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(Perceptual) grounding as interaction

Conference paper
Authors Simon Dobnik
Amelie Åstbom
Published in Proceedings of Saardial (Semdial 2017): The 21st Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue, Saarbrücken, August 15–17, 2017 / Volha Petukhova and Ye Tian (eds.)
ISSN 2308-2275
Publisher SemDial
Place of publication Saarbrücken, Germany
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Language en
Keywords grounding, language, perception, interaction, spatial template, geometry, function, object interaction, compositionality
Subject categories Cognitive science, Linguistics, Computational linguistics


We examine how changing perceptual contexts affects grounding of words, in particular spatial descriptions, in perceptual features and argue that grounding is interactive. We discuss two effects of perceptual context. Grounding of spatial de- scriptions may be affected by the richness of the perceptual context which allows us to build more complex representations of scenes. Secondly, perceptual grounding is dependent on the task (and associated attention) which affects the preference of features. The second property connects perceptual grounding closely to linguistic grounding in dialogue. We argue that dynamic perceptual grounding has implica- tions for the words-as-classifiers approach to semantics.

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