On the Use of Size Modifiers When Referring to Visible Objects

Abstract

We present a study on how people use size modifiers when referring to visible objects. We find strong evidence that the selection of modifiers like tall, thin, and big is brought about by several interacting factors, including how a target object’s physical dimensions differ from another object of the same type, and the relationship between the target object’s individual dimensions. Findings from this study are used to inform the design of a referring expression generation algorithm capable of referring to objects naturally, providing a further link between visual cues and corresponding linguistic forms.


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