• What is a frame?

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    • Abstract: What is a frame?• Structured representation of concept– Causal, temporal, intentional relationships– Attributes and valuesFrame Semantics – Default values• Also referred to as:

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What is a frame?
• Structured representation of concept
– Causal, temporal, intentional relationships
– Attributes and values
Frame Semantics – Default values
• Also referred to as:
script, scenario, scene, cultural model, cognitive model, idealized
cognitive model, domain, schema, experiential gestalt
Language, Mind, and Culture • Frame semantics
– Word meanings are defined relative to frames
Zoltan Kovecses – Contrasts with truth conditional semantics in which meaning is
defined by necessary and sufficient conditions
Knuckle Friday
• How to define by • Essential feature: fifth day of the week?
• Knuckle part of finger – Week only has meaning in terms of its constituent
• Finger part of hand days
• Hand part of arm – Day only has meaning in terms of earth’s movement
• Finger-hand-arm part of around sun
• Defined against background of frames for Day
• Understanding
relationship between and Week
knuckle and other body
parts is crucial for • Note that Week is a culturally constructed
understanding the concept
meaning of this concept
– Nature only has alternation of light and dark
Framing Friday Framenet Project
Superstition Frame Weekend Frame
• Project at UCB to specify frames needed
to understand language
Competition Frame Competition Frame: Elements
• Competition: name of • Prize: the prize won in a
• Elements competition competition
– Competition, participants, place, prize, rank, score, – Joe lost the Democratic primary – John won a bronze medal.
• Participant I: identifies first or • Rank: ranked results of a
and venue only participant in the competition competition
– Joe won the lottery – John came in third
• People (Participants) participate in an organized – Joe defeated Leslie at tennis • Score: the score in the game
rule-governed activity (Competition) in order to • Participant 2: identifies the – The Yankees won the game 2-0
second participant in the – The Yankees won the game by 2
achieve some advantageous outcome. Rank competition runs
and Score are different criteria by which the – Joe defeated Leslie at tennis • Venue: the venue of the
• Participants
degree of achievement of the advantageous – The Yankees won the World – The Padres will play in PETCO
Series Park.
outcome is judged. • Place: where the event takes
• Elements connected by events place
– John’s 3-0 win at Wimbledon
– Lose, win, defeat, come in, play, etc. surprised the crowd
Frames help listeners infer
Characteristics of Frames
• If I tell you: • You know: • Frames are evoked by words
“I lost the game.” – There was another The teacher called on John to answer the
– I was engaged in rule-
governed activity – Evokes Classroom frame
– In a particular place • John is the value of Student in the Classroom
and venue frame
– Activity had potentially • Some words profile particular elements of
advantageous frames
outcome for me
– I did not achieve my – Teacher profiles one element of the
goal Classroom frame
Characteristics of Frames Frames and Word Meaning
• Frames impose perspective on situation • Commercial Event Frame (Fillmore)
– Elements: buyer, seller, money, goods
– John spent four hours on land. – Events: transfer of money from buyer to seller; followed by
– John spent four hours on the ground. transfer of goods from seller to buyer
• Different verbs focus on particular aspects of the frame
• Frames provide important history – Buy: buyer and goods “I bought a car (from him).”
– A woman marries a man. The man dies. – Sell: seller and goods “He sold his car (to me).”
– Pay: buyer and money “I paid $1000 (for the car).”
– Widow
– Spend: buyer and money “I spent $1000 (on the car).”
• Frames often presume larger cultural – Cost: goods and money “The car cost $1000.”
frames – Charge: seller and money “He charged $1000 (for the car).”
• Frames are often idealized cases
Frames and Negation Frames and Definitions
• Frames provide alternative ways of • A bachelor is an unmarried man.
understanding or construing the “same”
objective situation
– Stingy vs. Thrifty
• Can account for apparently bizarre cases
of negation
– “He’s not stingy; he’s thrifty!”
Frames and Definitions
• A bachelor is an unmarried man.
• Defined with respect to frame for average
male life cycle
– Start Career 20s
– Married 20s or 30s
– Have Kids 30s
– Retire 60s
– Die 70s
• Remember: frames are often idealized
Frames and Prototypes Mother
• Breakfast: defined against • Pull all-nighter and eat eggs • Woman who gave birth to
frame for cycle of meals in the toast and coffee in the child?
course of the day morning? • Woman who takes care
• Breakfast is: • Get up in morning and eat of child?
1 Meal after a period of sleep cheesecake and scotch first
thing? • Birth Model
2 Meal eaten early in the day
– Birth mother
3 Meal with a special menu • Go to IHOP at 4pm and have
eggs, toast, and coffee? • Genetic Model
• Prototypical breakfast is when – Surrogate mother
actual scenario matches the • Nurturance Model
idealized model of sleeping – Adoptive mother, foster
through the night, waking, and mother
eating eggs, toast, and coffee • Marital Model
– Stepmother
(Lakoff, 1987)
• Frames are evoked when • Frames are structured
we understand words representations of causal
• Some words highlight and relational information
particular parts of a frame about objects, scenes,
• Frames evoke a and events
particular perspective on • Knowledge is
a situation represented in an
• Frames suggest a idealized form in frames
particular history in a • Cultural behavior often
concept involves negotiating over
• Frames often assume when to apply particular
larger cultural frames frames

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