White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Semantic categories underlying the meaning of ‘place’

Bennett, B. and Agarwal, P. (2007) Semantic categories underlying the meaning of ‘place’. In: Winter, S., Duckham, M., Kulik, L. and Kuipers, B., (eds.) Spatial Information Theory : 8th International Conference, COSIT 2007. Proceedings. COSIT 2007, September 19-23, 2007, Melbourne, Australia. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (4736). Springer , Berlin / Heidelberg , pp. 78-95. ISBN 978-3-540-74786-4

Available under licence : See the attached licence file.

Download (232Kb)


This paper analyses the semantics of natural language expressions that are associated with the intuitive notion of ‘place’. We note that the nature of such terms is highly contested, and suggest that this arises from two main considerations: 1) there are a number of logically distinct categories of place expression, which are not always clearly distinguished in discourse about ‘place’; 2) the many non-substantive place count nouns (such as ‘place’, ‘region’, ‘area’, etc.) employed in natural language are highly ambiguous. With respect to consideration 1), we propose that place-related expressions should be classified into the following distinct logical types: a) ‘place-like’ count nouns (further subdivided into abstract, spatial and substantive varieties), b) proper names of ‘place-like’ objects, c) locative property phrases, and d) definite descriptions of ‘place-like’ objects. We outline possible formal representations for each of these. To address consideration 2), we examine meanings, connotations and ambiguities of the English vocabulary of abstract and generic place count nouns, and identify underlying elements of meaning, which explain both similarities and differences in the sense and usage of the various terms.

Item Type: Proceedings Paper
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'Spatial Information Theory'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs Irene Rudling
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2009 17:24
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74788-8_6
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer
Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-540-74788-8_6
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7886

Actions (repository staff only: login required)