Semiotic Schemas: A Framework for Grounding Language in Action and Perception
Cognitive Machines Group; The Media Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A theoretical framework for grounding language is introduced that provides a computational path from sensing and motor action to words and speech acts. The approach combines concepts from semiotics and schema theory to develop a holistic approach to linguistic meaning. Schemas serve as structured beliefs that are grounded in an agent’s physical environment through a causal-predictive cycle of action and perception. Words and basic speech acts are interpreted in terms of grounded schemas. The framework reflects lessons learned from implementations of several language processing robots. It provides a basis for the analysis and design of situated, multimodal communication systems that straddle symbolic and non-symbolic realms.