Interpreting Motion presents an integrated perspective on how language structures constrain concepts of motion and how the world shapes the way motion is linguistically expressed. Natural language allows for efficient communication of elaborate descriptions of movement without requiring a precise specification of the motion. Interpreting Motion is the first book to analyze the semantics of motion expressions in terms of the formalisms of qualitative spatial reasoning. It shows how motion descriptions in language are mapped to trajectories of moving entities based on qualitative spatio-temporal relationships. The authors provide an extensive discussion of prior research on spatial prepositions and motion verbs, devoting chapters to the compositional semantics of motion sentences, the formal representations needed for computers to reason qualitatively about time, space, and motion, and the methodology for annotating corpora with linguistic information in order to train computer programs to reproduce the annotation.
The applications they illustrate include route navigation, the mapping of travel narratives, question-answering, image and video tagging, and graphical rendering of scenes from textual descriptions. The book is written accessibly for a broad scientific audience of linguists, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, and those working in fields such as artificial intelligence and geographic information systems.
Inderjeet Mani has been a Senior Principal Scientist at The MITRE Corporation, a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, and an Associate Professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of Automatic Summarization (John Benjamins 2001), The Imagined Moment: Time, Narrative, and Computation (Nebraska 2010), and Narrative Modeling (Morgan and Claypool forthcoming), and co-editor of Advances in Automatic Text Summarization (MIT 1999) and The Language of Time (OUP 2005). James Pustejovsky is the TJX/Feldberg Chair in Computer Science at Brandeis University. His topics of research are natural language processing, lexical semantics, temporal reasoning, event semantics, and language annotation. His books include The Generative Lexicon (MIT 1995); with Bran Boguraev, Lexical Semantics: The Problem of Polysemy (OUP 1997); with Carol Tenny, Events as Grammatical Objects (CSLI 2001); with Amber Stubbs, Natural Language Annotation for Machine Learning (O'Reilly 2012); with Elizabetta Jezek Generative Lexicon Theory: A Guide (OUP forthcoming); and Coercion and Compositionality (MIT Press forthcoming).
1. Introduction ; 2. Concepts of Motion in Language ; 3. Spatial and Temporal Ontology ; 4. The Representation of Motion ; 5. Semantic Annotation ; 6. Applications and Prospects ; References ; Index