Path and place: the lexical specification of granular compatibility

Hedda R. Schmidtke

in Motion Encoding in Language and Space

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199661213
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745348 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Language and Space

Path and place: the lexical specification of granular compatibility

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This chapter aims to provide several formal tools for representing granularity-dependent notions such as point-like or proximity, so that they can be used for characterizing granularity restrictions in a unified way. It demonstrates how the representational formalism can be used to encode restrictions of compatibility of spatial granularity in the understanding of spatial expressions for two different spatial tasks: the task of localization of an object given a localization description, such as ‘the fly is above the table’, and the task of following a route instruction. It illustrates the formal framework with the examples of the German constructions ‘an...vorbei’ (‘past’) and ‘an...entlang’ (‘along’), which combine with German an (‘at/on/by’), which denotes close proximity or contact, and demonstrates that a spatially dynamic, granular interpretation allows us to model different degrees of acceptability of sentences.

Keywords: size-based granularity; path description; proximity; localization; motion verbs

Chapter.  9958 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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