On Defining Motion Verbs and Spatial Prepositions
In a computational system for describing and understanding descriptions of spatial relations and motion events in natural language (city scenes or soccer games, for example), there is a need for a referential semantics of motion verbs and spatial prepositions that is both structurally coherent and (ideally) general enough to be used for both interpretation and generation of such descriptions. I propose an approach to defining those spatial terms that takes the form of a multidimensional hierarchy of definitions, incorporating some of the elements of Herskovits’ approach to interpreting (static) locative expressions as well as ideas from the relatively new study of cognitive linguistics.
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