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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Peter Gärdenfors - "Actions and events modelled in conceptual spaces"

The Barcelona Cognition, Brain and Technology summer school. Barcelona, Spain

Friday, 14 September, 2012 - 09:30 to 11:00

Recording of the speaker's talk at the Barcelona Brain and Technology Summer School, September 2012.
"Actions and events are central to a semantics of natural language. I present a cognitively based model of these notions. After giving a general presentation of the theory of conceptual spaces, I suggest how the analysis of perceptual concepts can be extended to actions and events. First, I argue that action space can be analyzed in the same way as e.g. color space or shape space. The hypothesis is that the categorization of actions depends, to a large extent, on the perception of forces. In line with this, I describe an action as a pattern of forces. An action category is identified as a convex region of action space. I review some indirect evidence for this representation. Second, I represent an event as an interaction between a force vector and a result vector. Typically an agent performs an action – i.e., exerts a force – that changes the properties of the patient. Such a model of events is suitable for an analysis of the semantics of verbs. I compare the model to other related attempts from cognitive semantics."

Additional links:
Conceptual Spaces At Work - Conference May 2012

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