Standpoint semantics for polysemy in spatial prepositions

Edilson J. Rodrigues, Paulo E. Santos, Marcos Lopes, Brandon Bennett, Paul E. Oppenheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a formalism for handling polysemy in spatial expressions based on supervaluation semantics called standpoint semantics for polysemy (SSP). The goal of this formalism is, given a prepositional phrase, to define its possible spatial interpretations. For this, we propose to characterize spatial prepositions by means of a triplet $\langle $image schema, semantic feature, spatial axis$\rangle $. The core of SSP is predicate grounding theories, which are formulas of a first-order language that define a spatial preposition through the semantic features of its trajector and landmark. Precisifications are also established, which are a set of formulae of a qualitative spatial reasoning formalism that aims to provide the spatial characterization of the trajector with respect to the landmark. In addition to the theoretical model, we also present results of a computational implementation of SSP for the preposition 'in'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-661
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Logic and Computation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • polysemy
  • spatial prepositions
  • Supervaluation semantics


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