Commonsense Metaphysics and Lexical Semantics

Computational Linguistics 13 (3&4):241-250 (1987)
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In the TACITUS project for using commonsense knowledge in the understanding of texts about mechanical devices and their failures, we have been developing various commonsense theories that are needed to mediate between the way we talk about the behavior of such devices and causal models of their operation. Of central importance in this effort is the axiomatization of what might be called commonsense metaphysics. This includes a number of areas that figure in virtually every domain of discourse, such as granularity, scales, time, space, material, physical objects, shape, causality, functionality, and force. Our effort has been to construct core theories of each of these areas, and then to define, or at least characterize, a large number of lexical items in terms provided by the core theories. In this paper we discuss our methodological principles and describe the key ideas in the various domains we are investigating.



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Todd Davies
Stanford University

Citations of this work

The structures of the common-sense world.Barry Smith - 1995 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 58:290–317.
Distributivity, Collectivity, and Cumulativity in Terms of (In)dependence and Maximality.Livio Robaldo - 2011 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (2):233-271.
Natural Language Semantics and Computability.Richard Moot & Christian Retoré - 2019 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 28 (2):287-307.

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References found in this work

The Foundations of Geometry.David Hilbert - 1899 - Open Court Company (This Edition Published 1921).
Force Dynamics in Language and Cognition.Talmy Leonard - 1988 - Cognitive Science 12 (1):49-100.
Linguistics and natural logic.George Lakoff - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):151 - 271.

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