Classification of Japanese Spatial Nouns


Tokunaga Takenobu; Koyama Tomofumi; Nakajima Masayuki

Department of Computer Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology




We have already proposed a framework to represent a location in terms of both symbolic and numeric aspects. In order to deal with vague linguistic expressions of a location, the representation adopts a potential function mapping a location to its plausibility. This paper proposes classification of Japanese spatial nouns and potential functions corresponding to each class. We focused on a common Japanese spatial expression ``X no Y (Y of X)'' where X is a reference object and Y is a spatial noun. For example, ``tukue no migi (the right of the desk)'' denotes a location with reference to the desk. This expression were collected from corpora, and spatial nouns appearing in the Y position were classified into two major classes; designating a part of the reference object and designating a location apart from the reference object . And the latter class were further classified into two subclasses; direction-oriented and distance-oriented. For each class, a potential function were designed for providing meaning of spatial nouns.


Japanese spatial noun, vaguness, potential function, reference frame



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