Spatial Cognition in Natural-Language Narratives

David Herman

Any system designed to model or simulate narrative intelligence will have to take into account how stories encode mental representations of emergent spatial relationships between items in narrated worlds. Intelligent agents, for example, need to be able to use sequences of referring expressions as cues for making inferences about agents, places, and objects and about the dynamic relations between them. Based on a corpus of seventeen North Carolina ghost stories, this paper argues that studying processes of spatial reference in natural-language narratives can yield important insights into some of the principles and parameters of narrative intelligence.


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