I stumbled across a question asking to draw a conceptual dependency for the following statement:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly

My attempt so far

My working

Explanation: Both the sender and recipient are the same, except that the states of their contents are different.

Something feels like it isn't right. I would appreciate if you could correct errors, if any.


1 Answer 1


As it's two clauses ("place in bowl" and "mix"), I would actually use two separate CD structures. The first one is a PTRANS (not ATRANS, as you don't change ownership, but location); the second one is a bit trickier.

Mix can be paraphrased as stir, or move around. You would typically do this with a spoon or similar implement. I would do it as a PROPEL with the instrument spoon and the object the ingredients. PROPEL, according to Schank (1975) is the "application of a physical force to an object".

So the first one is:

  (ACTOR *you*)
  (OBJECT "all ingredients")
  (TO "bowl"))

And the second is:

  (ACTOR *you*)
  (OBJECT "ingredients")
  (INSTRUMENT "a spoon")
  (DIRECTION "circular"))

It's debatable if you PROPEL the ingredients with the instrument spoon, or you PROPEL the object spoon with the target/location/direction ingredients.

If you draw them in a graphical representation, you can have both ACTs leading off the shared actor '*you*'; or you could have them as separate graphs linked by 'then' or some other indicator of sequentiality.

Schank, Roger (1975) The primitive ACTs of conceptual dependency, Proc of 1975 workshop on theoretical issues in natural language processing, 34-37


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