Interlingua for French and German Topological Prepositions

  • Djelloul Aroui
  • Mustapha Kamel Rahmouni
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5039)


The present study focuses on the definition of an Interlingua for the French topological prepositions dans(in) , sur(on) ”, “ à(at) and their equivalent in German in , auf , an with a view to their use in French-German machine translation and second language acquisition systems. Both languages have a concept of preposition but with a different lexical use. In the same spatial situation, not always equivalent prepositions are used. The French and German prepositions can cover the description of a certain spatial situation, although its meanings can overlap themselves only partially. The choice of the appropriate preposition in a target language depends on the meaning of the topological preposition. With the second language acquisition of spatial prepositions mistakes frequently occur, because one preposition in French does not correspond necessarily to a same basic meaning of a preposition in German. Regarding the machine translation of spatial prepositions, their meanings in a target language can not be defined in the same lexical way. Therefore the machine translation and the second language acquisition of spatial expressions must be occur not directly on a language dependent, i.e. linguistic, but on a language independent level, i.e. conceptual level. The definition of an Interlingua assumes that the meaning of French and German topological prepositions can be expressed in common neutral concepts.


Interlingua Spatial Expression Topological Preposition Spatial Preposition Spatial Representation 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Djelloul Aroui
    • 1
  • Mustapha Kamel Rahmouni
    • 1
  1. 1.Informatic Department Es-Sénia-UniversityOranAlgeria

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