This book considers how people talk about the location of objects and places. Spatial language has occupied many researchers across diverse fields, such as linguistics, psychology, GIScience, architecture, and neuroscience. However, the vast majority of work in this area has examined spatial language in monologue situations, and often in highly artificial and restricted settings. Yet there is a growing recognition in the language research community that dialogue
rather than monologue should be a starting point for language understanding. Hence, the current zeitgeist in both language research and robotics/AI demands an integrated examination of spatial language in dialogue settings. The present volume provides such integration for the first time and reports on
the latest developments in this important field. Written in a way that will appeal to researchers across disciplines from graduate level upwards, the book sets the agenda for future research in spatial conceptualization and communication.
Kenny Coventry is Director of the Cognition and Communication Research Centre, Northumbria University. His research focuses on the relationship between language and perception from a multidisciplinary perspective. He is the author, with Simon Garrod, of Saying, Seeing and Acting: The Psychological Semantics on Spatial Prepositions (2004). Thora Tenbrink is a research fellow in linguistics at the University of Bremen, Germany where she is principal investigator in two projects concerned with the empirical investigation and interpretation of natural spatial language and dialogue. Employing discourse analytic methods, she investigates linguistic reflections of cognitive principles underlying spatial and temporal language usage. She is the author of Space, Time, and the Use of Language (2007). John Bateman is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Bremen, Germany. His research focuses particularly on multilingual and multimodal linguistic description, and computational instantiations of linguistic theory. His current interests centre on the construction of computational dialogue systems for robot-human communication using linguistically-motivated ontologies. He has published widely in these areas and is the author of Multimodal Document Analysis and Genre (2008).
1. Introduction - Spatial Language and Dialogue: Navigating the Domain ; 2. Why Dialogue Methods are Important for Investigating Spatial Language ; 3. Spatial Dilogue Between Partners with Mismatched Abilities ; 4. Consistency in Successive Spatial Utterances ; 5. An Interactionally Situated Analysis of What Prompts Shift in the Motion Verbs come and go in a Map Task ; 6. Perspective Alignment in Spatial Language ; 7. Formulating Spatial Descriptions Across Various Dialogue Contexts ; 8. Identifying Objects in English and German: A Contrastive Linguistic Analysis of Spatial Reference ; 9. Explanations in Gesture, Diagram, and Word ; 10. A Computational Model for the Representation and Processing of Shape in Coverbal Iconic Gestures ; 11. Knowledge Representation for Generating Locating Gestures in Route Directions ; 12. Grounding Information in Route Explanation Dialogues ; 13. Telling Rolland Where to go: HRI Dialogues on Route Navigation ; References ; Index