Spatial Semantics: Recent Advances
In this paper, we discuss the most recent trends in the study of space and time. We consider four volumes [Filipović and Jaszczolt 2012], [Vulchanova and van der Zee 2013], [Moore 2014], and [Luraghi et al. 2017] that cover an relatively broad set of topics and approaches. The main topics the authors focus on are: language-specific systems of space and time conceptualization, cultural differences in understanding time, space and time (dis)analogy, granularity, frame of reference, verbs of motion, and Source vs. Goal asymmetry. The methods that the contributors apply are versatile ranging from formal and experimental to anthropological participant observation, and lexical typology. Many of the papers collected in these volumes deal with similar problems applying different frameworks to them, which makes it possible to compare how different approaches handle similar problems and thus reveal how they may be combined. This reflects one of the strongest trends in modern linguistics, namely the tendency to conduct interdisciplinary studies that allow to simultaneously view the same data from different angles.
Background: Impairments in spatial processing show themselves not only in gnosis and praxis, but also in the language domain. Luria (1947) considered this deficit a characteristic feature of so-called semantic aphasia and explained the impaired comprehension of semantically reversible constructions in those patients by a disorder of the common spatial neuropsychological factor grounded in the temporal-parietal-occipital regions of the brain.
Aims: The aim of the present study was to experimentally test the possibility that individuals with semantic aphasia experience specific difficulties in extracting spatial relations from a linguistic form and rely instead on basic sensorimotor stereotypes to interpret reversible linguistic constructions.
Method & Procedures: Six individuals with semantic aphasia, 12 people with motor aphasia, 12 people with sensory aphasia, and 12 non-brain-damaged individuals performed a sentence-picture matching task; all participants were native speakers of Russian. Two types of reversible sentences were tested, each representing a direct and an inverted word order: prepositional (The boy is putting the bag in the box vs. The boy is putting in the box the bag) and instrumental (The grandmother is covering the scarf with the hat vs. The grandmother is covering with the hat the scarf). Irreversible sentences (The boy is putting the apple in the bag) served as control stimuli.
Outcomes & Results: Each group of participants performed better on irreversible than on reversible sentences. Within reversible sentences, an interaction between word order and construction type was found in individuals with semantic aphasia only. They performed more accurately in prepositional constructions with direct word order and in instrumental constructions with inverted word order – both are related to sensorimotor stereotypes reflecting interaction with objects in the real world. Although no such clear dissociation was found in other aphasia types, correlation analysis revealed the same effect in some participants with motor and sensory aphasia.
Conclusions: The findings confirm the importance of situational context for linguistic processing. First, if knowledge of the real world supports the unique interpretation of grammatical markers, it enhances processing in all tested cohorts of participants. Second, people with semantic aphasia consistently use sensorimotor stereotypes to compensate for their linguistic deficits. Since this was also found in some participants with other aphasia types, such a sensorimotor strategy might depend not on the damage to temporal-parietal-occipital areas as such, but on the intactness and overuse of left premotor regions suggested to be critical for motor and symbolic sequential processing (Luria, 1947).
This paper argues that modeling granularity and approximation (Krifka 2007; Lewis 1979) is crucial for capturing important aspects of the distribution and interpretation of adjectives and their modifiers, modulo certain differences between modified adjectives and numerals. In addition, the paper presents supporting experimental results with minimizers like slightly and maximizers like completely.
The paper describes two types of marking of landmark in Bashkir. Bashkir has two ways of expressing location: a landmark with the locative case marker and a landmark with a spatial postposition. The choice among two possibilities depends on some semantic features. The main goal of the paper is to analyze the choice between thеse constructions. The data were collected using a special questionnaire which was developed for the research of spatial relations of the world’s languages [Bowerman, Pederson 1992] and using additional elicitation. As a result, a competition area of these two ways of landmark expression was found. The choice of the type of landmark marking within this area depends on the properties of situation which are described in the article.
One of the actively developed approaches to the issues of management in the group robotics is application of models of social behavior in groups of robots. In this paper it is offered to use this approach to fulfill the tasks of foraging. The basis of the proposed method is formed by the principles of memorizing the way by visual landmarks and fuzzy control. Results of simulation modeling which confirm efficiency of the approach are presented.
One of the widespread approaches to the issues of control in the group robotics is application of the social behavior models in the groups of robots. In this paper the author proposes to use this approach to fulfill the tasks of foraging. As a role model a Formicidae ant is proposed. This task is considered as a combination of three stages: finding food, returning to the ant hill and repeating the way to the place where food was found. It was proven that in order to come back home and repeatedly walk the way the Formicidae ants were navigated predominantly by the visual means using vector navigation (path integration) and landmark-guidance mechanisms. The basis of the proposed method is formed by the principles of memorizing the way by the visual landmarks and fuzzy control. The model of describing the way is introduced to the robot, which can define colors of the landmarks and approximately sense the direction to the landmark in respect to itself. A pattern for formation of a succinct way description was created, with the help of which the scout robot memorizes the way to the “food”. Certain regulations were developed, which let the follower robot transfer from the description of the route to the actions of its reproduction and in many ways copy an ant’s behavior. The actions are presented as elementary behavioral procedures, and each behavioral procedure is realized as a finite state automata. The results of the simulation modeling, which was conducted with the help of the framework of ROS based modeling system, are presented. Experiments were conducted in polygons with barriers and without them, with regular and irregular placing of the landmarks. As a quality criterion for the proposed method the author offers to consider a successful passing of the route by the follower robot, and this indicator in different series of experiments varies from 92 up to 98 %. The proposed method does not require robot’s great computation capacity and advanced sensory abilities. The developed method can also be applied to the tasks of reconnaissance and patrolling.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.