Ontolog Forum

Session Introductory
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time November 13 2019 17:00 GMT
9:00am PST/12:00pm EST
5:00pm GMT/6:00pm CET
Convener Ken Baclawski

Ontology Summit 2020 MetaNet Metaphor Repository


  • Continue the discussion of Deep semantic automatic metaphor analysis by Professor Elise Stickles. Video Recording YouTube Video
  • Abstract (from last week): As analyzed in Conceptual Metaphor Theory, metaphors allow language users to exploit their rich and complex knowledge of one domain, such as the physical world, to understand and reason about another, often less structured and/or more abstract domain. Building on the foundation of Conceptual Metaphor Theory, the MetaNet project has developed formal representations of metaphors as mappings from one domain (the Source domain) to another (the Target domain) , and has built a structured repository containing a systematic network of searchable and interrelated metaphors, as well as a network of semantic frames that act as source and target domains of metaphors. The MetaNet metaphor repository consists of a very large compendium of attested metaphors, including time metaphors, mind metaphors, event structure metaphors, emotion metaphors, and morality metaphors. It also includes novel metaphors pertaining to target domains of interest to the project, which have centered on social problems such as issues of poverty, taxation, bureaucracy, governance, gun violence, and cancer. In addition to the searchable encyclopedia of systematically-linked metaphors and the semantic frames that constitute the source and target domains, the MetaNet project has been exploring metaphors in corpus data across four different languages, namely American English, Mexican Spanish, Iranian Persian, and Russian as spoken in Russia. The American English MetaNet repository is available as a Semantic MediaWiki at [1]. The goal of the MetaNet project has been to build a system that will extract linguistic manifestations of metaphor and automatically interpret them.
  • Bio: Elise Stickles is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. She is a cognitive semanticist, meaning that she studies the relationship between linguistic meaning and form from a cognitive-functional perspective. Her research lies at the intersection of conceptual metaphor theory and embodied construction grammar approaches to syntax and lexical semantics. She focuses particularly on multimodal metaphoric constructions, comprising both linguistic and gestural content. Most of her research is on American English, but she also studies the metaphor and argument structure of American Sign Language.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 13-November-2019
  • Start Time: 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 6:00pm CET / 5:00pm GMT / 1700 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • The Video Conference URL is
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      • US: +16699006833,,689971575# or +16465588665,,689971575#
    • Telephone:
      • Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 558 8665
      • Meeting ID: 689 971 575
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  • Chat Room



[11:12] RaviSharma: Hello Ravi here from India location now on till February

[11:19] RaviSharma: @Elise - you have covered poverty as disease as a physical affliction well as well as social problem. But there is another dimension that in a society poverty is also a state of mind

[11:24] RaviSharma: Culturally minimum items such as food, shelter (depends heavily on climates) and minimum healthcare, and being content with what one (or family collectively) are satisfactory but external factors such as comparison with physically advanced societies try to enhance the dormant awareness of... there are better physical facilities and this generates a psychology of being poor (poverty) hence it is also a relative state as well as induced feeling of deprivation.

[11:26] RaviSharma: Therefore physical Poverty (such as starvation rather than poor quality of food according to some) and feeling of being deprived are correlated.

[11:30] RaviSharma: In a village setting everyone feels equal and uses and shares resources but comparison to many poverty free urban societies brings poverty concept to fore.

[11:31] RaviSharma: how do you enhance your metaphor repository when poverty includes physical as well as psychology of being deprived thus poor?

[11:33] RaviSharma: @Elise - deprivation sense can also develop from differences in technology levels among different societies.

[11:40] RaviSharma: transliteration of metaphors among different languages is a great challenge and like the case of jokes, the punch is lost in transliteration.

[11:54] RaviSharma: @Elise having identified a metaphor how do you find synonyms - just by dictionary or by match

[11:59] RaviSharma: Example: to hide ones

[12:01] RaviSharma: "One's inability or lack of knowledge on how to dance you blame it on the floor being inclined"!

[12:04] ToddSchneider: I'll be delayed in joining the Zoom session.

[12:30] RaviSharma: notes: Janet asked about ontology of metaphors

[12:34] Mark Underwood @knowlengr1: we should ask Elise about how metaphor/analogy can help with transparency and explainability (theme of our last Summit) ... I'm thinking that training microtheory ontology product owners to connect with metaphors systematically is likely to bear more fruit than the reverse. I.e., enable the engineer by providing a mapping framework to NLP-based metaphors

[12:41] ToddSchneider: Assuming we have some understand of how to interpret the notion of 'knowledge', what knowledge do metaphors have or convey?

[12:42] janet singer: Doug: Types of ontologies at Cyc

[12:43] janet singer: Elise: Concepts are taken to be cognitive gestalts

[12:48] janet singer: Todd: do metaphors convey knowledge? Elise: they convey inferential structure ( relating one frame to another)

[12:48] ToddSchneider: 'Inferential structure' is based on Frames and their relationships?

[12:49] John Sowa: For processes, see then click on either processes or causality.

[12:50] John Sowa: the process page summarizes the work by Eric Sandewall

[12:55] Mark Underwood @knowlengr1: Of course "frame" is itself subject to the context limitation John identifies

[12:56] Elise Stickles: another useful concept here is the x-schema as described by Srini Narayanan, which is well-described in Jerry Feldman's book "From Molecule to Metaphor"

[12:58] Elise Stickles: ("x schema" is short for "executing schema".)

[13:06] ToddSchneider: Have to go. Thank you.

[13:08] RaviSharma: John described CogMem concepts and scaling

[13:08] RaviSharma: Todd Thanks

[13:09] janet singer: Mark, Your question about the benefits of training micro theory ontology product owners to connect with metaphors systematically brings to mind the benefits on training in ontological thinking

[13:09] RaviSharma: Douglas Miles - thanks

[13:10] Elise Stickles: thanks again

[13:10] Douglas R. Miles1: Sorry I just wanted to say that sometimes after a speaker comes and they disappear it is nice to have their constant input.

[13:11] Douglas R. Miles1: Like John Sowa's

[13:11] Douglas R. Miles1: And all of you


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