patterns. This method of interpretation contributes no less to our understanding of social relationships. It seems cognitive processes of language production and interpretation manifest in gross behavioral patterns.
Methods of radiality modeling result in a broader understanding of social relationships with respect to language (Bennardo 2008). Looking for a cultural model of social relationships in Tongan, investigators collected linguistic, experimental, and social network data. They focused on the core concept of the model where 'Ofa is giving, either giving help from higher to lower or giving duty or respect from lower to higher. Surveys were formulated to study spatial linguistic correlations to cognitive beliefs.
Three semi-structured interviews were used (Bennardo 2008). One was about how individuals perceive social relationships between others where participants answered questions about the existence and composition of groups in their village, their island, and country. Another was about individual personal relationships where participants answered questions about their relationships to other people in the village. Still, another was about indirect social relationships where participants told a story that occurred in their village that they thought represented village life. From 60 interviews of about 24 hours of audiovisual recordings verbal coders went to work.
They conducted statistical analyses of words to uncover certain obviates. They applied methods of metaphor and keyword analysis to identify specific correlations (Bennardo 2008). Metaphor analysis included certain priorities: first to identify metaphors, second to sort them by type and identify key words, and third to locate organizational principles. Key word analysis included four words that appeared during the metaphor analyses: 'Ofa 'love'; Fatongia 'duty'; Kavenga 'lighter duty'; Faka'apa'apa 'respect.' The results of these tests yielded the following information about Tongan culture.
Researchers found a number of relevant cognitive behavioral principles as a result of their statistical analysis. It seems society is hierarchical to the Tongans (Bennardo 2008). Individuals are located at different levels of the society's ladder. 'Ofa 'love' links these individuals to make them a whole. The king and elite are connected with the Divine as evident in the shininess of their bodies. This work has provided a greater understanding of language and relationships in Tongan society.
How does radiality impact our understanding of social relationships It does so by providing a method of understanding for describing how language influences cognition and social behavior. Its pragmatic value is evident in its contributions to behavioral