DFKI-LT - Cognitive Representations of Projective Prepositions

John Kelleher, Fintan Costello
Cognitive Representations of Projective Prepositions
in: Valia Kordoni, Aline Villavicencio (eds.):
2 Proceedings of the 2nd ACL-Sigsem Workshop on The Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions and their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications, Colchester, United Kingdom, -, ACL-Sigsem, 2005
This paper describes a psycholinguistic experiment that investigates the cognitive representations of the projective prepositions 'in front of' and 'behind'. In particular: (1) what is the constituency of the spatial template (i.e., the prototypical regions of acceptability) associated with these prepositions; (2) what effect does frame of reference ambiguity have a these regions; (3) do these prepositions exhibit a bias towards a particular frame of reference. Our results indicate that: (1) the spatial templates associated with these prepositions correlate with projective spatial templates for 'above', 'below', 'left' and 'right',reported in (Logan & Sadler, 1996); (2) when frame of reference ambiguity occurs these spatial template are modified in a similar manner to that reported in (Carlson-Radvansky & Logon, 1997) for the preposition 'above'; (3) in contrast with the results of previous work (Carlson-Radvansky & Irw! in, 1993; Carlson-Radvansky & Logan ,1997) which indicate a preference towards the absolute and viewer-centred frames of reference for the preposition 'above', the prepositions 'in front of' and 'behind' exhibit a bias towards the landmark's intrinsic frame of reference.
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