Weekly Topics and Readings

Please mail charris@bu.edu if you know of links to any of the people or topics mentioned below. Thanks!

Sept 7 Course Introduction; Concepts and category structure; Beyond prototypes.

Sept 14 Semantic studies of spatial relation terms

Sept 21 Schematization: Seeing objects as points, lines and planes

Sept 28 Spatial cognition: Foundations

Oct 5 Spatial cognition: Different viewpoints, recent work

Oct 12 Reference frames and the projective prepositions

October 19 Spatial description in Tzeltal and Guugu Yimidhirr

Oct 26 The interface between language and spatial cognition


  1. Which spatial representations are accessed by language?
  2. Are there language-based percepts?


Nov 2 Language acquisition

Nov 9 Student presentations

Nov 16 Models of the space-language interface

We have set aside three class meetings (Nov 9, 30, and Dec 7) for student presentations. Students can also choose to present material on one of the meetings on which we have assigned reading, if they have material which is compatible for that day's topic.

We have included in the course reading packet the following two manuscripts as they could form the basis of a good presentation.

Other possible topics are the verbs of motion more generally, dimensional adjectives, and other aspects of sign language. Another source of material is the Artificial Intelligence Review Journal, which recently announced four special issues on the Integration of natural language and vision processing, published during 1994 and 1995.

Nov 30 Student Presentations

Dec 7 Student Presentations