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A computational model of the referential semantics of projective prepositions

Kelleher, John D. and van Genabith, Josef (2006) A computational model of the referential semantics of projective prepositions. In: Syntax and semantics of prepositions. Text, speech and langauge technology, 29 . Kluwer, pp. 211-228. ISBN 1-4020-3873-9

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In this paper we present a framework for interpreting locative expressions containing the prepositions in front of and behind. These prepositions have different semantics in the viewer-centred and intrinsic frames of reference (Vandeloise, 1991). We define a model of their semantics in each frame of reference. The basis of these models is a novel parameterized continuum function that creates a 3-D spatial template. In the intrinsic frame of reference the origin used by the continuum function is assumed to be known a priori and object occlusion does not impact on the applicability rating of a point in the spatial template. In the viewer-centred frame the location of the spatial template’s origin is dependent on the user’s perception of the landmark at the time of the utterance and object occlusion is integrated into the model. Where there is an ambiguity with respect to the intended frame of reference, we define an algorithm for merging the spatial templates from the competing frames of reference, based on psycholinguistic observations in (Carlson-Radvansky, 1997).

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Semantics; prepositions
Subjects:Computer Science > Machine translating
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Computing
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Copyright Information:© 2006 Springer-Verlag. The original publication is available at
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16165
Deposited On:16 May 2011 14:28 by Shane Harper. Last Modified 14 Nov 2016 10:34

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