Choosing the Right Path: Image Schema Theory as a Foundation for Concept Invention

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Image schemas are recognised as a fundamental ingredient in human cognition and creative thought. They have been studied extensively in areas such as cognitive linguistics. With the goal of exploring their potential role in computational creative systems, we here study the viability of the idea to formalise image schemas as a set of interlinked theories. We discuss in particular a selection of image schemas related to the notion of ‘path’, and show how they can be mapped to a formalised family of microtheories reflecting the different aspects of path following. Finally, we illustrate the potential of this approach in the area of concept invention, namely by providing several examples illustrating in detail in what way formalised image schema families support the computational modelling of conceptual blending.

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