Conceptual Scoffolding: A Spatially-founded Meaning Representation for Metaphor Comprehension
Keane, Mark T.
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Citation:Veale, Tony; Keane, Mark T. 'Conceptual Scoffolding: A Spatially-founded Meaning Representation for Metaphor Comprehension'. - Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Computer Science, TCD-CS-92-12, 1992, pp43
Once viewed as a rhetorical and superficial language phenomenon, metaphor is now recognized to serve a fundamental role in our conceptual structuring and language comprehension processes. In particular, it is argued that certain experiential metaphors based upon intuitions of spatial relations are inherent in the conceptual organization of our most abstract thoughts. In this paper we present a two stage computational model of metaphor interpretation which employs a spatially-founded semantics to broadly characterise the meaning carried by a metaphor in terms of a conceptual scaffolding, an interim meaning structure around which a fuller interpretation is fleshed out over time. We then present a semantics for the construction of conceptual scaffolding which is based upon core metaphors of collocation, containment and orientation. The goal of this scaffolding is to maintain the intended association of ideas even in contexts in which system knowledge is insufficient for a complete interpretation. This two stage system of scaffolding and elaboration also models the common time lapse between initial metaphor comprehension and full metaphor appreciation. Several mechanisms for deriving elaborative inference from scaffolding structures, particularly in cases of novel or creative metaphor, are also presented. While the system developed in this paper has significant practical application, its also demonstrates that core spatial metaphors clearly play a central role in metaphor comprehension.
Natural language Processing
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin, Department of Computer Science
Series/Report no:Computer Science Technical Report
Description:Also in Computational Intelligence, 8, 494-519