chapter  4
17 Pages

A Computational Model for the Interpretation of Static Locative Expressions

This chapter presents an approach to the interpretation of prepositions in locative expressions, that is, expressions such as the cat is on the mat. Such expressions are used to describe a scene where an object is located, or is seen as in motion along a path, with respect to a reference object. The meaning of a preposition is viewed as a set of ideal meanings, each of which represents a spatial relation, which can be specialized on the basis of its actual arguments. Ideal meanings are simple geometric relations that can be sense-shifted, consequently defining a taxonomy of relations. The chapter describes how the interpretation process disambiguates and specializes the meaning of the preposition given a fragment of spatial knowledge on objects and events.