Technical Report LCL9904

Title: Vector Space Semantics: a modeltheoretic analysis of locative prepositions
Authors: Joost Zwarts and Yoad Winter
Abstract: This paper introduces a compositional semantics of locative prepositional phrases which is based on a vector space ontology. Modeltheoretic properties of prepositions like monotonicity and conservativity are defined in this system in a straightforward way. These notions are shown to describe central inferences with spatial expressions and to account for the grammaticality of preposition modification. Modeltheoretic constraints on the set of possible prepositions in natural language are specified, similar to the semantic universals of Generalized Quantifier Theory.
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