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ERIC Number: ED525706
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 324
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-0131-4
A Multi-Componential Approach to Frame of Reference Acceptability in Tabletop Space
Robinette, Laurie E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
English spatial term assignment can involve some level of ambiguity, in that a single preposition may map onto a different area of space depending upon contextual issues involved in the assignment. For example, a located object can be said to be "above" a reference object in different ways: (1) according to properties of the environment, (2) according to properties of the reference object, and (3) according to properties of the viewers of the scene. In some situations, these three different "frames of reference" will predict the same spatial term assignments; however, they oftentimes make conflicting assignments. When a conflict does exist among the frames, English speakers must choose which assignment they will deem as appropriate to a given situation. This study investigates the use of two "frames of reference"--the viewer-centered and the object-centered--in disambiguating the areas of tabletop space that can be represented by the horizontal axis spatial expressions (for example, "in front of and "to the left of"). Results from a series of three sentence-acceptability rating experiments show that properties of the objects--specifically their inherent features and the way in which they work together to fulfill some type of real-world function--play a crucial role in frame of reference selection. This study also shows that properties of the language used to talk about the space make a significant contribution to this selection. The labels assigned to the objects and the syntactic structure of the spatial expressions carry information that may hide or highlight particular properties of the objects which in turn appear to be used to select a reference frame. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A