Spatial prepositions and vague quantifiers: Implementing the functional geometric framework

K.R. Coventry, A. Cangelosi, R. Rajapakse, A. Bacon, S. Newstead, D. Joyce, L.V. Richards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


There is much empirical evidence showing that factors other than the relative positions of objects in Euclidean space are important in the comprehension of a wide range of spatial prepositions in English and other languages. We first the overview the functional geometric framework [11] which puts “what” and “where” information together to underpin the situation specific meaning of spatial terms. We then outline an implementation of this framework. The computational model for the processing of visual scenes and the identification of the appropriate spatial preposition consists of three main modules: (1) Vision Processing, (2) Elman Network, (3) Dual-Route Network. Mirroring data from experiments with human participants, we show that the model is both able to predict what will happen to objects in a scene, and use these judgements to influence the appropriateness of over/under/above/below to describe where objects are located in the scene. Extensions of the model to other prepositions and quantifiers are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpatial Cognition IV.
Subtitle of host publication Reasoning, Action, Interaction (International Conference Spatial Cognition 2004, Frauenchiemsee, Germany, October 11-13, 2004, Revised Selected Papers)
EditorsChristian Freksa, Markus Knauff, Bernd Krieg-Brückner, Bernhard Nebel, Thomas Barkowsky
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783540322559
ISBN (Print)9783540250487
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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