The Results of Development of the Cognitive Model of Russian Verb

(on example of motion verb)

Vladimir N. Polyakov

Moscow State Linguistic University, Dept. of experimental and applied linguistics




The verb is a grammatical form, which semantics combines a number of cognitive phenomena and structures. Perhaps, no other part of speech can compete with the verb on the variety of forms and inflexion models, on diversity and complexity of the description. Therefore, the author conceives that the cognitive model of the verb (CMV) plays the dominant part in the description of comprehension mechanisms of natural language texts. Besides, the development of such a model might shed light on the semantic nature of other contiguous language phenomena, give a push to solving some other tasks in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. This research is an experience of complex description of semantics of a verb (first of all v Russian), based on up-to-date achievements in a number of scientific trends, which are recently referred to cognitive science[1]. The research is carried out on the examples taken from the novel ?Master and Margaret by M. Bulgakhov.

The article [1] presents basic elements of the cognitive model of the verb, which includes a cognitive mechanism of identification of the aspect of meaning, and logical and mathematical interpretation of semantic phenomena set by each meaning: interpretation, word-formation paradigm, regular word-formation forms, word combinations, synonymic parametrical groups, description of meaning in terms of the model actionvchange. Besides, the model includes a cognitive mechanism of development of aspect-tense form of a complex of relations set by a word combination. The cognitive model of the verb is developed in the context of the comprehension model named as semiotic text comprehension model, which was advanced by the author in [2]. The basic theses of the model are illustrated on the example of the verbs bezhat-, begat- (run). As a basis for the development of CMV the information from dictionaries and the results of the analysis of sample usage of these verbs in texts were used. Predicative logic was employed as a basic tools for cognitive modeling of the verb semantics. The explanation of interpretation, verb pattern and word-formation models in the research has a common logical and mathematical nature. The analysis of the examples has revealed a number of restrictions inherent in the interpretation as a form of description of the language semantics. The principles of a new grammar analysis mechanism focused on the cognitive model of the verb, were advanced. The bases for semantic classification of verbs were offered.

The article [3] deals with the results of a cognitive experiment in testing of the theory: dependence of the use of a verb of motion from the value of angular velocity of object dislocation from the standpoint of the viewer. A comparative analysis of a number of Russian verbs with the meaning ?to move at some speed was carried out. To such verbs were referred: polzti (to creep in the meaning "to move very slowly"), idti (to walk/go in the meaning "to move slowly"), bezhat- (to run in the meaning "to move fast"), letet- (to fly in the meaning "to move very fast"), nestis- (to rush in the meaning "to move very fast"), mtchatsja (to dash in the meaning "to move at a great speed"). The results of the cognitive experiment have proved the fact of presupposed dependence. Besides, it was found out that the human perception of the dislocation speed of an object is not of a linear but that of a logarithmic character. With the help of experimental data it was possible to develop fuzzy functions of attribute, to define the ranges of angular velocity for each of the verbs of motion. The synonymy of the verbs letet- (to fly) and nestis- (to rush) in the meaning of ? to move very fast was experimentally determined.

In the article [1] there is stated a presupposition that one of the aspectual meanings of a verb is cause-action aspect. It was also pointed out that this part of meaning has a considerable independence, and together with propositional and temporal aspects, can be submitted as an independent semantic structure[2]. Article [4] holds an attempt of detailed examination of structure and content of a part of verb meaning, which describes relations of cause and action (cause-action aspect of meaning). As a cognitive basis for the description of cause-action aspect the description of meaning in terms of ?action-change model was offered. If the principle of unified stock of semantic primitives in the knowledge model and language model is to be followed, the description of cause-action aspect should include together with the above mentioned ?action-change model ?object-property relation model and ?cause-effect relation model. The fact that these knowledge models are still far from being complete represents certain difficulties. Another problem to complicate this research is that the traces of cognitive elements of causal structure are lacking in vocabulary interpretation, and the means of its description are: on the one hand v introspection, and on the other hand v a bulk of texts.



[1] V.N. Polyakov. To a Cognitive Model of a Russian Verb. Text Processing and Cognitive Technologies. Paper Collection. N 4. (Edited by R.K. Potapova, V.D. Solovyev, V.N. Polyakov) v Moscow, MISA. 2000. v p. 271-314. (In Russian)

[2] V.N. Polyakov. Problems of Representation, Acquisition and Usage of Knowledge from the Point of Natural-language Processing. Proceedings of N.I. Lomonosov's mathematical center. V.4. Workshop-school "Computer Linguistics". Kazan. October, 20-24, 1999. Publ. Unipress. Kazan. 1999. p.93-110. (In Russian)

[3] V.N. Polyakov. The Influence of the Angular Velocity of Object Dislocation from the Standpoint of the Viewer on the Verb Usage). The First Annual Conference on Cognitive Slavic Linguistics. November, 3-4, 2000. (Conference program) (Text In Russian)

[4]  V.N. Polyakov. Cognitive model of verb: cause-action aspect) Text Processing and Cognitive Technologies. Paper Collection. N 5. v Moscow, MISA. 2000. v (Printed. In Russian)


[1] Therefore, this description can be rightfully called cognitive model of the verb

[2] It should be reminded that in Multiaspect Meaning Model of Sentence (MAMM-S) the meaning is defined by a logical formula comprising a composition (conjunction) of meaning aspects.