Inderjeet Mani and James Pustejovsky

in Interpreting Motion

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199601240
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738968 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Language and Space


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Introduction discusses the linguistic and computational challenges in interpreting motion descriptions in natural language, and specifies a set of requirements for a technical approach to meet these challenges. The authors highlight two prior findings: first, the types of geometric idealizations that underlie the interpretation of spatial prepositional phrases, and second, the varieties of linguistic patterns observed for motion verbs across languages. The chapter assesses the previous research on the semantics of spatial prepositions and motion verbs in the light of computational requirements and points out several key limitations, including the lack of spatial primitives that can be used for qualitative reasoning. The chapter offers a revised classification of motion verbs, and ends by discussing how these prior insights and shortcomings provide a motivation for the authors’ technical approach.

Keywords: FrameNet; geometric abstraction; motion verb classes; motion verbs; qualitative reasoning; satellite‐framing; spatial prepositions; spatial primitives; verb‐framing; VerbNet; WordNet

Chapter.  13107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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