(1) Musa løp under bordet. 'The mouse ran under the table.'(2) Under bordet er et fint sted å gjemme seg. 'Under the table is a good place to hide.'
Locative prepositional phrases, as seen in (1) and (2) ('underbordet'), all express spatial concepts, but they can be interpreted in anumber of different ways. In (1), the mouse may (i) be running aroundunder the table, (ii) run to the region under the table (e.g. tohide), or (iii) run through the region under the table (e.g. 'Musa løpunder bordet og ut på den andre siden'). These three differentreadings all modify the event or situation of the mouse's running, butdiffer in the way they modify it. In (2), however, the prepositionalphrase seems to refer to a region of space rather than modifying anevent.
I describe a theory on how to interpret locative prepositionalphrases, which tries to account for both the modificational and thereferential proeprties of preositional phrases, nameley the theorypresented by Marcus Kracht in 'On the Semantics of Locatives'(Linguistics and Philosophy, 25:157-232, 2002).
Furthermore, I implement the main features of this theory in acomputational framework, the 'Linguistic Knowledge Builder' system(LKB), using 'Head-driven Phrase-Structure Grammar' (HPSG) as thetheory for syntactic representation and 'Minimal Recursion Semantics'(MRS) as the theory for semantic representation.
I develop a model (grammar fragment) for Norwegian locatives, andexplore how this model describes Norwegian locatives with respect totheir syntactic behaviour and semantics properties. I argue that thetheory of Kracht (2002) predict how prepositional phrases withdifferent syntactic structures express the same type of semantics(meaning).
I also apply the theory of Kracht (2002) in a contrastive analysis of locative prepositional phrases in Norwegian and English, and argue that we can use this model for more accurate translations in a semantic transfer-based Machine Translation system.